Don’t forget about the free sports clinics that are going on for Olympic Day 2012 on June 23rd!
The US Olympic Training Center and Hall of Fame is a landmark of Colorado Springs, and it’s free! We visited for the second time over Memorial Day weekend and had a great time and totally got pumped up for the 2012 Summer Olympics. :)
The tour starts with a 12-minute video of Olympic and Paralympic highlights (mostly from the last two Games, if I recall correctly). Man, montages like this always make me tear up – anyone else like that? The Olympians are just so American and it makes me proud and inspired.
So, after you’re done trying to make it look like you weren’t crying in the theatre, you’ll head outside for the rest of the tour.
Most of the tour is outside, and what buildings you’re able to go into and what athletes you might see training just depends on when you visit. Memorial Day weekend is probably not the best time to see things, as not very many athletes are training and some buildings are closed. It seems like the main gym and the wrestling facility is usually open, though, as we’ve been able to go in to those buildings on both of our tours.
You will probably be able to see where the men’s gymnastic team and wrestling team trains, and if you’re lucky, you’ll even be able to watch them for awhile. (If you can stand the smell in the wrestling gym. :)
Fast Company magazine recently published an interesting look at how Colorado Springs became home to the USOC. It’s worth a read if you love our local history!
Our tour guide mentioned that one of her favorite times was when the trampoline team comes and trains for a week or two in the summer. I would love to be able to catch a glimpse of that but as far as I know, there’s not a way to know which athletes will be training when (mostly for security purposes).
You can also look into the pool building (I haven’t ever been in it) and supposedly Michael Phelps trains here sometimes! The tour lasts about 45 minutes. Keep in mind that it’s mostly outside, so bring a jacket if it’s cool outside as there are several times where you’ll stop and listen to a tour guide outside for a few minutes.
Back in the main building, you can spend as much time as you want at the Hall of Fame and a few other fun displays, and there’s a large gift shop.
Tours are held on the half hour for June and July, and every hour during the rest of the year. You can get more information on tours of the US Olympic Training Center at Colorado Springs here.