In order to participate in the Olympic Games, athletes need to spend enormous chunks of their lives training their bodies and honing their skills. The Olympic Training Center in Colorado is where many of these athletes work towards this goal, and tourists have the chance to both see the athletes in action as well as learn more about the Games and athletes of the past.
The Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center is the first of its kind to be built (there are other ones in Lake Placid and Chula Vista in San Diego), and is also the current home of the U.S. Olympic Committee. Choosing Colorado Springs was no accident—experts believe that training in high altitudes helps with performance. Athletes in the following sports train at this facility:
- Figure Skating
Athletes in the Paralympic, Pan American, and Parapan Games train here as well. Guided tours of the facility are available year-round Monday through Saturday. Tours start with a short film about the Games and the facility, followed up by an outdoor walking tour of the training complex. This includes visits to the wrestling facilities, the Sports Center Gymnasiums, as well as the Aquatics Center. Other more exclusive tour packages include the VIP tour, which provides a 2-hour experience behind the scenes, as well as a lunch in the athlete cafeteria. It’s also possible for groups of 10 or more to book a private tour guided by an athlete themselves.
However, if you still want to see more, you can also explore other sections of the Center on your own. One thing you don’t want to miss is the recently redesigned Visitor Center. The new entrance places guests in the middle of a digital rotunda that showcases inspiring video highlights as well as a rotating set of art exhibits showing the daily lives and routines of athletes who train at the facility. An interactive touchscreen display will also allow visitors to track athletes as they train ahead of the Games.
Other sights worth seeing are the Hall of Fame Rotunda, commemorating the accomplishments of some of the greatest names on the U.S. Olympic Team, as well as picking up a memory of your visit at the U.S. Olympic Store. If you have a little extra time, a mile south of the main facility is the Velodrome, a track and arena for cyclists and roller sports.
Next, discover the Pikes Peak Cog Railway.