Saturday, June 30, 2012

Just In Time For The Olympics

Having visited the Colorado Springs area in the past and seeing a lot of the standard tourist attractions like Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs and the Air Force Academy grounds Denny and I decided to take one of the free tours at the U.S. Olympic training center.

The guided tours last about 45 minutes and are lead by local athletes or Olympic athletes in training. Our particular guide this day was a young lady who is not an Olympic athlete but is a national ranking weight lifter in the 105 pound class who lives and trains in the area.

While you're waiting for your tour to begin you have the opportunity to tour the visitor center with its gift shop, Hall of Fame and displays of memorabilia.  To begin your tour you watch a brief video clip about the Olympics to get you excited about the experience, then you are lead outside to view a few of the buildings from behind closed doors and to be able to observe some of the athletes in training. 

Here at the Colorado Springs training facility the Olympic athletes are involved in the triathlon, fencing, pentathlon, wrestling, gymnastics, shooting, track and field, weightlifting, paralympic cycling, paralympic shooting, paralympic swimming and paralympic judo.

This is the indoor shooting range.  The two men to the right will be in this year's Olympics and they are practicing with air pistols.  The targets they are shooting at are the size of a silver dollar.  Incredible.  Click the photos to enlarge and note the men shoot with one hand in their pockets.

This is a residence hall.  This training center can house up to almost 600 athletes and coaches.  Once here, the athletes are provided with their room and board along with the training; only athletes that are in the top 10-15% of their sport will be invited to train here.
A brief aside; the grounds are beautifully landscaped and well maintained.  I noticed this "black" petunia with a yellow star inside.  Gorgeous.
Above Denny's head is the Olympic record for the high jump while Denny is stretching to show that his "wingspan" is the same as that of Michael Phelps, Olympic gold medal winner in swimming.
Female weightlifters and wrestlers do their strength training in this area.  Note the huge chain at the bottom of the photograph; the ladies pick the chain up and waggle it like the one gal is doing with the huge ropes.

One of the female athletes getting ready to do a clean and jerk. I have no idea of the amount of weight on that bar but I know I couldn't lift it!

More strength and endurance training.
The main walkway of the Olympic training center.  The flags lining the walkway are those of all the countries that compete in the Olympics.
Metal sculptures abound, all representing the various sports of the Olympics.
We were not allowed to entire the swimming complex but those red barrels in front are used for strength training.  Ropes are attached to the swimming by a belt around their waist; the barrels are weighted and the swimmer must swim across the pool with that weight as resistance.  I'd drown.
There is a pleasant outdoor seating area where you can have lunch or just sit and enjoy the activity going on at the complex.  There are always athletes wandering around (or limping in the case of several the day we visited) and there is much to read in the various informational pedestals placed around the grounds.
After touring the grounds of the training center Denny and I headed to the Garden of the Gods for our picnic lunch.  But that's for another post.


Arkansas Patti said...

Wow, what a facinating place. I had no idea it would be open to the public.
I so admire them and their dedication.
That black petunia is beautiful and Denny's wing span is quite impressive.

Anvilcloud said...

No wonder the USA is such an Olympic powerhouse.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...