Staying on Track: How Olympic City USA Continues to Honor our Athletes
With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed over COVID-19 concerns, Olympic City USA faces shutdowns of workout facilities for Olympians who are now confronted with staying in shape and at the top of their game during this uncertain time. Future Olympians are staying fit in a myriad of ways, including hiking North Cheyenne Cañon and even sharing their regimens live on the Olympic Channel. Additionally, new developments in the region like the United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum (USOPM) and the William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center are cementing Colorado Springs as the forever home of Olympic City USA.
Deep Breaths in High Elevation
One of the perks of living in Colorado Springs is the hundreds of miles of multi-use trails within a ten-mile radius of town, which is perfect for staying active. In fact, Colorado Springs was voted best city for endurance sports by Outside Magazine. The accolade was based on the great weather and wilderness areas offering the ideal place for working out. North Cheyenne Cañon is located on the southwest side of the region and provides an extensive trail system, two visitor centers, and picnic areas. Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, is one of the most visited mountains due to its breathtaking views and scenic trails. What better way for Olympians to train than in a natural landscape!
The region is home to an abundance of athletes from around the world who migrate to the area for the high-altitude exercise, copious nearby outdoor activities with plentiful winter and summer conditions, and high-quality training facilities.
Colorado Springs’ reputation as Olympic City USA goes a step further this year as two new buildings open: the country’s official USOPM, which is opening to the public this week. The building integrates new technology and ADA-friendly display heights to make this $90 million facility unlike any other in the country. Each guest’s keepsake Visitor Credential, powered by RFID technology, automatically generates content specific to the visitor’s accessibility needs and Olympic and Paralympic interests. This credential also unlocks the guest’s personalized Digital Locker, which populates with photos, videos, and bookmarks from their visit to create an unforgettable experience.
Then there’s the brand new William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center – set to open next month – connecting sports medicine with higher education. The $61-million center is a result of a unique and innovative partnership between the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) and Penrose St. Francis Centura Health, being the first of its kind to unite undergraduate and graduate education with clinical practice and research in sports medicine. The facility will host three centers surrounding tactical/occupational performance, physical disabilities, and performance in extreme environments. While many sports performance centers are exclusively for Olympians, professional athletes and sports franchises, the Hybl Center will provide similar training to people from all backgrounds, creating a necessary bond between higher education and sports medicine for future generations.