Colorado Springs – Olympic City USA

Awesome rock formations at Garden of the Gods.

Colorado Springs has long been one of my favorite weekend getaway destinations, with its multitude of family-friendly attractions (Cave of the Winds, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo), sweet places to stay (Cheyenne Mountain Resort, The Broadmoor),  and natural, mountainous beauty (Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods).  The city is Colorado’s second biggest and it’s also known as “COlympic City USA,” as it is home to the United States Olympic committee, the U.S. Paralympics, 23 National Governing Bodies of Sport, two Official Olympic Training Sites (velodrome and ice skating facility), the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, and it’s the future home of the U.S. Olympic Museum, to be completed in 2019.

Open to the public, the Olympic Training Center is a must visit if you are a fan of all things Olympics. The 35-acre property features housing, dining, recreational facilities and other services for more than 500 coaches and athletes at a time. Both Olympic and Paralympic athletes come to train here – yes, you might see a future gold-medal winner in the sports of wrestling, boxing, gymnastics, swimming (and more!) actually walking around the property or eating in the cafeteria!

Olympic Training Center

A visit here will likely invoke a great sense of patriotism and pride, as the newly renovated space features videos showcasing emotional highlights from past Team USA Olympic success. Interactive displays allow visitors to learn about the Team USA athletes who live and train at the facility.

Standard tours begin with a video presentation and then continue with a walking tour of the property and no reservations are necessary. But if you’d like a VIP tour, one that is a bit longer and includes a meal in the cafeteria, or an athlete-led tour, you’ll need to reserve in advance. Click here for more details

Chances are, after a visit to the Olympic Training Center, you’ll be inspired to work out yourself in this active city with its “natural training grounds.” I love strolling through Garden of the Gods, with its awe-inspiring natural rock formations. This is a public park with no fee for entry. If you’re feeling even more energetic, take on the challenge of the Manitou Springs Incline: an extreme trail that gains 2,000 feet of elevation in just one mile. I conquered its whopping 2,744 steps a couple years ago, and must admit I threw up my arms like an Olympian in victory after reaching the top!

At the top of the Manitou Incline!

This post is sponsored by the Colorado Springs CVB. Top two images courtesy Colorado Springs CVB.

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