Get Your Olympics On
Have you been catching any of the Olympic coverage? In my house, it is a staple. During these few weeks, the TV will be switching between NBC and NBCSN to catch all the excitement. I, myself, couldn’t help but get goosebumps last Friday night while watching the Opening Ceremonies. I’m so excited to cheer on the athlete from Kenya- a 19-year-old ski racer named Sabrina Wanjiku Simader who races in leopard skin suits and wants to save the snow leopards (Emma’s favorite animal). How can you not root for a girl who has had so many hardships, virtually no support because the Kenya Olympic Committee has little money, is the lone competitor from her country and still gets to PyeongChang with a smile on her face? Sabrina- what an incredible role model you are!
The mast majority of the world population will never know how it truly feels to be an Olympian. But, we have probably thought about it, dreamed about it and wondered about it at some point in our lives. As Olympic fans, we can experience the venues, swim laps where the greats once did and stand in the very place where Olympic gold was won. Here are some ideas to get you in the Olympic spirit.
Olympic Training Center
There are two Olympic Training Center locations that offer tours in the United States- Colorado Springs and Lake Placid. Past Olympians and Olympic hopefuls still train at these facilities. You may get a chance to catch a glimpse of some of them in action. Northern Michigan University is home to the U.S. Olympic Education Center and is also a U.S. Olympic Training Site.
Past Olympic Venues to Visit
These are past Olympic venues that you can visit. You may even get the chance to see Olympic hopefuls training while you are there.
Soldier Hollow, UT-Get the full-on biathlon experience at Soldier Hollow.
Salt Lake City, UT– Learn to curl, test your speed bobsledding and skate on the Utah Olympic Oval.
Park City, UT– Visit the site of the 2002 Games where skiers jumped and bobsleds soared down the track at Olympic Park. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Eccles 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum while you are in town or even try your speed on the bobsled track.
Lake Placid, NY– Skate at the site of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice”, test your speed on the bobsled track or cross country ski.
Squaw Valley Lake Tahoe, CA- This ski resort was essentially built to host the 1960 Olympics.
The Rose Bowl Pasadena, CA- Where cycling events were hosted in the 1932 Olympics.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles, CA- Currently where the USC Trojans play, this was the home of equestrian, field hockey and gymnastic events in 1932.
EXPO Center Los Angeles, CA- Now called the EXPO Center after being renovated in 2004, the Olympic Swim Stadium was used in the 1932 and 1984 games.
Centennial Olympic Park Atlanta, GA- cool off in the interactive fountain featuring the Olympic Ring symbol and enjoy a day at the park that was a venue during the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Turner Field (Georgia State Stadium) Atlanta, GA- Home to the Atlanta Braves from 1997-2016 and now the home of the Georgia State football team, this stadium hosted track and field events in the 1996 games.
Washington University St. Louis Missouri- the athletic fields and gym were used in the 1904 Olympics.
Non- USOC Olympic Training Venues (but where you may catch an Olympian training)
Olympic athletes train all over the United States (and the world). Here are some of the more known training facilities.
The United States Equestrian Team trains in New Jersey at Hamilton Farm.
The once Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA is now owned by the city and called the Chula Vista Elite Athletic Training Center.
The National Training Center in Clermont, FL is part of the South Lake Hospital and serves as a training center for many world-class athletes from swimmers and triathlete to track runners and soccer elites.
The Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club has helped produced some of our top winter athletes in Steamboat Springs, CO.
Norge Ski Club – three ski jumpers representing Team U.S.A in PyeongChang train here in Fox River Grove, IL.
*I’m sure I may have missed some venues, so please comment below if you know of any more.
Go Team U.S.A!