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Colorado Springs, Colorado: America's Olympic Capital

31 Mar, 2012

By: Juli Anne Patty

 

Photos courtesy of VisitCOS.com

Colorado Springs is home to Pike's Peak-America’s Mountain, birthplace of one of America’s most inspiring patriotic songs, “America the Beautiful.” Perhaps it’s no surprise that this beautiful Colorado city is also the home of the heart of America’s Olympics. Since 1978, the U. S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has orchestrated the U. S. Olympic effort from its Colorado Springs headquarters. Today, 22 national governing bodies are also headquartered in Colorado Springs, making this stunning Colorado town a Mecca for sports of all kinds.

The City of Champions
You might think Colorado Springs is a shoo-in as the headquarters of a few mountain-and-snow related sports, but with a mild climate, the city is actually home to the headquarters of a wide range of sports. National Governing Bodies (NGBs) that hang their hats in Colorado Springs:
• USA Archery
• US Badminton Association
• USA Basketball
• USA Boxing
• USA Bobsled & Skeleton Federation
• USA Cycling
• US Fencing Association
• US Field Hockey Association
• US Figure Skating Association
• USA Hockey
• USA Judo
• US Paralympics
• USA Pentathlon
• USA Racquetball
• USA Shooting
• USA Swimming
• USA Table Tennis
• USA Taekwondo
• USA Triathlon
• USA Volleyball
• USA Weightlifting
• USA Wrestling

National Sports supported/sanctioned by the USOC headquartered in Colorado Springs:
• National Wheelchair Basketball Association
• United States Association of Blind Athletes

“I have found the community to be incredibility enthusiastic and supportive of both the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s (NWBA) tournament and also our mission,” says Randy Schubert, executive director, NWBA. “We have an immense volunteer support that has come forward on short notice. Also, local and statewide sponsors have significantly enhanced our ability to put on a first class event.”

Why Colorado Springs?
The city’s 6,035-foot altitude offers an ideal training environment for elite athletes, but the case for Colorado Springs involves benefits for athletes of every age and level. In fact, the argument for Colorado Springs is pretty simple: affordable and unforgettable. For the price of a second-tier city, Colorado Springs gives sports event planners, their athletes and families first-tier amenities, hotels, dining and attractions.

The climate is an undeniable draw, as well, with 300 annual days of sunshine calling out for recreation of all kinds, whether it’s on a field, , in a pool or on a trail in the nearby Rocky Mountains. And with more than 60 attractions—29 of which are totally free—Colorado Springs offers sports traveling families more than just a great tournament or a great vacation. They deliver the total package: a great sportcation.

As you might expect from a city with such an impressive home team, Colorado Springs draws events that return year after year.

Hosted since 1996:
USA Wrestling: 2012 Dave Schultz Memorial International

US Figure Skating: 2012 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships

USA Climbing: 2012 American Bouldering Series – Open

USA Climbing: 2012 American Bouldering Series – Youth

Hosted since 2004:
USA Boxing: 2012 National Championships (with the exception of 2009 when the event moved to Denver, then returned to Colorado Springs in 2010)

National Wheelchair Basketball Association: 2012 NWBA National Championships

US Lacrosse: 2012 Women’s Collegiate Lacrosse Associates

USA Archery: 2012 US Olympic Trials

USA Ultimate: 2012 U.S. Open

USA Roller Sports: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011 Outdoor Speed Skating National Championships

US Paralympics: 2010, 2011 and 2012 Warrior Games

Along with a huge concentration of NGBs and elite athletes comes another huge Colorado Springs benefit: extraordinary facilities:

• Colorado College: Two football/soccer/lacrosse fields, tennis courts, track & field
• Colorado Springs World Arena: 8,000-seats, the premier sports and entertainment venue in the Pike's Peak region. Home to the Broadmoor Skating Club, the 2012 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships, the 2010 ISU Synchronized World Figure Skating Championships and a training center for some of the world’s best figure skaters.
• Cottonwood Creek Complex: Three baseball/fast-pitch softball fields, four soccer fields, tennis courts, in-line hockey court, disc golf course, walking and running paths
• El Pomar Youth Sports Complex: Nine baseball/softball/T-ball fields, eight natural grass soccer/lacrosse fields, one championship-sized artificial turf field, in line hockey court, seven-station batting cage
• Four Diamond Sports Complex: Four baseball/fast-pitch softball fields, football/soccer field
• The Grace Center: Centrally located multi-sports complex, football field, soccer/lacrosse field, baseball field, track & field surface
• Goose Gossage Youth Sports Complex: Five baseball/fast-pitch softball fields
• Leon Young Youth Sports Complex: Eight baseball/fast-pitch softball fields
• Memorial Community Park: Three baseball/fast-pitch softball fields, 15 football/soccer fields, 12 tennis courts
• Norris-Penrose Event Center: Home to the Pike's Peak or Bust Rodeo - 5,700 seats, 374 show stalls
• Olympic 7-Eleven Velodrome: 600 seats, two tracks
• Palmer Park: Two baseball/fast-pitch softball fields, football/soccer field, 25 miles of trails (hiking, jogging, equestrian), three volleyball courts
• Sertich Ice Center: 2,000 seats, public skating, special group discounts, ice rental, adult open hockey
• Skate Park in Memorial Park: 40,000-square-foot competition-size skate area opened December 13, 2010. Includes amenities such as bowls, a street course, backyard-style pool and a unique “hole-in-the-wall" feature. There is also an events plaza with a picnic pavilion and natural boulders for seating.
• Sky Sox Security Service Baseball Field: Available for rental for a variety of events: concerts, corporate functions, other sporting events, parking lot events, etc.
• Sky View Adult Softball Complex: Eight baseball/fast-pitch softball fields
• University of Colorado at Colorado Springs: Basketball/volleyball court, softball field, soccer field.
• United States Air Force Academy: World class facilities – track & field, soccer, swimming
• United States Olympic Training Center: Two Olympic Sports Centers, 45,000-square-foot aquatic center
• World Arena Ice Hall: Two sheets of ice (one NHL - one Olympic), three jump harnesses, video analysis, and a ballet studio

Exceptional hotel event facilities also abound. USA Fencing holds its competitions at The Broadmoor, a Forbes Travel Guide five-star resort for 52 consecutive years. USA Boxing championships call the Crowne Plaza and Ft. Carson home. Colorado Springs’ convention hotels have hosted numerous meetings of the area’s NGBs, including conventions, clinics and symposiums.

The Ultimate Experience
Beginning in the fall of 2011, the Olympic Training Center began offering its inspirational surroundings for meetings and events of all kinds. With a total of 18,433 square feet and more than 20 meeting rooms on 32 acres of land, the Training Center allows an efficient and convenient set up for any business meeting or conference.

The Training Center’s largest meeting room, the West Wing Conference Center, is approximately 4,114 square feet and can host more than 200 people. In addition to meeting space, the Training Center offers reception spaces in both the Visitor’s Center Hall of Fame Rotunda and various gym locations, which have the potential to host gatherings for 350+ people. Businesses and organizations also have the opportunity to view or participate in an Olympic or Paralympic sport while on site. The ability to learn, grow and bond through sports at one of the top training facilities in the country is truly a once in a lifetime experience. For Colorado Springs, that’s a perfect fit.
 

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