So I am on vacation this week. It's the first one that I've had in three years, so I was excited to begin with. We went to visit my wife's family in Fort Collins Colorado, and I realized that Olympians live in Colorado. My plotting began. I managed to get everyone in my group to commit to making the two hour, one way, trip with 6 children. I'm not sure how it happened, but it did. I feel like Coors light helped with the decision making process. Before I knew it, we were there!
So our tour guide was this dude. He was awesome and had a thick Brooklyn accent. He talked about how he heard Michael Phelps is kind of a dick (which is absolutely true, I have heard from extremely trustworthy sources), and how it's not okay to look down on people regardless of accolades. "He and I put our pants on the same way", was his take, so he had my buy in from there.
I wanted to post the sponsors so that people would know who to buy things from. Our Government does not fund our Olympic Athletes, so 85-90% of our funding comes from these sponsors. Go buy stuff from them.
The tour itself was pretty cool though. It lasts about an hour, you learn some cool stuff about what trains at this center, wrestling, weight lifting, swimming, and some others that I don't remember at the moment. I learned that they have a training center in Lake Placid for most of the winter sports, and their newest one in San Diego, which is twice the size of the Colorado Springs OTC.
Anyway, then we made it to the wrestling room. I had a sense of pride when we left the room and my brother in law said, "That was the only gym we went to that smelled like hard work."
At this point the tour guide had figured out that I'm a wrestler, and had jokingly grabbed my arms and said, "alright boys, I've got another one for you", and pretended to throw me to the wolves. What he didn't realize was that if someone had thrown me shoes and shorts at that point, I would have absolutely joined in. One of the female wrestlers there explained to us that all of the armed forces had their training camps going on at the time, as well as a couple elite youths who were training at the moment as well.
The ceilings were lower than I would have guessed, which I'm assuming is to help keep the heat in there and aid in the whole making weight process. Spencer Mango, and the rest of the Army team was there. He looked HUGE, compared to when he is weighed in and wrestling, but it's to be assumed that someone as jacked as he is needs to cut lots of weight. The tour guide began to point out the 9x6 pictures of the wrestlers on the wall, explaining that you can only get on the wall by being an Olympic or World champion... There were 15-20 pictures on the wall of greats like Rulon Gardner, Dan Gable, Jake Varner, Jordan Burroughs, Jon Smith, Kendall Cross, and all of our other champions. My wife pointed out, that's all you get? A picture? Yes... Yes, that's all you get. We are bad ass!
The tour continued, and I had to leave knowing that I was this close to working out at the OTC, but wasn't able to join in. We looked at the gymnastics facilities, saw a boxing ring, a baller weight room, and some other stuff. It was awesome though. I even had a strange sense of pride when the gift shop didn't have any USA Wrestling shirts... Because they were sold out. I left with a can coozy and a t-shirt, and some great pictures. I 100% recommend you make the trip if you are nearby.