Whether you’re visiting Colorado Springs, taking out-of-town family and friends, or exploring the OPTC for the first time, the best way to truly experience Olympic City USA is to do the double: back-to-back visits to the Museum and Training Center.
“The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum is a great place to hear the stories and celebrate the achievements of Team USA,” says Mike Beagley, Manager of Visitor Center Operations at the OPTC. “The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center gives you an up-close view of how athletes earn a spot in the Museum.”
Here’s what you can expect at both.
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum is a treasure — not only for Colorado Springs, but for the U.S. and the international Olympic and Paralympic movement. Inside its magnificent architecture is a state-of-the-art, interactive, universally accessible 60,000 square feet of stories, exhibits, artifacts and experiences to celebrate and honor Team USA. Since opening in 2020, the USOPM has received many honors, including being named one of the country’s Best New Attractions in 2020 by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards and one of the New York Times’ top Places to Go in 2020.
The Museum layout guides visitors through 12 interactive galleries that represent an athlete’s journey. It begins with the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games and ends with a medal ceremony and inspiring film that captures some of the best moments of Team USA through the years. In between, the Athlete Training gallery is a popular favorite. There, you can get active with interactive simulators that let you try sprinting, archery, skeleton, alpine skiing, sled hockey and goalball.
Elsewhere you can experience an Opening Ceremony and explore sport science, large collections of memorabilia from both Summer and Winter Games, and the sociopolitical context of every modern Games. Always present are the stories of Team USA athletes, and it’s not unusual to see or meet an Olympian, Paralympian or member of Team USA hoping to make it to the Games.
You can read more the experience at “Inside the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum.”
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center
As the flagship training center for Team USA, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs is home to as many as 500 athletes and coaches, living and training on-site as they prepare for the next Games. Visitors to the Training Center get an inside view.
“It’s really exciting to see the Olympic and Paralympic athletes and teams,” Beagley says. “The countdown clock to the next Games is constantly ticking, and the athletes are constantly training. It’s exciting. The energy is always go, go, go.”
A tour of the Training Center takes about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. About half of the guides are resident athletes, and they lead you through an inside view of athlete life. In the Sport Science Lab, you can learn how trainers optimize metrics to improve performance in sports where fractions of seconds make the difference between winning medals and failing to qualify. You’ll also see the high-altitude training center where sport scientists can mimic the altitude, temperature and humidity of anywhere on earth an athlete will be competing next.
“In the Strength and Conditioning complex, you could see 30 or 40 athletes from several different sports, all out there grinding,” Beagley says.
Other stops on the tour include the Sports Medicine Clinic, the athlete Dining Hall and the Teaching Kitchen, where dieticians help athletes learn to shop, prepare meals with local ingredients, and optimize their nutrition in whatever global location and culture they will be competing in.
USA Swimming and USA Shooting have their headquarters on-site, but other resident sports include Paralympic Swimming, Boxing, Cycling, Paralympic Cycling, Figure Skating, Men’s Gymnastics, Modern Pentathlon and Wrestling. Athletes from other sports often visit or train regularly, and teams from other nations sometimes visit for training camps.
You might see an Olympic superstar, such as Michael Phelps, Mikaela Shiffrin or Simone Biles, at the Training Center. What you might not instantly realize is that you are seeing the superstars of the future or the world champions in a wide variety of sports.
Of course, another perk of a visit to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center is the Team Store stocked with the latest official gear worn by the athletes at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It’s the perfect way to look like an insider after your Olympic and Paralympic insider experience.
“If you really want to experience Olympic City USA, only the Podium Package gives you joint access to the full spectrum,” Beagley says. “You get to experience the legacy of Team USA at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum. You get to see and experience the future of Team USA at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center. We hope to see you there.”
Know Before You Go
Get 20% off admission for both the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center. You can purchase the Podium Package here before your visit. Or simply ask for it in person at either location. Online tickets are not currently offered directly from the Training Center. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more at the Training Center.
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center is located at 1 Olympic Plaza. The Visitor Center and Team USA Shop are open Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. MT and closed on Sundays. Tours are offered Monday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. MT, every hour on the hour.
To ensure the health and safety of our athletes, all visitors ages 5 and up must show proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. Masks are required at all times while in the Visitor Center and during tours. A digital copy or phone photo of your vaccination card will suffice.
Learn more at teamusa.org