This new Colorado Springs attraction honors American Olympians with cutting-edge exhibits and invaluable memorabilia
Already home to the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center, Colorado Springs cemented its reputation as “Olympic City USA” with a July grand opening of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum. This immense 60,000-square-foot celebration of America’s storied Olympic triumphs is located in the heart of the new Southwest Downtown Urban Renewal District.
Before entering, visitors should admire the museum’s innovative design: a three-story metallic spiral that evokes a discus-thrower in mid-motion. The aluminum-paneled facade is lined with 9,000 uniquely shaped folded panels that reflect sunlight during the day and project digital inscriptions of athletes and members at nighttime. Once inside, groups will be amazed by the vast atrium lined with massive clerestory windows that offer views of Colorado Springs and the surrounding Rocky Mountains. This space is also home to the Hall of Fame itself. Each of the Hall’s 154 inductees is honored by interactive digital pylons and a 40-foot digital wall that line the space.
Guests then ride an elevator up to the third floor to experience the museum’s 12 gallery spaces that are arranged in a descending corkscrew design. Visitors first learn about the Olympics’ origin in Ancient Greece and modern revival in 1896 before entering the interactive Athlete Training room. Here you can unlock your inner athlete by sprinting, skiing and sledding against LED projections of real Olympians at their record times. Other exhibits include the Lab (which focuses on innovations in equipment and wheelchair technology to maximize performance) and the Winter Games room, where virtual snowboarders surround guests in a digital “halfpipe.” Throughout, groups will be amazed by priceless artifacts such as the scoreboard from the 1980 “Miracle on Ice,” the famous Night Train bobsled from the 2010 Winter Games and a vast collection of torches, medals and memorabilia.
The museum also prides itself on its cutting-edge personalized experiences. Before they enter the gallery space, guests are given credentials and can specify their ZIP code and Olympic events they are interested in. As they walk through the exhibits, displays sense the visitor’s verification and automatically customize themselves to showcase the reader’s favorite sports and spotlight Olympic athletes from their hometown.
Featuring convenient motorcoach parking, exceptional accessibility and engaging exhibits, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum is an absolutely essential addition to your next Colorado visit.
For more information and group rates, visit www.usopm.org.