This coming weekend marks the end of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. However, for the college and the city of Colorado Springs, dubbed “Olympic City USA,” the Olympics are more than just a two-week event. Colorado College has multiple alumni and one current student at the Olympic Games, and the city of Colorado Springs is the epicenter of the Olympic and Paralympic movements.
On Feb. 9, Colorado Springs hosted its annual Olympic Downtown Celebration, a free event to officially kick off the 2018 Winter Olympics. According to local news channel KRDO, the event had live entertainment, family-friendly activities, and a Korean theme, although people were encouraged to support the U.S. and wear red, white, and blue.
Colorado Springs has billed itself “Olympic City USA” given that it is home to the U.S. Olympic Committee Headquarters, multiple Olympic governing bodies, over 50 national sport organizations, and one of the three United States Olympic Training Centers. On the city’s website, it markets itself as having natural training grounds and a commitment to athletic excellence.
While the college hasn’t done any screenings of the Olympics on campus, the Outdoor Recreation Center hosted the ORC Winter Olympic Games in the Worner Campus Center on Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Isabel “Izzy” Atkin ’21 is skiing on the British Olympic Team and got a bronze medal in the ski slope style event at the end of last week. Atkin couldn’t be reached for comment, but an article written about her in the Wicked Local notes that she calls Park City, Utah home and is the daughter of a British father and Malaysian mother. For high school, Atkin attended the Winter Sports High School in Park City, which runs April through November to allow athletes to take a break from school during the Olympic training season. After high school, Atkin took a gap year to focus on achieving all she could in skiing and started at Colorado College this past fall.
Colorado College alumni at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games include Mike Testwide ’10 who is playing for South Korea’s Olympic hockey team, Christine Krall ’70 who is the jump coach for two American figure skaters, and Thomas Hackett ’89 who serves as the team doctor for the U.S. ski and snowboard teams. A multitude of other CC alumni are supporting the U.S. Olympic Committee in various roles at the Olympic Games.
While the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games will wrap up on Sunday, Atkin, CC alumni, and Olympic Committee staff will return to Colorado Springs to rest before they begin preparing for the next competitions on the horizon and the 2020 and 2022 Olympic Games.