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A Day at the Olympic Training Center
By Hunter Gallogly, Scholastic Kids Press Corps

Kid Reporter Hunter Gallogy tackles a giant chess piece on a chess board outside the athletes cafeteria at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Kid Reporter Hunter Gallogy tackles a giant chess piece on a chess board outside the athletes cafeteria at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
(Photo: Suzanne Freeman )
I went to the United States Olympic Training Center located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and I did something I never thought I would do: I spoke to real Olympians! They have the most interesting lives and grueling schedules. They train about seven hours a day, every day. The Olympians at the training center come from all over the world. Being able to see the way they live and train made me want to be an Olympian.

I visited the Olympic training center and grounds as part of the Untied States Olympic Center (USOC) Media Summit held last October. During the summit, the training center allows the media onto its grounds to meet and interview the athletes. These are the same athletes who will likely participate in the Olympic Games to be held in Torino, Italy, this February.

We were able to do a lot of cool things while attending the summit. First, I went to the gymnasium. This was the largest gymnasium I have ever been in. It looked like the walls went on forever; it reminded me of an enormous warehouse! After that, we went to a separate room next to the gymnasium to interview the athletes. I was honored to be able to interview several Olympic athletes such as biathletes Rachel Steer and Jeremy Teela and curlers Maureen Brunt, and Jamie, and Cassie Johnson.

After the interviews, we went to the athletes' cafeteria for lunch. The food was wonderful! We were treated to chicken, spaghetti, and Chinese food. The athletes need to eat a lot of carbohydrates because they burn up their energy so quickly.

After lunch we took a tour of the training center, testing center, cafeteria, and the psychologist's office. I found the testing center particularly interesting because this was the area where they test the athletes' strengths and abilities. They have a thermal camera that helps study the inflammation in injured muscles. The temperature of the injured area is hotter than the rest of the body. It shows up on the camera as a white area.

It is difficult to come up with the most interesting part of the day. Rachel Steer took the time to show us what a biathlete does and allowed me to shoot her laser gun at a practice target. One of the training center doctors showed us a cold pool that soothes wounds on the Olympians and gave us a tour of the massage room. We also toured the dorm rooms where the athletes live.

The Olympic Training Center is an awesome facility! Go U.S.A. and don't forget to watch the Winter Olympic Games, February 10-26.

Photos, left to right: © Rick Rickman/NewSport/NewSport/Corbis; © Joe Cavaretta/AP Wide World.