Olympics

Dec 9, 2013 6:47 PM by Greg Smith

OTC gives Olympic hopefuls an edge

The Olympic Training Center provides facilities to hundreds of Olympians, but what makes it different from every other weight room or basketball court in the country?

2010 Olympian Emily Azevedo could lift weights anywhere in the country, but to train for 2014 she chooses the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. There's not even a bobsled track in the area, but she lives in Southern Colorado 6 months per year, specifically for the USOTC.

"My coached moved out here, and so he kind of convinced us to come out and train with him," says Azevedo, a 2014 bobseld hopeful. "He left in 2010 but, just the whole community here. I loved it so much so I stayed after that."

You might think it's just for the altitude training, but in her event, altitude is not really a factor.

"It doesn't really affect us as much, we're a power sport," says Azevedo. "So for us, it doesn't have a huge effect. But it is nice to get into the higher altitude for when we compete at those higher altitudes."

So if it's not the altitude, what makes a California native, and so many other athletes, choose the OTC as their training headquarters?

"You get the support of the USOC. I partnered up with the National Strength and Conditioning Association here locally. They've helped me with my lifts, I have the ability to use the sports med, i get nutritious meals in the cafeteria made by some of the best chefs. It's just a lot of support, it's just really helpful and something I think brings training to the next level."

And someone who's been to the games before sets the bar for the next level pretty high.

"I'm just trying to take it one day, and one step at a time," says Azevedo. "First is getting on that Olympic team, then the next focus will be getting the medal."

Emily finished 5th in 2010. She finds out if she makes the Sochi team in January.

 

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