As we get closer to the next Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, I want to relate a wonderful experience I had recently. I'm fortunate to live in Colorado Springs for many reasons, but also because the U.S. Olympic Training Center and Olympic Committee Headquarters are located here. In fact, I live on the same street! I've visited the center several times in the past, but this time was special.
The GM of the company I work for arranged for about twenty of her management staff to take a tour of the OTC. I normally would not have been able to go, but my boss couldn't make it so he allowed me to fill in for him. We were treated like VIPs! Although the tour itself is the same that is provided free to all visitors, we were provided a delicious buffet lunch and visit with an Olympic champion.
But first, let me describe our tour guide. She was Carissa Gump, Olympian in women's weight lifting in the 2008 Olympics at Beijing, China. Although she didn't win any medals, she still placed 7th in her category-the clean and jerk and snatch. That's seventh in the WORLD! It is unbelievable how much she can lift. She said her best weights are 210 lbs in the snatch (that is lifting the weights from the floor all the way over the head in one movement) and 290 lbs. in the clean and jerk(from the floor to the shoulders then over the head). I don't know her size, but I would guess she is only about 5'3" or 5'5" tall. Her pic is on the right above.
We were visited by Lindsay Benko, gold medal winner in both the 2000 and 2004 Olympics in swimming. She won as part of the relay team in the 4x200 relays and also won a silver medal in the 4x100 relay in 2000. Lindsay was gracious to talk to us about her experiences. She also let us hold her gold medal and even signed autographs. Her pic is on the left above, third one from the left.