Colorado Springs, Colo. – The eight winners of the Next Olympic Hopeful program were announced on the two-hour documentary, “Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful,” a United States Olympic Committee original production, which premiered Friday night on NBCSN. The talent identification program, supported by USOC sponsor 24 Hour Fitness, was created to increase and enhance the pipeline of world-class athletes pursuing Olympic sport.
Nearly 3,000 athletes from across the country either applied online or participated in the in-person tryouts hosted exclusively at 24 Hour Fitness clubs. From this pool of athletes, 91 were invited to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to participate in the finalist phase of the program. Following the OTC tryout, the eight winners were invited to join the national team camps for the four participating sports – bobsled, skeleton, track cycling and rugby. The eight athletes are eligible to receive financial, training and medical support as they prepare for the opportunity to compete at the Olympic Games in their identified sport.
The winning athletes are: Amanda Alvarez (Seattle, Washington), women’s skeleton; Quentin Butler (Arlington, Texas), men’s skeleton; Collin Hudson (Firestone, Colorado), men’s track cycling; Keely Kortman (Tustin, California), women’s track cycling; Kyle Plante (Albany, New York), women’s bobsled; Devin Short (Las Vegas, Nevada), men’s rugby; Kelli Smith (Birmingham, Alabama), women’s rugby: and Josh Williamson (Orlando, Florida), men’s bobsled. Two of the winners – Alvarez and Williamson – were selected from the in-person tryouts hosted by 24 Hour Fitness.
“Because of the Next Olympic Hopeful program, we have identified elite U.S. athletes that might not otherwise have known of these opportunities in Olympic sport,” said Alan Ashley, USOC’s chief of sport. “These eight athletes were handpicked by each National Governing Body to join the national team camps in their respective sport with the chance to make a real impact on Team USA for years to come.”
In addition to the eight finalists, 23 athletes from the pool of 91 were extended invites by the participating National Governing Bodies to continue their affiliation with their sport through training opportunities.
“Beyond the eight winners selected to get an opportunity with a national team program, and the many others identified as having potential, this initiative has helped us broaden our reach into a the athlete community in a new and positive way,“ said Scott Riewald, USOC’s director of high performance. “Moving forward, we expect this program to increase interest in Olympic sport and that can mean a better and stronger Team USA.”
NBCSN will re-air “Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful” at 8:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Aug. 29.
Darrin Steele, USA Bobsled and Skeleton chief executive officer: “Bobsled and skeleton are the ultimate crossover sports. We evaluate athletes from other sports with raw talent and teach them the skills they need to succeed on ice, and that's what's so great about this program. Coming to the Olympic Training Center makes it real; when you are literally in that environment you can see it and it helps spark that fire to become an Olympian.”
Derek Bouchard-Hall, USA Cycling chief executive officer: “USA Cycling was honored to be included in the inaugural Next Olympic Hopeful program. Cycling has a long history of talent transfer, with athletes from running, speedskating, skiing and swimming crossing over and achieving world-class success. One of the best examples is Olympian Eric Heiden, whose tremendous speedskating power took him to the pinnacle of professional cycling. We applaud the USOC for taking talent transfer to the next level.”
Dan Payne, USA Rugby chief executive officer: “The Next Olympic Hopeful assists in, both, raising the profile and awareness of our game in the United States, while also unearthing some new talent and athleticism that will contribute toward the growth of the overall Olympic program. Credit to the USOC for providing such an excellent opportunity for all involved.”
About the USOC
Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the United States Olympic Committee serves as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States. As such, the USOC is responsible for the training, entering and funding of U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, while serving as a steward of the Olympic and Paralympic movements throughout the country. For more information, visit TeamUSA.org.
About 24 Hour Fitness
As an industry leader for more than 30 years, 24 Hour Fitness changes lives every day through fitness. Conveniently located clubs, furnished with a wide variety of strength, cardio and functional training equipment, are the perfect environment for fitness professionals to deliver dynamic personal and group training programs. GX24® and cycle studios feature a popular array of live studio classes included with membership. Combined with a welcoming community, the compelling TV and magazine content of 24Life™, Fit:Perks® Rewards and the innovative My24® app, there are a multitude of offerings to engage and inspire every member to lead a full and healthy life both inside and outside of the club. Opening new clubs on average at the brisk pace of one every few weeks, 24 Hour Fitness is headquartered in San Ramon, CA and serves nearly 4 million members in over 420 clubs nationwide.
To learn more about us and to find the club nearest you, visit 24hourfitness.com