COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee announced today the 50 athletes invited to participate in the final phase of “Milk Life presents, The Next Olympic Hopeful,” held July 25-28 at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
The Next Olympic Hopeful – which is presented by Milk Life and supported by 24 Hour Fitness – will evaluate the 50 finalists, putting them through an intensive physical testing and screening protocol while on the OPTC campus. Athletes will also be tested in sport-specific techniques by USOPC and National Governing Body high performance staff for the six participating sports – bobsled, cycling, rowing, rugby, skeleton and weightlifting.
The Colorado Springs OPTC is the home of Olympic and Paralympic sport in the United States and features world-class training facilities and access to USOPC leaders in the fields of nutrition, psychology, sport medicine, science, and technology. The entire program will be highlighted on Team USA’s social channels and featured in a USOPC Productions’ documentary, which airs Dec. 29 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.
“We are really excited about the evolution of the Next Olympic Hopeful program and the great pool of athletes competing this season,” said Rick Adams, USOPC chief of sport performance and NGB services. “This program has served as an invaluable pipeline for Olympic sports in the U.S., and it gives us the opportunity to showcase the power of the Olympic Movement and the opportunities that exist in Olympic sport.”
Following the tryout, one winner will be invited to join national team camps for each of the six participating sports The six winners will receive training and medical support as they prepare for the opportunity to represent Team USA. The last two seasons of Next Olympic Hopeful showcased some of the top athletes in the U.S., as three previous participants have already made an impact for Team USA on the international scene as members of the 2018-19 U.S. National Bobsled Team.
“Reaching the most elite level takes the right nutrition from the start – and nine out of 10 U.S. Olympians grew up drinking milk. These finalists have put in years of hard work to overcome obstacles and develop into the competitors they are today,” said Victor Zaborsky, vice president of marketing at MilkPEP. “We’re proud of the role that milk has played in fueling Team USA athletes, and this group of Next Olympic Hopefuls, and we look forward to seeing the incredible things today’s young milk-drinkers will accomplish in the years ahead.”
More than 4,800 athletes applied online for the third season of Next Olympic Hopeful, many of whom participated in either an in-person tryout hosted exclusively by 24 Hour Fitness or a regional tryout. The 48-member roster features 25 male and 23 female participants, representing 24 states, with 81 percent of the finalists having competed at the collegiate level. The in-person tryouts hosted by 24 Hour Fitness clubs around the country yielded five athletes who earned a ticket to the Colorado Springs OPTC for the finalist phase of “Milk Life presents, The Next Olympic Hopeful.”
In addition to being evaluated by USOPC and NGB high performance staff, the selected athletes will also receive mentoring from previous NOH finalists and winners. Since he was crowned the season one winner in the sport of bobsled, Josh Williamson has won six medals – including two golds – on the North American Cup circuit and was named to the 2018-19 U.S. Men’s National Bobsled Team. On the women’s side, Sylvia Hoffman earned an invitation to USA Bobsled’s training camp after impressing the high-performance staff during season two. She went on to win the 2018 National Push Championships and not only did she make the women’s national team for the 2018-19 season, but also is a world cup medalist. Both Williamson and Hoffman are currently training for the 2019-2020 season and will serve as mentors on season three of Next Olympic Hopeful.
“As I continue to progress in my athletic career, I am even more grateful for Team USA’s Next Olympic Hopeful and the impact it’s had on my life,” said Williamson, who tried out at the 24 Hour Fitness Winter Park club in Florida. “Throughout my time in Next Olympic Hopeful, I received the support, education and training I needed to continue to pursue my Olympic dreams. I can’t wait to see how this season’s pool of athletes can benefit from this program, one that continues to discover and develop the next generation of Olympic athletes."
For more information, visit TeamUSA.org/NextOlympicHopeful.
About the USOPC
Founded in 1894 and headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee serves as both the National Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee for the United States. The USOPC is focused on protecting, supporting and empowering America’s athletes, and is responsible for fielding U.S. teams for the Olympic, Paralympic, Youth Olympic, Pan American and Parapan American Games, and serving as the steward of the Olympic and Paralympic movements in the U.S. For more information, visit TeamUSA.org.
MilkPEP, Washington, D.C., is funded by the nation's milk companies, who are committed to ensuring all children have access to nutrient-rich milk. The MilkPEP Board runs the national Milk Life campaign, a multi-faceted campaign designed to educate consumers about the powerful nutritional benefits of milk – with essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, in each 8-ounce glass. For more information, go to milklife.com.
About 24 Hour Fitness
Celebrating 35 years as an industry leader, 24 Hour Fitness transforms 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. A multitude of additional offerings 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, California, and serves nearly 4 million members in over 440 clubs nationwide.
To learn more about us and to find the club nearest you, visit 24hourfitness.com.
 9 out of 10 finding based on 675 responses received from survey invitations sent to all U.S. Olympic athletes.