On Thursday, June 9, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) informed USA Weightlifting (USAW) that the USOC would no longer be offering a resident program to the sport of weightlifting after September 30, 2016, at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, a USOC property.
USAW has immediately begun looking into alternative training options across the United States, including training sites already utilized by other National Governing Bodies. Additionally, the organization is using this opportunity to re-evaluate its national and regional training center structure.
The Olympic Training Center program has been managed over the past 25+ years by Dragomir Cioroslan (1984 Bronze), Zygmunt Smalcerz (1972 Gold), Bob Morris (2008 Olympic Coach), Paul Fleschler (1992 Olympian) and Lyn Jones. The program has had over 160 resident athletes who were Junior World, Senior World, NACACCI, Pan American Games, World University Games, and Olympic team members.
Olympic athletes included the first ever Olympic Gold Medalist Tara Nott-Cunningham, female Olympians Morghan King, Jenny Arthur, Sarah Robles, Natalie Burgener, Carissa Gump, Cara Heads Slaughter, Cheryl Haworth, Melanie Roach and male Olympians Shane Hamman, Pete Kelley, Oscar Chaplin III, Wes Barnett, Derrick Crass, Paul Fleschler, Rich Schutz, Tim McRae, Tom Gough, Mark Henry, and Vernon Patao.
In addition to the resident program, the center has served as a training facility for junior and senior international programs, as well as a community program serving thousands of athletes over the past quarter century.
USAW will retain ownership of all equipment at the facility. The equipment will be distributed among the new programs once locations are identified.
Any camps or coaching education courses currently scheduled through September 2016 are unaffected by this change.
“We are truly disappointed to see the end of our resident program. This historic training site has assisted in producing Olympians and champions in our sport. Awareness of this closure prior to the 2016 Games gives our organization time to evaluate our training needs going into the next Olympic quadrennial,” said Phil Andrews, USAW CEO.
Inquiries should be directed to Phil Andrews at firstname.lastname@example.org.