Team USA Comes to Olympic City USA

June 17, 2019, 4:28 p.m. (ET)
A family reunion of sorts in Olympic City USA over the weekend as USA Weightlifting hosted members of the 2019 Pan Am Games team and Tokyo 2020 Olympic Hopefuls at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.

Members of the 2019 Pan Am Games team, along with Tokyo 2020 hopefuls, traveled to Colorado Springs for two days of training, learning and teambuilding. 

"It's always great to be with Team USA. Especially this quad, there has been a lot of camaraderie between the athletes, everyone knows they're competing for the same goal and everyone has been really friendly about it," 2019 Pan Am Champion Caine Wilkes said. "It's always a great time seeing everyone."

Senior members of USA Weightlifting briefed more than 20 athletes and personal coaches about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games selections procedures, training and housing plans. Attendees also got updates about Tokyo venues as well as what to expect at the Lima Pan Am Games and next year's Olympic Games in the Japanese capital city. 

"I came to have more understanding of expectations of what's coming," 2019 Pan Am Games squad member Jessica Lucero said. "I want to be prepared for the future."

Beyond sport, members of Team USA learned some valuable lessons to put to use off the platform. Four-time Olympian and certified financial planner, Lauryn Williams founder of Worth Winning, shared some best practices for athletes when it comes to budgeting, spending and getting the most out of their time and money. 

Athletes took advantage of training time at Colorado College, lifting side-by-side with Olympians and World Champions.

"I love the camaraderie of Team USA, I train alone 90% of the time, being not only with athletes but with phenomenal athletes, that's special to me," 2019 Pan Am Champion and 2019 Pan Am Games squad member Katherine Nye said.

"It's a different atmosphere when you're training with elite-level athletes. It's not something I am around often," Hayley Reichardt said. 

Perhaps the most inspiring moments of the weekend came when Morghan King, Jenny Arthur and Sarah Robles took the stage. It was the first time since the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since the women of Team USA's 2016 Olympic Team reunited outside of competition. Each shared their journey to the Olympic Games, both the ups and downs.

"There will be stuff that's written in the history books, but how you make people feel is more important to me," 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist and two-time Olympian Sarah Robles said. "I wanted to come because I wanted to share my experience with people when it comes to time to make their Olympic Games."

"It was pretty inspiring, it really motivated me, it wanted me to go lift and max out," Reichardt said. "Hearing their stories and the struggles they went through leading up to the Olympics and they still made their dreams happen."

"I just really enjoyed hearing about them and anyone can do it if you really have a passion for it and work hard. they are so different, we all share a love for the sport that's what really matters," Nye said. 

Team USA will lift in the Pan Am Games in Lima July 27-30. You can see the squad nominated here

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Team will be named next year.