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Colorado Springs Gazette Editorial: We are the only Olympic City USA

By The Gazette editorial on February 24, 2016 | Feb. 27, 2016, 10:28 a.m. (ET)

Detroit is known for cars, Nashville for music and Pittsburgh for steel. Colorado Springs is home to the United States Olympics, the Olympic Training Center, two dozen Olympic national governing boards and the country's future premier Olympics museum. We are Olympic City USA, and finally our logo and slogan will say it.

A colorful new graphic unveiled Monday at a work session of the Colorado Springs City Council features an image of Pikes Peak in the United States Olympic colors of green, blue, yellow and red. The words say "Colorado Springs Olympic City USA."

The design, by Sandia Advertising, is masterful in its simplicity. The symbol instantly conveys the community's enviable stature. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and other large cities have coveted our role as host of Olympic athletes and Olympic organizations, trying in futility to lure them away.

The new image and theme leverage our community's partnership with individuals and organizations that sponsor and support our participation in the world's most prestigious athletic competition. They also highlight Colorado Springs as a hub of health, fitness and personal achievement.

Year after year, the Springs ranks among the top five, and sometimes first or second, on lists of the country's fittest cities. We are known as the location of major bike races, the Rocky Mountain State Games and other major sporting events.

We're not sure why, but the community has taken a long time to embrace our obvious identity. City leaders struck a deal with the United States Olympic Committee in 2009 that included the right to brand ourselves as headquarters of the country's Olympics organization. Yet, in 2011 a "Community Branding Task Force" spent seven months and $111,000 to come up with a mountain logo and the odd slogan "Live it up!" The public was dismayed. The generic branding effort highlighted nothing unique about Colorado Springs. In fact, our research found a downtown organization in Battle Creek, Mich., that had scrapped the phrase as a dud.

Today, we are getting it right. The message and design are perfect. No other city in the world is host to the United States Olympic Committee, dozens of Olympic governing boards, the United States Olympic Training Center and a future world-class Olympic museum. No other community can call itself Olympic City USA.

Note: This is reprinted with permission from the Colorado Springs Gazette. USA Wrestling, as a proud National Governing Body with its headquarters based in Colorado Springs, supports the effort to brand Colorado Springs as the Olympic City USA.

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