Saturday, February 27, 2010

(Not So) Secret Photos of the Colorado Olympic Complex

Bowling National Coaches Conference May 6-10

In my last post, I wrote about my Olympic aspirations and attempt to get my sport of bowling into the games. These are some of the photos I snapped during my stay at the Olympic Complex in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the Team USA National Bowling Conference. That was nearly 20 years ago, but I'm sure they are still fairly representative of the facility. The Olympic Complex, former home of ENT Air Force Base and the headquarters of the North American Defense Command, officially became USOC administrative headquarters in July 1978.

A set of sheets and a blanket for the bed, a sink and mirror, a couple of electrical outlets and a shared closet. Yep, that's about it!

I don't really know what I expected to find upon my arrival, but I'm not sure I was quite prepared for the stark housing quarters. The athletes don't live in cushy digs while they train. As it was previously a military command, it is functional and utilitarian at best. We shared sparsely non-appointed rooms and occupancy was co-ed. Females roomed and showered with females (even if their spouse was there) and it was the same for males.

This high powered conference was attended by many of the sports royalty. It was fun seeing professional people, usually seen in magazines and on television, first thing in the morning doing the Fluffy Slipper Shuffle down the pheromone soaked hallway. A bathrobe parade of half awake...one eye going this way...one eye going that way...hair going everywhere...people. For a cheery morning person like myself, they were like sitting ducks on a pond, easily going down with a straifing barrage of chirpy "GOOD MORNINGs!"

Countdown Clock

This clock is always counting down to the next Olympics. At that time, the count down was marking off the minutes until the 1994 winter games at Lillehammer, Norway.

The amazing Olympic chow hall where forks and knives waged titanic battles on the field of a porcelain plate.

The food service staff got kudos from me for the Herculean task of keeping all the athletes in attendance fueled and ready to go. All the food was donated by large American food corporations like Beatrice. This self-serve restuarant, with skyscraper stacks of nutritionally labeled food, opened three times a day to appease the hungry hoards.

The fairy like gymnasts gravitated to the low fat foods. The cyclists, constantly embattled to consume more calories than they burn in training (a feeling I would like to know for just one day), ate Mt. Vesuvius piles of food. Not yet full, the spinners were tempted by a huge, wanton tray of marshamallowy, vanilla goodness waving her scent bomb in their face. They comandeered the tray of crispy treats, took them to their table and it was a menage-a-trois to remember.

Some of the best amateur bowlers in the world at the time.

Life here was good. It was grand...full of dreams, high ideals and the pursuit of perfection. What would it be like if these high vibrations of hope and excellence were the yardstick by which the rest of the world measured itself?

24 comments:

Dave King said...

Such insights into other worlds are invariably intriguing. Thanks for this one.

Brian Miller said...

it is amazing what happens between people when placed together outside of the typical environment. great things can happen...

Jill said...

With such high vibrations of hope and excellence the world would BY FAR be a better place!!!!

otin said...

Full of dreams, ideals, and the pursuit of perfection. You don't hear that said in Washington DC! :)

TechnoBabe said...

You and the other attendees at this conference had high hopes and your hearts were certainly in the same place. Did you make lasting friendships there? Are you in touch with any of them? I lived in San Diego where there is an Olympic training facility in archery, rowing, canoeing, kayaking, soccer, softball, field hockey, tennis, track and field, and cycling. Quite a lot huh. I like that that place is open every day of the year to tour. It gives people a feeling of connecting with the athletes who train so hard and diligently, as you did in bowling. You have many interesting stories and I am right here wanting to read them all!

Megan said...

Sounds like an incredible experience. How unbelievably cool are you? :)

DUTA said...

I've greatly enjoyed your descriptive terms about the food and its consummers : "hungry hoards", " Mt. Vesuvium piles of food", "Herculean task of keeping the athletes...fueled.." and more.

As for TV personalities, I sometimes see Tv people when watching their dog, or at the grocery store. Well, men are no big surprise, but women without make-up and hair style look pretty bad.

DUTA said...

I meant 'walking their dog'.

Jai Joshi said...

How cool! I've no personal link to anything remotely sport like so this is all new and interesting to me. Thanks for the glimpse into that world!

Jai

Ronda Laveen said...

Dave: Yes, indeed. And you always show me a lot about your world too.

Brian: Extraordinary things happen when you step out of the box.

Jill: I always hold that thought.

Otin: HA! Man, you are always thinkin'.

TechnoBabe: Yes, I did make lasting friends and still stay in contact with a few of them every Christmas. That's right! There is that training center in San Diego. The centers are amazing to tour. Like you, I am glad they are available to the public.

Megan: I'm workin' on it:-)

DUTA: I'm glad you explained about walking the dog instead of watching the dogs. I was wondering what kind of job you had that you watched puppies. There really is a huge difference in how they look without make up as opposed to with it. Some are pretty scary.

Jai: I don't...I read about how you run up all those hundreds of stairs at the temples. You are a spiritual athlete. Maybe you belong to Team Shiva.

Eternally Distracted said...

It all looks like the start of some amazing friendships... i love the slipper shuffle ;0)

tony said...

I Could win Gold in the Marshamallowy-Freestyle!

Felicitas said...

A terrific question. If we all aspired to be the very best versions of ourselves, I dare say this world would be very different.

lettuce said...

its hard to see why it wouldn't be accdepted. what a great thing to be involved in!

Ronda Laveen said...

E.D.: It was!

Tony: I think we have a new event and I see you on the podium wearing your gold.

Felicitas: I'm not sure why we have such a hard time being our best. Must be the human element.

Lettuce: It was one of those times I will never forget.

Jai Joshi said...

Team Shiva... I like the sound of that! You should join, we could do with a proper athlete.

I only ever run when I know there'll be something nice at the other end. I'm like a racing cat in that way - put a nice bowl of cream at the other end of the field and I'll move.

Jai

Ronda Laveen said...

I am a member of Team Shiva! Always and forever. I'll have to remember the cream trick in case I ever have to get you moving.

Dorraine said...

Oh, enjoyed your memories and pictures. Great to get the inside scoop!

Ronda Laveen said...

Dorraine: Ah, the inside scoop...you have such great Free Ice Cream language.

Joanna Jenkins said...

What a fabulous experience! If only that kind of excitement and energy could be bottled :-)

Have a great week.
jj

Ronda Laveen said...

JJ: Yes, I would buy a bottle!

KB said...

I love seeing behind the scenes pics. I feel like I'm a fly on the wall.

Ronda Laveen said...

The Fly! I loved that movie, KB!

Nessa said...

The whole idea of participating in the Olympics is amazing.

RnPB: Ch 013 - Clean Up