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Colorado Springs Experience

[Click on thumbnails to see full image. Hold cursor over image to read brief description of picture. My apologies for not having a polarizing filter for many of these shots...]

United States Olympic Training Center (USOTC)

USOTC Entrance Statue of Olympic Athletes stands at entrance Visitors Center: rear courtyard cut-out figurines represent Olympic sports
Olympic torch is lit while games in progress the view of the USOTC complex from the torch Sports Medicine and Research Centers are housed in left side of this building; gynmastics and volleyball gyms are in right side. Diving tower demonstates actual heights used.
Athlete's Center. This is where we ate and slept. Cafeteria inside the Athlete's Center (I heartily recommend their Pop-Tarts!) USOTC at night Volunteer athletic trainers Ted and John work on athletes inside of our sports med clinic.
Johan, another volunteer athletic trainer, works out in the rehab gym.      
 

Garden of the Gods

Entranceway view from the  Visitors Center very relaxing stroll through the park Big red rocks sticking up from the ground... The Sleeping Giant (head is on the right side)
More big red rocks sticking out from the ground One  of many rock climbers. According to news reports, a climber died in a fall shortly after we visited. (Don't know if this is him or not...) Yet another shot of big red rocks sticking out from the ground...  
 

Seven Falls

Johan and I caught 7 Falls just before dusk. Tourist shot Read the sign. These VERY steep steps lead ultimately lead to a grave (hopefully not  our own!) Almost there...
Made it to the top. This stream supplies the water for the falls. Took the elevator up to get this shot.  
 

Pikes Peak

It's called the "Cog Railway" for a reason... It takes 1 1/2 hours to make the climb to the top. Lots to look at. This lake is above 10,000 ft. There  is 30% less oxygen at the summit and we felt a little lightheaded initially. It was also about 35 degrees up there.
Scenic lookout at the summit. Puts things into perspective. We're pretty damn high up... You don't  want  to fall down from here... Just liked this shot...
Ted, Johan, and I sit for one last picture before our descent.     Click here for a mpg view from the top of Pikes Peak!
 

The Incline

That "scar" in the mountain is the view of the Incline from Manitou Springs. The Barr Trail will take you all the way up to the top of Pike's Peak...eventually. Chris, Johan, John, and myself before we challenge the climb. This is really a picture of a "false peak" - there is another higher one behind it that we must climb as well!
Every once in a while, we'd look behind us at the world below... Halfway up and I'm still amazed to be alive! Some perspective on just how  steep this is. The steps are old railroad ties. Almost at the real top...
We all made it without need for CPR! We jogged 3 miles back down to the parking lot via swithbacks of the Barr Trail. View from top of Incline. Another view from the top.  

Click here to see just how easy it is to run nearly straight up at high altitude!

 

Paralympic Sports (the true unsung athletes/heroes)

Learn more a at www.paralympic.org

(I will add more photos when I receive them from my fellow volunteers)

An absolutely amazing team of sit-down volleyball athletes led by a courageous, highly motivating quadruple amputee coach. Sitdown volleyball means just that. Everything is fair game as long as your butt is touching the floor. We had an opportunity to play a set against this team - they whupped us pretty good! If nature throws you a curve, you deal with it and move on. This coach - a QUADRUPLE amputee - inspires greatness in his team.
John, one of my fellow volunteers, throws up a serve during  our game.     Click here to see some sit-down volleyball drills.
Before the game, a lot of these guys get around in wheelchairs. But watch what happens when you turn them loose on ice! Sled used by bilateral amputee sled hockey player. "Who's going to win this game? We are!!!"
Mike has played on the  USA Olympic Sled Hockey Team in the past. He teaches and serves as a role model to young kids learning the sport back in NJ. Attitude is everything. Click here to see some serious sled hockey moves! Think this is easy? Click here for another mpg.
 
Press Release article on USOTC experience is here.