The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s two main training centers in Colorado Springs and Lake Placid, N.Y., have closed their training facilities due to coronavirus concerns.
Resident athletes in Colorado Springs will be allowed to stay and use the dining and medical facilities, but all athletic operations are shut down.
“(B)eginning tomorrow, Wednesday March 18, all training venues (pool, velodrome, gymnasiums, strength and conditioning) will be closed,” Colorado Springs officials told athletes in an email. “This closure will remain in effect for 30 days per the Governor’s orders.”
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced Monday that all restaurants and gyms must close on Tuesday. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has issued a nearly identical order.
The Colorado Springs dining operation is closed for sit-down meals but will provide to-go meals to any athletes who stay at the center.
The closures will add to the scramble for training options leading up to the Olympics.
“Out of training for a month,” gymnast Sam Mikulak posted on Instagram. “I know I’m not alone on this, how is everyone else dealing with their Olympic preparation in these times?”
Pole vaulter Sandi Morris replied: “all facilities at U of Arkansas where I normally vault are closed up, probably going to go stay in Austin or Atlanta and train at private clubs for a few weeks. UA says they will reconsider opening facilities April 15, but I’m not betting on it. So for now … getting a plan together and doing workouts in my backyard for a few days.”
BMX racer Connor Fields responded with an emoji for beer.
USA Gymnastics is attempting to help.
“”We are we are working with athletes and their coaches to find safe alternative solutions for our athletes to train,” USA Gymnastics said in an email statement.
Athletes elsewhere have voiced similar concerns. British heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson said on Twitter that a training camp in the U.S. has been canceled and she’s unable to train in France.
The Lake Placid center opened two years after the 1980 Olympics were held in the upstate New York village. It specializes in winter sports but also trains athletes in several summer sports.
Colorado Springs is the home of several national governing bodies as well as the training center itself.
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