History Of The USOC In Colorado Springs


1976- Based on directives from the President’s Commission on Olympic Sports named by President Gerald Ford in the aftermath of problems for athletes at the Montreal Games and an ongoing squabble between the NCAA and the AAU related to selection and rights to compete, the USOC seeks to relocate from 57 Park Avenue in New York City and to establish Olympic training centers and a new national headquarters.

1977- USOC Selects Colorado Springs for national headquarters and establishes Olympic Training Center at old ENT AFB facility with 35 acres. (The first training center was opened in Squaw Valley, Cal., in early 1977) Olympic legend Bob Mathias is hired to run the Colorado Springs OTC, which welcomed its first athletes in August. The El Pomar Foundation gives the USOC a check for $1 million to seal the deal and the move of Olympic House to the city. IOC selects Los Angeles to host 1984 Olympic Games, backed by USOC’s silent commitment of $25 million against a shortfall.

1978- USOC, now chartered by the Amateur Sports Act in Congress stages first National Sports Festival, July 26-30. Olympic House opens on August 1 with Col. F. Don Miller as Executive Director and less than a dozen USOC staff relocate from New York City. More than 25 National Governing Bodies also set up shop in the city, most on complex. USOC quadrennial budget is $19 million. USOC hires CU sports information director Mike Moran as its first executive staff addition from the region.

1979- USOC Stages 2nd National Sports Festival in Colorado Springs with NBC Sports televising the action.

1980- Lake Placid host the Olympic Winter Games and hockey team records the “Miracle on Ice.” President Jimmy Carter reveals demand that USOC boycott the upcoming Moscow Games unless Soviet troops leave Afghanistan.

USOC House of Delegates votes not to participate in the Olympic Games in Moscow after Carter Administration pressure, April 12 at Antlers Hotel. USOC receives deed to Olympic Complex from Springs Industrial Foundation.

USOC funds dry up and organization faces bankruptcy and staff cuts. Don Miller reaches agreement with White House for $10,000,000 emergency grant to save the organization in the boycott aftermath. USOC does not receive the money until 1981 after Ronald Reagan is in office.

1983- USOC Stages Sports Festival in Colorado Springs after San Diego opts out. USOC builds first “new” facilities in Colorado Springs, a multi-sport Sports Center with six gyms and seating for almost 3,000, and the 7-11 cycling Velodrome in nearby Memorial Park: Cost $12.9 million.

1984- USOC backs Los Angeles with $25 million shortfall guarantee and Games produce $227 million surplus. USOC and NGBs receive $143 million of surplus and USOC creates U.S. Olympic Foundation with its share. Financial health is restored.

1985- USOC Executive Director F. Don Miller retires after leading organization’s relocation and growth in Colorado Springs. He becomes first President of new U.S. Olympic Foundation, with offices in the city. Gen. George Miller (USAF Retired) hired as successor to Miller.

1986- USOC hires John Krimsky, Jr., as chief marketing and fund-raising executive after 27 years at Pan American Airways. He raises more than two billion dollars over the next thirteen years for the USOC, which enjoys its greatest period of growth, to almost 600 employees, a significant new share of U.S. TV rights for the Olympic Games, enhanced sponsor packages and revenue, quadrennial budgets near $500 million, and training centers in Colorado Springs, Lake Placid, and Chula Vista, CA.

1991- Bill Hybl of Colorado Springs selected as Interim President of USOC after turmoil forces resignation of Robert H. Helmick. Hybl creates first USOC Ethics Committee and restores order.

1996- Hybl elected USOC President through 2000; Atlanta stages Centennial Olympic Games and USOC-Atlanta joint marketing effort produces record revenues for the USOC.

1997- USOC opens new, state-of-the-art facilities in Colorado Springs complex, including athlete housing, dining hall, fieldhouse, aquatics center and visitor center, sports medicine center with $23.8 capital construction effort. Some 8,000 athletes now use facility annually.

1998- Olympic Complex Visitor Center welcomes one millionth visitor. Salt Lake bid scandal erupts and USOC reforms its bid city selection process after President Bill Hybl appoints review commission chaired by Sen. George Mitchell. IOC follows with similar reforms.

2003- USOC and Colorado Springs celebrate 25th anniversary of relocation from New York City.

2004- Peter Ueberroth named Chair of the new USOC Board, which has only eleven members, down from 125 in 2003, after major reforms.

2005- Olympic wrestler Jim Scherr named USOC Chief Executive Officer after serving interim term since 2003.

2006- More than 400,000 athletes have used the training facilities in Colorado Springs, which is also home of 21 National Governing Bodies of Olympic Sports, and 54 national or international sports organizations. The Colorado Springs named a USOC Community Partner city after raising $250,000 from various sources to support USOC training for elite Olymp[ic and Paralympic athletes..

2007- It’s the 30th Anniversary of the opening of the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. (August)

With support from the USOC Community Partner Fund, the State Games of America return to Colorado Springs. A record 10.803 athletes from 47 states participate.

2008- Will mark the 30th anniversary of the USOC relocation to Colorado Springs from New York City on August 1

Special Thanks to Mike Moran of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation for compiling this historical outline.