COLORADO SPRINGS — As we celebrate the official start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics today, fans are getting in the Olympic spirit and supporting their favorite athletes and sports teams. A lot of those celebrations are happening at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum.
"As Olympic City USA, we want to be the place to celebrate that, for fans of the Olympic games to come and learn a little bit of history, and watch the athletes and really be that support behind team USA," said Michelle Dusserre Farrell, a 1984 Olympic silver medalist in the sport of gymnastics.
Dusserre Farrell is also the vice president of athlete engagement at the museum, and she said crowds and lines at the museum were a little busier on Friday.
"It's wonderful because we're seeing lots of visitors here, in the galleries outside waiting for tickets, and for us, it's everything that we had hoped for," said Dusserre Farrell. "We know everybody gets excited and wants the experience to be very connected with the Olympics, so we've been seeing a significant uptick in the number of visitors."
The museum opened last year when the Tokyo Olympics were initially scheduled for, but now that the games are here, the museum is hosting the Colorado Grand Opening.
"It's just an exciting opportunity to see some of the memorabilia from the games, as well as learning a little about some of the athletes," said Scott Russell, who took his family and kids on vacation, then stopped by the museum on Friday morning. "Being that the Olympics were starting, and I knew this was here, it was kind of a planned stop on the way back."
For Russell, as a 2008 Olympic athlete representing Canada, the trip to the museum was also a chance to show his Olympic spirit with his kids by his side.
"I think it'll be really neat for them (the kids) to connect with what he did and experience. They know he's an Olympian but they don't really know what it all means,' said Tiffany Russell.
As part of the Colorado Grand Opening, there will be autograph signings meet and greet with athletes and opportunities to workout with an athlete for the next two weeks.
For more information about upcoming events, click here.