COLORADO SPRINGS – It’s time for a change at a training center in Olympic City USA.
The dome at the Velodrome could soon become a year-round tool.
Staff members said the dome is only up for about half the year from fall to spring. When it’s down during the summer athletes have to deal with a lot of unpredictable weather which means they lose out on time to train.
Team USA Para-cyclist Justin Widhalm said, “My number one goal is to make it to the Netherlands this next year for world championships…the goal would be Tokyo and hopefully beyond that.”
Widhalm has been training this week at the Velodrome and will be competing this weekend in the Track Cycling National Championships.
“The Velodrome helps me because it’s a controlled atmosphere and a controlled environment.”
However, when the dome comes off during the summer months it’s a different story.
Olympic Training Center Senior Director Aron McGuire said, “There’s a lot of down time between setting the dome up and tearing it down.”
Widhalm said, “I remember when they uncovered it in 2016 for the summer…we missed probably half of the year’s training sessions as well as racing due to the afternoon thunderstorms and the extreme weather here in the Front Range region.”
It’s why there’s now a proposal to keep the dome at the facility for good.
McGuire said, “By keeping the dome up year-round we’re expanding the amount of time that Team USA athletes can train, but also expands the amount of hours and time that community riders have a chance to ride in the Velodrome.”
McGuire said the next steps are to get approval from parks and rec and city council. Any extra costs for this project would be absorbed by the United States Olympic Committee.
Discussions with parks and rec and city council will happen during this month and next. A decision could come by January or February.