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Live Blog: Downtown Winter Fest kicks off start of 2022 Winter Olympics

Posted at 12:55 PM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 17:10:31-05

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO — The City of Colorado Springs will be hosting Downtown Winter Fest on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. around the United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum’s Plaza.

The event, co-hosted by the USOPM and the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation, is free and open to the public.

News5's Dianne Derby will be at the event to interview several Olympians to launch our coverage of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

4:55 p.m. | News 5 Anchor Rob Quirk and Jake Gadon ended the day with a friendly match of curling at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum.

4:40 p.m. | Talk about squad goals! News 5 Dianne Derby is hosting an athlete panel with John Register, Vonetta Flowers, and Peggy Fleming

4:00 p.m. |Our very own Rob Quirk kicked off the torch relay with Vonetta Flowers starting it, and passing it a long to other Olympians and ending with none other that Mayor John Suthers and Peggy Flemming

3:30 p.m. | Peggy Fleming has been spotted, she's currently signing autographs and taking pictures with fans!

3:00 p.m. | Dianne Derby is on stage with John Register and Vonetta Flowers! Flowers is the first African-American woman to win gold at the Winter Olympics.

2:45 p.m. | Sports Director Jake Gadon gave us the grand tour of the Winter Fest plaza and the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum. He also tested out some USA Cycling, see if he beats a record.

2:30 p.m. | SPOTTED: Vonetta Flowers is currently signing autographs with fans just past the ice skating rink in the plaza!

2:10 p.m. | The Olympic athlete meet and greet booth is open! Right now John Register is taking pictures and signing autographs with fans.

1:10 p.m. | News 5 Anchor Dianne Derby got to interview Silver-medalist Paralympian, John Register! What started as a life-altering accident developed into a new sense of competition. He qualified for the 1996 summer games in Atlanta. Once a competitor, always a competitor, and this man of tremendous courage and desire, made it happen.

12:00 p.m. | Not a bad day at work, catch News 5 Reporter Caroline Peters running around the plaza interviewing fans, she also gave a state-of-the-art tour of all the museum highlights. Be sure to catch the full tour on our Facebook page.

11:30 a.m. | The food trucks are open at Winter Fest! It may not be an Olympic Athlete's diet but it sure is good! We've got a popcorn stand, BBQ, Italian and more!

11:00 a.m. | Winterfest has begun! We've already had some Olympian sightings, there's food, fun, and a live band to keep you dancing all the way through! Check out an exclusive tour of the museum with News 5's Caroline Peters

9:00 a.m. | The museum's doors have opened! Visitors have begun to trickle in, but the museum is not super crowded. Winterfest venues are still being set up and food trucks are rolling in! Yum!

ORIGINAL STORY:
Saturday's event will close these roads beginning at 12 p.m. on Friday and ending at 5 p.m. on Saturday:

  • Sierra Madre Street between Costilla and Cucharras streets
  • Vermijo Avenue between Sierra Madre and Sahwatch streets
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Parking and road closures at Downtown Winter Fest at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Museum.

Attendees will be able to watch the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 on an outdoor screen, meet U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes, watch cultural demonstrations and much more.

Silver Paralympic Medalist John Register is hosting the event.

"We take for granted sometimes where we live and other people have to tell us the exhibits that are right in our hometown. We are here for the community. We want you all to come out and share this with your friends and your family," said Register.

An interactive booth will be hosted by Olympic City USA with free giveaways and trivia about the history of the Olympic and Paralympic movement in Colorado Springs.

This is the sixth Olympic and Paralympic-themed celebration in downtown Colorado Springs.

On Friday, Mayor John Suthers called Winter Fest an event that is "becoming a cherished tradition here in Olympic City USA".

The first was held in 2012 to help kickoff and celebrate the London 2012 Olympic Games and others were held in 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2021.

For more information on this year’s event, visit the Downtown Winter Fest website.
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