Governors Break Ground On US Olympic Museum In Colorado

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A groundbreaking ceremony was held Friday for an Olympic museum that will include a Hall of Fame and make mention of every athlete who has competed for the U.S. team.

Attending the ceremony were Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and former Ohio Gov. Dick Celeste.

olympic museum 1 Governors Break Ground On US Olympic Museum In Colorado

(credit: U.S. Olympic Committee)

The U.S. Olympic Museum will cost $75 million and is set to open in 2019, blocks from the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters and a short drive from the Olympic Training Center.

This will be the first full-fledged Olympic museum in the United States. Lake Placid has a small museum that commemorates the two Winter Games held in New York. There are more than 20 Olympic museums around the world, but previous attempts to establish one in the U.S. floundered over the decades.

fri0225 specialforkcncsotolympictrunc frame 631 Governors Break Ground On US Olympic Museum In Colorado

Ohio Gov. Dick Celeste (credit: CBS)

“I was stunned there wasn’t a proper celebration of the Olympic movement here,” said Celeste, the project chairman who previously served as president of Colorado College, about a mile north of the museum site.

As governor of Ohio, Celeste was key in helping Cleveland win the contest to become home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He sees similarities between that museum and this one.

olympic museum 2 Governors Break Ground On US Olympic Museum In Colorado

(credit: U.S. Olympic Committee)

“People come to Cleveland to see the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and if they’re in Cleveland, they say, ‘Let’s spend an extra day to see the rock hall,'” Celeste said. “The interest in the Olympic movement is even stronger in a sense. It’s maybe the single most recognized brand, globally.”

It’s a project more than five years in the making that has been hit with typical funding challenges. In the end, about $49 million of the cost is being covered through private fundraising, with the rest coming through public bonds sold to three local banks.

olympic museum 1 Governors Break Ground On US Olympic Museum In Colorado

(credit: U.S. Olympic Committee)

The Olympic Training Center draws about 130,000 visitors a year. Museum officials are expecting their 60,000-square-foot showcase to eventually draw up to 350,000 a year, with more than half the visitors coming from outside the state.

“I think the synergy you’re going to see between the Olympic Training Center and the museum is going to be profound,” Hickenlooper said.

By EDDIE PELLS, AP National Writer

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Denver

CBS4 INVESTIGATES
CBS Local App
Send A News Tip

Watch & Listen LIVE