Folks in Colorado Springs have been mad lately at the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Their anger stems from a feeling of rejection after the USOC talked about leaving due to crowded and antiquated facilities.
Many also are upset that Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera and the City Council gave the USOC a package of incentives worth $42.3 million to convince the organization to keeps its national headquarters here another 30 years.
The U.S. Olympic Training Center is located on the former Ent Air Force Base. The first athletes moved into the 34-acre campus east of downtown in 1977.
The U.S. Olympic Committee moved its headquarters, Olympic House, to the complex on Aug. 1, 1978 after leaving New York City.
The USOC is trying to mend fences with its neighbors in the community.
It started by giving the city a $250,000 grant to fund youth sports programs at struggling community centers.
On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the USOC is throwing a party at the training center, on Boulder Street at Union Boulevard. It’s called the Community Appreciation Day Celebration.
There will be autograph sessions with Olympic athletes. Resident Olympic and Paralymic athletes will demonstrate 11 sports including BMX, freestyle skiing aerialists, gymnastics and volleyball.
Here’s a video the Gazette’s Brian Gomez shot at the new headquarters building on May 2, 2010, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony:
Here’s a brief story about the move to the new building in April.