Wearing gold track spikes and taking a deep breath, the 200-meter world record holder knelt into position, set his feet in the blocks and carefully placed his hands. Then, just as he had done before coasting to gold and an Olympic record in the 400-meter race three days earlier, he waited for the call and the starting gun’s bang.
26 September 2015
21 February 2015
Much like the setting of Mounir Zok’s office, located in the newly renovated U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, his field of specialty remains largely a work in progress. But that isn’t stopping him in his quest to get more Americans on podiums, holding more medals, preferably gold.
His secret weapon? Well, we can’t say exactly what it is (that’s secret), but it’s about a host of cool little monitoring gadgets, some of which athletes are tucking in their shoes, wearing as bracelets or slipping into their shorts. It seemed like only a few Olympics ago that specialized training and nutrition were all the rage in gaining a competitive edge. But today, it’s all about these doodads that have become the magical third eye of coaching, little trackers on steroids for when, as Zok puts it, “the naked vision is not enough anymore.”
18 February 2015
It’s one of those classic moments in sports that is universal for those of a certain age. Actually, it was more than a classic moment. It was a perfect moment.
It was 1976, at the Olympic Games in Montreal, and Cold War politics were being played out through sport every four years on the grandest of stages. There, vaulting onto the uneven bars was a tiny Romanian, Nadia Comaneci, with a ponytail in ribbons, dressed in a mostly white leotard with the number 73 pinned on the back. Flip after spin, she seemed to effortlessly fly through the air for 17 breathless seconds before dismounting in a swan dive. She landed expertly on her feet, and the crowd erupted.
25 February 2014
The Games of the XXII Winter Olympiad in Sochi, Russia, have come to a close, and once again, the University of Denver was well-represented.
Performing to the greatest level of achievement for the Pioneers was Kevin Dineen, head coach of the Canadian women’s hockey team. Dineen (attd. 1981–83), a former hockey captain at DU, guided the Canadian team to the gold medal in a 3-2, come-from-behind, overtime victory over the rival United States.
15 February 2014
Nearly every athlete has experienced it, that moment right before heading into competition when the palms get sweaty, the mind races, and the stomach does a cartwheel. The pressure is on.
For snowboarder Jamie Anderson, recent Olympic gold medalist in Sochi, this moment is at the crest of the hill as she lingers by herself standing on her board for a few seconds, looking down at the slopestyle course. Even though she’s dominated the event the last few years, to the tune of first or second place in 20 of her last 24 contests, the debut of slopestyle at the Winter Games was a whole new challenge, but one for which she’s been training mentally for a while now.
5 February 2014
Interested in portraits of some of the United States’ top Olympians in Sochi? Look no further.
Here, nine behind-the-scenes features spanning 16 of America’s brightest Winter Games hopefuls, including skiers Bode Miller and Mikaela Shiffrin, snowboarders Kelly Clark and Jamie Anderson and The Night Train, The U.S. four-man bobsled team.
3 February 2014
More than 40 current and former Pioneers have represented the University of Denver as either athletes or coaches at the Olympics dating back to the 1948 Winter Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland—and that’s just in alpine skiing. Add in the other world-class competitors from both the Summer and Winter Games, and that number becomes even more impressive.
“I think it just talks about the quality of this academic institution,” says Peg Bradley-Doppes, vice chancellor for athletics, recreation and Ritchie Center operations. “It attracts outstanding student-athletes, outstanding coaches who have the desire and also the talent to compete at the highest level possible. This upcoming Olympics won’t be any different.”
17 January 2014
Bobsledders, lugers, and skeleton athletes cruise down an icy track, in some cases with their faces just inches from the frozen surface, at upwards of 100 miles an hour. But a la the premise often inferred by Disney’s Cool Runnings, can anybody do it?
31 December 2013
The January issue of 5280 introduces you to six Colorado athletes who are strong contenders for the U.S. Olympic Team in a variety of sports. But with our snowy climate and fit populace, it’s not surprising that there are more than just a half-dozen competitors to watch out for. Here, four more names you need to know: Mikaela Shiffrin, Katie Uhlaender, Bobby Brown and Aaron Blunck.
30 December 2013
What Teri Hedgpeth, archivist for the United States Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs, enjoys most about her job is discovering relics of the past that were believed to be lost forever.
She spends her days filling in gaps in Olympic history by either locating misplaced items in the 3,300 square foot archives (from when the USOC relocated from New York in 1978 to its current location at the Olympic Training Center) or unearthing new treasures.