Two Maine Winter Sports Center venues are looking for US Olympic Training Site designation from the US Olympic Committee.
A representative of the USOC spent the day in the County touring the two venues and learning more about the area.
Alicia McConnell and members of the Maine Winter Sports Center toured both the 1oth Mountain Center in Fort Kent and the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle. McConnell explains why she is here.
“The US Olympic Committee is here to look at what has been created . The excitement of biathlon and cross country skiing and everything that has been done here at the Maine Winter Sports Center.”
The Maine Winter Sports Center has petitioned the US Olympic Committee to list the 10th Mountain Center in Fort Kent and the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle as US Olympic Training Sites. Andy Shepard the President of the Maine Winter Sports Center says the group has been working on the designation for several years.
” We have been working with the US Olympic Committee for the last five years to try and get Olympic Training Center or Training Site designation for the Tenth Mountain Center and Nordic Heritage Center. These are among the top Nordic Venues in the World.”
There are several steps to getting the designation and McConnell is in the area on a fact finding mission to look at the venues , services available and community support
” Looking at does the facilities, the folks involved, the community support and clearly I think the Community does in so many ways.”
” You have to have housing for athletes, you have to have food service for athletes. You have to have access to training and medical staff. Those kinds of things.”
There is a different between US Olympic Training Center and US Olympic Training Sites.
” Training Centers that we have in Lake Placid, Colorado Springs and Chula Vista California the USOC mostly owns and operates. The training sites are a partnership with a World Class Training Facility in partnership with a national governing body like the US Biathlon Association.”
Max Cobb of the US Biathlon Association says several members of the Olympic Biathlon team have spent time in the County
” Most of our Olympic team from Torino and probably most of our Olympic team going forward will have spent time Maine Winter Sports Center Athletes. We know exactly how valuable this is.”
This is another step in getting the designation and if the venues get the certification they join an elite group
“I think it is a unique designation because right now we only have 16 sites across the United States and basically it elevates a facility to one where you are really training champions of the future.’
There isn’t a time table on when a decision on the designation would be made.