COLORADO SPRINGS — Olympic fever is heating up this week in Olympic City USA with a four-day Fan Fest celebrating the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The free event is open to the public and will take place outside of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum from Thursday, July 29 through Sunday, August 1.
To learn more about all the Fan Fest activities, visit usopm.org/cgo.
“The USOPM Tokyo Games Fan Fest captures the essence of what it means to be ‘Olympic City USA’: the excitement of the Games, the enthusiasm of the community and the pride of being home to Team USA’s best,” said USOPM acting CEO Phil Lane. “Between the athlete demos, the activities, the giant screen – these are four days you and your family will not want to miss.”
Activities will take place daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. while the Tokyo Olympic Games are broadcast on a 50-foot video screen. The four-day festival will be emceed by two-time Paralympian and Paralympic silver medalist John Register.
“I can’t think of a better place to celebrate the Tokyo Games,” said Register. “We’re cheering on future Hall of Famers at the Museum that honors legends of the past. As an athlete myself, it gives me great pride to be part of honoring and celebrating our next generation of Olympic & Paralympic heroes.”
Regular museum admission prices apply to access to the museum.
The Tokyo Games Fan Fest is part of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum’s Colorado Grand Opening. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Museum was not able to open with the fanfare it deserved. Now, the USOPM is celebrating on an Olympic and Paralympic scale with athlete meet and greets, sport demos and more every day. The Colorado Grand Opening runs through Labor Day weekend.
Thursday, July 29
Four Olympians are visiting for autographs and meet & greets: Hilary Wolf Saba (judo // 1996, 2000), Cliff Sunada (judo // 1996), Barb Kunkel (taekwondo // 2000) and Jenny Arthur (weightlifting // 2016).
Team USA athlete-led sports demos, including judo, karate, taekwondo and goalball, in addition to interactive exhibits like the Coke Zone games and prize tent, the First Tee Golfopotamus learn-to-chip challenge and the Colorado Springs Switchbacks soccer challenge, will all be available to the public. The Museum’s outdoor 50-foot video screen is airing coverage of the Tokyo Olympics all day while KCSF-AM’s Ryan Kaufman broadcasts live from the Plaza. USOPM & Team USA Merchandise and a variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Friday, July 30
Gold medalist Susan Rapp-von der Lippe (swimming // 1980, 1984, 1988), Jim Campbell (ice hockey // 1994), Dennis Van Valkenburgh (canoe // 1964) and Barb Kunkel (taekwondo // 2000) will be speaking and signing autographs, while sports to be featured for demonstrations include table tennis, skateboarding, goalball and taekwondo.
Other special guests include the Air Force Academy Falcon, Ziggy the Switchbacks FC Mascot, and KIBT-FM’s Cheeba, who will be live broadcasting the Rhythmic Top 40. The Golfopotamus, the Coke Zone and the 50-foot outdoor video screen are all returning with additional activations presented by Comcast, Air Force Academy and Ent Credit Union. Merchandise, food and beverages will be for sale.
Saturday, July 31
Day three of Fan Fest will be in conjunction with the City of Colorado Springs’ Sesquicentennial Downtown Celebration and SportsCorp. The Museum will host several Team USA athletes: Olympians Karen Chen (figure skating // 2018), Steele Johnson (diving // 2016), Bradie Tennell (figure skating // 2018), Vincent Zhou (figure skating // 2018), and Paralympians Kirk Black (Paralympic curling // 2018) and Chris Clemens (Paralympic track and field // 2012). SportsCorp will welcome U.S. Olympic hall of famers Bonnie Blair (speedskating // 1984, 1988, 1992, 1994) and Jackie Joyner-Kersee (track & field // 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996) along with McKenna Geer (Paralympic shooting // 2016, 2020) and USOPM guest experience team member.
Guests will learn about triathlon, figure skating on a synthetic ice rink and wheelchair basketball while watching the Flying Aces trampoline acrobatics team and the Xfinity Hot Air Balloons take to the sky. Enjoy food and beverages along with the Museum’s 50-foot viewing screen and live musical performances by Denver Taiko, Hickabee, Wirewood Station and Martini Shot.
Sunday, August 1
J’Den Cox is a 2016 bronze-medalist Olympic wrestler and will be signing autographs and meeting guests as sport demos include team handball, fencing, skateboarding and judo.
The Comcast activation and the Coke Zone will return along with the ZooMobile and the Air Force Academy’s Glider & Flight Simulator. The 50-foot screen will be airing coverage from Tokyo while KILO-FM’s Rock records live at the Museum.
Fan Fest supporters include El Paso County and Ent Credit Union, as well as Classic Homes, CSI Construction, Weidner Apartment Homes, Griffis/Blessing and the Colorado Springs Lodging and Auto Rental Tax.