Saulye Nichols, Staff Writer

The Olympic Training Center (OTC)  is the place where Olympians and Paralympians in every sport come to train. There are dorms and a dining hall, which serve as a melting pot for the athletes because you can see anyone in there from a gymnast to a wheelchair basketball player. Hannah Smith, a fellow student, and I got the chance to travel to the OTC with our year-round swim team for four days. We were able to practice in the long-course pool that Michael Phelps had swam in before, and we got to train in the weight room where Missy Franklin took a selfie. The work was definitely hard and some days the team just wanted to lie down and take a nap. Our coach had to give us a reality check by telling us that most people will never get the opportunity to live through that experience. The whole thing was surreal because we would end up eating dinner next to a table of future or past Olympians. Passing by the pictures of Olympic swimmers after they won gold on our way to practice was incredibly inspiring. There were people from all over who came to Colorado for a training camp. We met a group of swimmers from Maryland and passed a group of British swimmers at the pool and in the dining room. It was funny to hear everyone’s stories about their school friends and teachers thinking we were going to train for the Olympics. All in all, the trip was amazing and inspiring.