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Olympians Among Us

Darrin Steele competed in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics four-man Bobsled team event, and in the two-man Bobsled team in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

Darrin Steele competed in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics four-man Bobsled team event, and in the two-man Bobsled team in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.

This Olympic year heralds our city’s unveiling of its new brand and logo. Colorado Springs is now officially and fabulously Olympic City USA! As home to the U.S. Olympic Committee headquarters and U.S. Olympic Training Center, 23 governing bodies and 39 federations, it’s about time we are recognized as such.  

Following the failed “Live it Up” brand, a task force representing significant local organizations was formed in 2015 in collaboration with the USOC, to develop a new logo. “The USOC suggested that Olympic City USA would align nicely with Team USA, and connect our city to the unique attributes and values of the Olympic movement,” says Task Force co-chair Janet Suthers. The rebranding process was carefully planned, says Doug Price, President and CEO of the Convention and Visitors Bureau and Task Force co-chair. “We were determined to brand Colorado Springs from the inside out, and not be branded by people or media outside of Colorado Springs.”

SANDIA Advertising was selected to submit designs. The final choice, an elegant graphic representing Pikes Peak using the Olympic colors of green, blue, red and yellow, was made by Mayor John Suthers with approval of the USOC. 

It’s an image to be proud of, given the 10,000 amazing Olympic athletes who train here annually and live among us. They are part of our community, and have the passion and determination to represent our nation in the best sense of the word.

 

Alison Dunlap is a two-time Olympic cyclist in road and mountain bike racing. She competed in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics and 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. In 2001, she won the UCI Cross Country Mountain Biking World Championship for elite women.

Most memorable moment? “Winning the World Championship the week after 9/11, and crossing the finish line waving an American flag with tears streaming down my face.”

Today, she is a USA Cycling Certified Level 1 Coach with her new company, Alison Dunlap Coaching, and founder of Alison Dunlap Adventure Camps. She has fully embraced retirement from racing, and lives in Colorado Springs with her family.

 

Darrin Steele competed in the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics four-man Bobsled team event, and in the two-man Bobsled team in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. 

His life has been strongly affected by his experiences as an Olympian, but he is philosophical. “The Olympics is a really cool stop on the much larger journey in life,” he says, “and it’s important to keep a perspective.” The real benefits have been from the lessons learned while pursuing the Olympic dream—strategic thinking, work ethic, improvement of skills, being part of a team.

Today, he is happy to be back in the Olympic family as CEO of USA Bobsled and Skeleton, and is completing his Ph.D. in Leadership, Research and Policy at UCCS.

 

Nathalie Bartleson won the gold medal in the Synchronized Swimming team event in the 1996 Olympic summer games in Atlanta, and has been a nine-time National Champion.

Memorable moments? There were so many, but none like “Having the gold medals placed around our necks after receiving the first-ever perfect scores of all 10s…and realizing our lifelong dreams of representing the USA as Olympians.”

After winning the gold, she has made a new life outside the pool. Today, she is a Master Pilates Instructor at Life Time Fitness. But when she watches the Rio Olympics on TV, she will “cheer and cry and share with Team USA all over again.”

 

Jay Warwick won the bronze medal in taekwondo in the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics. It was the first time the sport was included in an Olympic program.

Although there were many memorable moments in his athletic career, “It was the journey that was amazing. That is not to say that competing in the games was not one of the most significant experiences of my life.”

Today, he is owner of six HuHot Mongolian Grill restaurants in Colorado. Winning an Olympic medal has given him the confidence to set high goals and pursue them relentlessly, he says, including “raising a great family and contributing to our community.”

 

John Register won the silver medal and set the American record in the long jump at the 2000 Paralympics in Sydney, Australia. He achieved this six years after the amputation of his left leg from a freak hurdling accident.

He will never forget looking up in the stands before the long jump competition, and seeing his parents, wife and children all there as he prepared to take his final six jumps.

Since then, he has used his journey as a Paralympic athlete to demonstrate the power of the human spirit. Today, he is Associate Director for Paralympic Sport at the USOC, and is a motivational speaker and consultant with his Inspired Communications International LLC. 

 

Carl Schueler was a four-time Olympic race walker from 1980-1992. He competed in three consecutive summer Olympics—1984 in Los Angeles, 1988 in Seoul, and 1992 in Barcelona. Had it not been for the U.S. boycott of the 1980 games in Moscow, he would have raced in the 50K (31.1 miles) event.

Among several memorable moments, “hanging out (literally) at the White House after being invited by President Carter following the 1980 boycott,” was unforgettable.

Today, he is the Comprehensive Planning Manager for the City of Colorado Springs, and will be heavily involved in the update of the citywide comprehensive plan and vision. “Looking forward to that,” he says.