Take The Tour: What’s It Like To Make Team USA?

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by LetsRun.com
July 7, 2016

EUGENE, Ore – Yesterday after a USATF press conference with CEO Max Siegel, the LetsRun.com staff was treated to a tour of Olympic athlete processing at the Hilton Eugene hotel. The sad truth is not everyone can achieve their Olympic dreams, but at least now you can get a glimpse of what it would be like to make Team USA.

Below is a brief video (sorry, we tried to record more, but our device malfunctioned) and photos from our walk through Olympic athlete processing.

Welcome Lounge

First stop on the way to processing is the USATF welcome lounge which has all kinds of Olympic perks with a full table of snacks and treats and two refrigerators stocked with Gatorade and yogurt. Everything from the carpet to the Cornhole set was USATF-branded and of course the TV was playing replays from the 2012 Olympics (it normally live streams the Trials when the meet is going). We were told this is an area for athletes relax and enjoy some “down time”. There were comfortable couches, video games, ping pong and a photo booth.

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Track Nerd Heaven

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USATF Ping Pong

 

 

 

 

 

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USATF Cornhole

 

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Olympic-sized Jenga

 

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Classic Video Games

 

 

 

 

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Fully Stocked Fridge

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Props for the photo booth

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Kate Grace celebrates her Olympic Trials victory

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Kate Grace and her agent Josh Cox

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Photo Booth

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Ajee Wilson celebrates making her first Olympic team

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Photo Booth

 

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Photo Booth

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Chrishuna Williams

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Photo Booth

Information Overload

After decompressing in the welcome area, athletes move on to the logistical part of athlete processing. Here they are given a ton of information on the trip to Rio, including where team USA will be staying, where they will be able to train in Rio, health info on the Zika virus and travel options. USATF can book their flights for them or they are awarded a travel stipend to make their own arrangements.

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The Olympic village is 45-60 mins away from both the Olympic stadium and the USATF practice facility

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Team USA will fly from Houston to Rio; this page offers travel tips for the 10-hour flight

 

 

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General information for Team USA athletes on the Zika virus

The Coveted Olympic Kit

Athlete processing saves the best for last as the final stop is for athletes to get their Olympic uniform. Athletes work their entire lives to earn a Team USA kit and especially for a first time Olympian, it is a moment that signifies their tremendous accomplishment. The athlete uniform area has mannequins of all shapes and sizes displaying the uniforms which are unique for each event discipline. Then athletes can try on whatever they want in the dressing area to choose their size. Rather than wait to get their kit in Rio or having it mailed to them, athletes leave athlete processing with the full kit in hand.

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Distance Runner

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Not A Distance Runner

 

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Gear as far as the eye can see

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Memo to Nike: It’s red, white and blue … not pink

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Don’t Forget To Sign The Olympic Guest Book

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Jared Ward’s signature

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