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

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.

IMG_7484 Track Nerd Heaven
IMG_7490 USATF Ping Pong



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IMG_1572 USATF Cornhole


IMG_1562 Olympic-sized Jenga


IMG_7489 Classic Video Games





IMG_7486 Fully Stocked Fridge
IMG_7488 Props for the photo booth
IMG_7507 Kate Grace celebrates her Olympic Trials victory
IMG_7508 Kate Grace and her agent Josh Cox
IMG_7509 Photo Booth
IMG_7497 Ajee Wilson celebrates making her first Olympic team
IMG_7495 Photo Booth


IMG_1573 Photo Booth
IMG_7499 Chrishuna Williams
IMG_7501 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.

IMG_1566 The Olympic village is 45-60 mins away from both the Olympic stadium and the USATF practice facility
IMG_1567 Team USA will fly from Houston to Rio; this page offers travel tips for the 10-hour flight



IMG_1568 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.

IMG_7469 Distance Runner
IMG_7467 Not A Distance Runner




IMG_7471 Gear as far as the eye can see
IMG_7476 Memo to Nike: It’s red, white and blue … not pink

IMG_1570 IMG_1571

Don’t Forget To Sign The Olympic Guest Book


IMG_7483 Jared Ward’s signature


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