By Tim Glon
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The Ohio Northern men's and women's swimming and diving teams are enjoying an incredible opportunity this week to use the U.S. Olympic Training Center for their annual Winter Training trip.
The Polar Bears are training at the OTC prior to and after their tri-meet at Colorado College with Wayland Baptist (Tex.) last Saturday. Northern arrived at the OTC on Jan. 4 and will return home on Friday.
Head Coach Peggy Ewald took advantage of her contacts as a long-time coach with the U.S. Paralympic Swimming team and with the U.S. Olympic Committee to arrange for the use of the facility.
"This is a once in a lifetime experience for our student-athletes to train at such a world-class facility," Ewald said. "It's awesome to have one of the ONU athletic programs in the highest level of sport facilities training and being schooled by the top in the nation. This is a top notch student-athlete experience that would rarely be possible for any DIII team."
The teams also trained at the Air Force Academy facility on its military base at an altitude of 7,200 feet. The Olympic Training Center is at 6,200 feet above sea level.
"We have gained much by training at altitude and look forward to seeing this experience unfold some great racing by our conference meet," Ewald said.
At the Olympic Training Center, the teams have been training next the nation's best in the weight room and pool, had behind the scenes tours through the sports labs & research centers not open to general public viewing and have eaten in the nutrition center where the resident athletes live and eat.
The students have also been through the recovery centers and sports medicine labs and toured the museum of Olympic & Paralympic sports.
The Polar Bears will return to action on Saturday with a key Ohio Athletic Conference meet at Mount Union.