The 2018 Olympics are around the corner, and thanks to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and their annual competition Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful, athletes from all over the country have a chance to compete for a place on the US Olympic team.
The national competition was held at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Two of the finalists began training with 24 Hour Fitness this past June, who partnered with the Olympic Committee to set up in-club tryouts to qualify to compete. Amanda Alvarez of Seattle won a place for competing in skeleton and Josh Williamson of Orlando placed for the bobsled competition.
“When I got the news via email that I’d advanced to the elimination round, I re-read it four times to make sure it was real,” said Alvarez, who is also a Personal Trainer with 24 Hour Fitness. “I have always wanted to go to the Olympic Games—I believe I was born to make Team USA.”
“I had absolutely no expectations when I went to the tryouts at the 24 Hour Fitness club in Winter Park,” said Josh Williamson, a college student who is taking time off from getting his degree at Florida State University to train with Team USA. “After being sidelined by sports injuries and shoulder surgery in January, my goal this year was to rehab. Then…tryouts happened, and it’s completely changed my life.”
Williamson and Alvarez have begun training in their respective sports with other Team USA finalists for a chance to compete during the upcoming Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang in 2018.
24-Hour Fitness sponsored the competition to create excitement and a pipeline from their gyms to the US Olympics, in order to attract high-level and aspiring athletes to their clubs. Athletes completed a battery of tests for strength, mobility and endurance to qualify for selection. The top 91 athletes—47 men and 44 women—were invited to spend five days at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs to go through an intensive screening, sport-specific training and receive insight from leaders in sport medicine, science and psychology.
This five-day tryout was also documented for an NBCSN special, which revealed the winners.
One female and one male athlete were chosen in four sports: skeleton, bobsled, rugby, and track cycling. The winners included: Amanda Alvarez, skeleton (Seattle, Washington); Josh Williamson, bobsled (Orlando, Florida); Quentin Butler, skeleton (Arlington, Texas); Collin Hudson, track cycling (Firestone, Colorado); Keely Kortman, track cycling (Tustin, California); Kyle Plante, bobsled (Albany, New York); Devin Short, rugby (Las Vegas, Nevada); and Kelli Smith, rugby (Birmingham, Alabama).
The athletes will also be eligible to receive financial, training and medical support as they prepare to compete at the Olympic Games.