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U.S. Athletes to train for Olympic Games at Beijing Normal University

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The United States Olympic Committee has entered into an agreement with Beijing Normal University to establish a High Performance Center and USA Team training headquarters at the university for the Olympic Games in 2008.

Located in Northwest Beijing, about 15 minutes from the Olympic Athlete's Village, the university will provide the U.S. team and staff with housing, restaurant facilities and training capability for about 400 athletes in preparation for the Games which run from August. 8-24, in China.

"This complex at Beijing Normal University will establish a base for our athletes to prepare in their final stages prior to competition," said Steve Roush, the USOC's Chief of Sport Performance. "It allows the U.S. Olympic athletes to train in conditions that are conducive for high performance and it provides the comforts of home with great facilities, good restaurants and sleeping space for our team before the Games."

The USOC has contracted with the university for lodging that includes 29 suites in a visiting professor's building and hotel rooms in an eight-floor Apart-Hotel. Two 400-meter tracks are located on the site, one with a grass infield. A new recreation center with a gymnasium complex and aquatic facilities has broken ground and will be ready for the U.S. team before the Games. The facilities also contain various gyms for combat sports.

The U.S. will have access to three restaurants on the university grounds, one of the restaurants capable of feeding 400 athletes at a time. The USOC will provide chefs and caterers for meals for the athletes in the training center.

The USOC's High Performance Center will include meeting rooms for coaches, a video setup that provides quick feedback and scouting for U.S. coaches, a technology center and various rooms for the USOC's sports performance needs.

The USOC established a similar site for U.S. athletes in Athens, Greece, for the 2004 Games at the American University of Greece.

During the Games, U.S. athletes are slated to stay in the Olympic Athlete's Village.

In addition to the USA High Performance and Olympic Training Center, the USOC has arranged a facility and site for USA House in the Worker's Stadium area of Beijing. The facility will have 42,000 square-feet and is 50 percent larger than past facilities in Salt Lake City, Athens and Torino.

The USA House will provide a business center for USOC staff and sponsors and will sell USA Team clothing and items at the site. Serving mainly as a business and meeting center, USA House will not be open to the public.

(Credit: USOC. Click here for further information.)

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