MARQUETTE , Mich. â?? Northern Michigan University and the United States Olympic Committee announced today the renewal of a contract to maintain an Olympic training site on the NMU campus. The training site currently features residential programs for menâ??s Greco-Roman wrestling and menâ??s and womenâ??s weightlifting.
â??We are pleased to continue playing an important role in the development and education of elite athletes training for the Olympics,â?? said NMU President David Haynes. â??While the training site has changed over the years, the goal to provide high-quality educational opportunities to world-class athletes has not.â??Today, Northern Michigan University is one of 16 U.S. Olympic training sites throughout the nation. NMUâ??s site currently has 43 Greco-Roman wrestlers and 26 weightlifters who live and train on campus while attending the university.
NMU first became an Olympic training center in 1985 and was then called the United States Olympic Education Center (USOEC). Since its start, the NMU training site has played host to 29 sports, ranging from archery to wrestling, that have trained at the center on either a long-term or short-term basis. Approximately 25,000 athletes from more than 40 countries have participated in USOEC programs in its 29-year history. The training site annually plays host to dozens of visiting athletes, coaches and officials from around the nation and the world who come to attend a variety of short-term training camps; regional, national, and international competitions; and education clinics.
NMUâ??s Olympic center was the site of numerous Junior National Championships in boxing. In short-track speedskating, it was the site of a 2003 World Cup and the 2006 Olympic Trials. Sixty-six athletes with NMU training site ties have earned U.S. Olympic Team berths, including seven Greco-Roman wrestlers and one in womenâ??s weightlifting. Twenty-four athletes affiliated with the Northern site have captured 35 Olympic medals.
â??NMU has a long history of supporting the U.S. Olympic movement and weâ??re happy to have the university continue to play a role in developing American wrestlers and weightlifters for national and international competition,â?? said Alicia McConnell, USOC director of training sites and community partnerships. â??Marquette and the university community have been very supportive of the Olympic sports programs and athletes who have trained at Northern over the decades. Additionally, NMU continues to offer an outstanding educational opportunity for young athletes who want to earn a university degree while training at the elite level.â??
Academically, USOEC resident athletes have earned 11 masterâ??s, 91 bachelorâ??s and 4 associateâ??s degrees, as well as 9 certificates, at Northern Michigan University and 43 athletes have earned Marquette Senior High School diplomas since the training site began.