2009 Program News

10/17/09: ICECP Visits USAFA Athletic Facilities, Falcons' Football Game

After a rigorous week of classes at the US Olympic Training Center, the ICECP coaches were ready for a change of pace. They found it in a visit to the US Air Force Academy on Saturday, which included a tour of the athletic facilities and a ticket to a Falcons’ football game.

The participants were guided through the athletic facilities by Lt. Colonel Jerry McGinty, the associate athletic director of sport medicine. McGinty showed off USAFA’s ice arena, basketball facility, intercollegiate weight rooms, boxing gym, outdoor fields and indoor track and field. He also explained the structure of the academy, its participation in NCAA athletics and the sport structure of the academy’s athletic department.

The coaches were more than impressed with USAFA’s facilities. Several described it as the best athletic facility they had ever seen.

“You can train for anything in there,” Ian Weithers, the national judo team coach in Barbados, said, in regards to the intercollegiate weight room. The mammoth strength and conditioning center contained anything and everything elite athletes in any sport needed to work out.

“The whole place was unbelievable,” Alfredo Ortiz, Puerto Rico’s national shotgun shooting assistant coach, said. “I have never seen anything like it.”

And Ortiz, a certified personal trainer and prospective major league baseball player while in college, knows when he sees a high-class facility. AFF

Once the awe of USAFA’s top-notch athletic amenities wore off, the coaches headed over to Falcon Stadium to watch the Air Force football team take on the visiting University of Wyoming Cowboys.

For some participants, football is a foreign sport. But they are starting to pick it up as they spend time in the US. Ricardo Torres, Peru’s national fencing coordinator, learned enough to explain the objectives and strategies of the game to Rasha Ghoneim, the national rowing team coach in Egypt.

And as with every sporting event they have attended during ICECP, the coaches immediately got into the spirit of the game, cheering on the home team and joining in several rounds of ‘The Wave.’

They helped support Air Force to a hard-fought victory. After a scoreless first half, the Falcons notched a third-quarter field goal and ran in a fourth-quarter touchdown to shut out the Cowboys 10-0.

Anareme and Edward Ramesar, an archery coach and club owner in Trinidad and Tobago, enjoyed the thrill of being at the stadium and the excitement of American football.

AFThe field trip allowed the international coaches to see more of the US’ finest athletic establishments and soak in more of its sports culture first-hand. They will enjoy more sightseeing on Sunday, with trips to the Garden of the Gods, Manitou Springs and the Pikes Peak Cog Railway Tour, before they get back to the grind Monday morning.