LONDON – When you’re an Olympic athlete engaging in the biggest moment of your career that you’ve been working towards your entire life, where do you go to let loose? For some American athletes, it is the Team USA house. Thanks to fellow Bobcat, Christa Mann, who is the Communications Coordinator for the United States Olympic Committee, the Scripps London team got the chance to tour the house and see where some of the athletes and their families hangout.
Sheryle Miller, Coordinator of Meeting and Event Services at the house, said that it took seven days to transform the Royal College of Art into the Team USA house. The retreat spot is private and available only for Olympians both past and present (because once an Olympian, always an Olympian), families of the athletes and sponsors and partners of the team.
At the Team USA house, all of these approved people are able to relax, grab a bite to eat and watch some of the Olympic action. Athletes and their company are provided the same catering service that the royal family uses as well as an outdoor Budweiser Deck equipped with comfortable couches and two weatherproof televisions. Any guest is also able to check out a laptop to surf the web or a bicycle to enjoy a stroll through one of London’s royal parks. Team USA house serves as the ideal chill spot for an Olympian trying to relieve some stress.
What better way is there to relax then to go shopping? In the house is the two-story, official Team USA shop. This is the only venue in the United Kingdom where the official team gear is sold. Customers have their choice ranging from $28 Team USA t-shirts to $250 Ralph-Lauren polos to the $450 jackets that the athletes wear during competition. The shop is open to everyone with access to the rest of the house as well as all United States citizens. How much money do the athletes spend in the shop for team gear?
“The athletes get one of everything in the store,” said Peter Zeytoonjian, Managing Director of Consumer Products and Licensing.