City of Colorado Springs / News

Colorado Springs: 'U.S. Where Olympic Dreams Take Flight'

COS Airport Community Gateway Display Dedication Friday 

            Join the City of Colorado Springs and United States Olympic Committee at a celebration of the new Community Gateway Display at the Colorado Springs Airport on Friday, May 3 at 3 p.m. on the upper level of the airport terminal.  (Media and guest parking will be validated.)  Special Guest Olympian and U.S. Figure Skating Champion Rachael Flatt, whose photograph is part of the art installation, will join us for the celebration.

            “This spectacular display proudly announces that we are the home of the United States Olympic Committee, the world’s finest high altitude Olympic Training Center and 22 US National Governing Bodies of Olympic and Paralympic Sport,” said Mayor Steve Bach.  “Everyone who travels through the Colorado Springs Airport will know that we are America’s Olympic City!” 

            "The city of Colorado Springs is a great partner to the United States Olympic Committee," said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. "This impressive new art display showcases that partnership and will serve to introduce both visitors and residents to the Olympic and Paralympic Movements, while highlighting our city's role in training Team USA athletes."

            “I am very honored to be among the Olympians featured in this display,” Rachael Flatt said. “With the support of U.S. Figure Skating, the U.S. Olympic Committee and so many others, my skating dreams indeed came to fruition in Colorado Springs.”

            The Olympic Art Display, titled “Colorado Springs: Where Olympic Dreams Take Flight” was designed by local firm Axio Design. The mountain scenes on each side of the installation are extracted from paintings by the late local painter Walter Blakelock Wilson. 

            The Colorado Springs Airport also recently installed an exhibit featuring the United States Air Force Academy.  These projects are part of an effort to create a more enjoyable experience for travelers and highlight our city’s unique identity by featuring key community assets.

About Axio’s Concept for the COS Airport Display

The key objectives for the Colorado Springs Airport Art Installation project were to show the pride our community takes in being the home of the United States Olympic Committee, while helping build awareness of the Olympic Movement in the U.S. for visitors to our area.

The inspiration behind our concept came easily to the team at Axio. We are continually inspired by our Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Utilizing the side walls to feature all the NGBs (National Governing Bodies) while highlighting the winter and summer sports that train here was also a natural.

The colors utilized are all USOC brand colors and of course we included the U.S. flag as well.

The sphere represents several things – clearly a tie to Olympic and Paralympic medals; also the globe to show the international reach of the Movement. And lastly, we intended a ‘nod’ to the Penrose family who truly put Colorado Springs on the map. As many know, Spencer Penrose was quite successful mining precious medals in our area – copper, silver and gold.

With winter and summer sports being represented, another tie to the area can be found in the two-sided ribbon banner. This style of art become popular many years ago when people suffering from tuberculosis came to the Springs as a healing measure. As a keepsake to capturethe natural beauty of our area, these paintings became quite popular and ironically, are often found in many east coast collections. The two paintings featured are the work of the late Walter Blakelock Wilson. Wilson was former Arts Faculty at Fountain Valley School of Colorado (another entity founded by the Penrose family). He expanded the art program during an era of great momentum for the School and was quite an accomplished artist.