With the Olympics underway in Tokyo, now is a great time to visit the United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, whether for a family outing or just a wander around to celebrate the legacies of the Team USA athletes.

International spectators haven't been able to travel to Tokyo this year for the Olympic Games, but fans can still experience some of the fun closer to home. The recently-opened United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum puts Team USA athletes at the center of the experience, and is a great place to learn about the history of the Games.

The museum opened in 2020 but held off celebrating its grand opening until July 2021 to coincide with the 2021 Olympic Games. Now it's gearing up to host a number of weekly events from now until Labor Day, including meet-and-greet with former Team USA athletes, and the Tokyo Games Fan Fest—where visitors can watch the Olympics on a 50-foot screen while enjoying live entertainment, food and drink.

Read more: You can't visit Tokyo 2020 – but these 7 Olympic venues will still let you compete

The exterior of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum has opened in time for the Olympic Games © Gallagher & Associates

The building itself is pretty spectacular, noted for being one of the most accessible and interactive museums in the world. The architects used the Guggenheim Museum for inspiration, using elevators and ramps throughout the space so there's no need for steps. When you're there, you can even customize your sport preferences and accessibility needs for your tour. Inside, you'll find 12 galleries that follow a narrative arc through the teams' journeys, using technology that prioritizes accessibility and inclusivity too.

The permanent tribute honors the history and commitment of Team USA athletes, and aims to celebrate great athletes and unforgettable moments. The stories and experiences found in the museum aim to serve as inspiration for the next generation of Olympic and Paralympic athletes and fans. It includes a film entitled “To Take Part” and a frequently updated rotating gallery.

A gallery at the United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum
It will honor the legacies of US Olympic and Paralympic athletes © Bill Baum/Unites States Olympic & Paralympic Museum

"The stories of our Olympians and Paralympians are the stories of this nation’s history,” says museum CEO, Christopher Liedel. "Every American can see themselves in the members of Team USA and will be inspired by their dedication, perseverance and respect for the Olympic and Paralympic values. The museum has the unique privilege of telling these stories, and we are ready and excited to share them with the world."

The Olympics take place from July 23 until August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 24 through September 5 in Tokyo.

Tickets to the museum start from $14.95 for children under the age of 13 and $24.95 for adults. For further information on the United States Olympic & Paralympic Museum, please visit its website here.

This article was first published on July 27, 2020 and updated on July 22, 2021.

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This article was first published Jul 27, 2020 and updated Jul 22, 2021.

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