Construction begins on statue celebrating UCCS Olympians and Paralympians

A rendering of the statue

UCCS, in partnership with the Olympic City USA Task Force, is championing a sculpture on campus to celebrate the many Olympians and Paralympians who have attended the university and to further recognize the rich connections the Mountain Lion community has to the Olympics.

“Athletes travel to our great city of Colorado Springs to train for a chance at a lifetime opportunity to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic games,” said Melinda Hagemann, Assistant Vice Chancellor of University Advancement. “When they aren’t training, many athletes choose UCCS to start or continue their educational pursuits. This sculpture initiative honors and uplifts the unique dedication of student-athletes; our campus community connection to the Olympic and Paralympic movements; and the connected values of excellence, friendship, respect, determination, equality, inspiration and courage.”

The area under construction

Donors to the initiative are fueling the collective vision of celebrating Mountain Lions’ contributions to Colorado Springs and Olympic City USA. There are a number of project partners involved in the creation of this sculpture, including the artist, Bernard Sandoval; Springs Fabrication, who will be doing the sculpture fabrication; and G.E. Johnson, who will be completing the sculpture installation.

The sculpture features five eight-inch-wide metal spirals in red, blue, green, yellow and grey, rising out of the base to a height of approximately 30 feet. The sculpture will be located in the Plaza next to the University Center and just below Gallogly Event Center and Berger Hall.

The sculpture will sit on a two-tier concrete circular base. The upper tier will be approximately six feet in diameter with solar lighting illuminating the spirals. The lower tier will be approximately 10 feet in diameter and will accommodate seating. Around the upper tier of the sculpture will be plaques honoring UCCS Olympians and Paralympians by the year/city of participation. As more Olympic Games are completed, additional plaques will be added to the upper tier of the sculpture base. The plaque will feature the name of the athlete and their sport. If they medaled, that will also be listed.

Those interested in supporting the construction of the statue can give to the UCCS Fund for Excellence. Any gift to the UCCS Fund for Excellence will directly support the construction and installation costs of the Olympian and Paralympians sculpture.

Have questions or want to learn more? Contact Jenifer Furda at [email protected] or [email protected].