Scouting camp seeking Olympic hopefuls is coming to Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma athletes will have their chance to make an impact on the biggest stage in sports thanks to a new camp.

The United States Olympic Committee has selected the OKC Boathouse Foundation’s National High Performance Center to host one of three regional tryouts for ‘Scouting Camp: The Next Olympic Hopeful.’

Organizers say elite athletes of all sports backgrounds are invited to complete five basic athletic tests to see if they have what it takes to transfer their existing talent to the Olympic sports of bobsled, skeleton, boxing, canoe/kayak, cycling, rowing, rugby and weightlifting.

“A focal point of the camp is talent transfer – taking athletes who excel at one sport and redirecting their talents to a new sport where they might find success,” explained OKC Boathouse High Performance Rowing Coach Reilly Dampeer. “Football players, for example, might be able transfer their athleticism to a sport like bobsled, or a swimmer’s endurance to rowing.”

Athletes can apply online, where they will provide details about their sport experience and complete a pre-screening. They will then attend the Oklahoma City tryout event, where they will complete tests like the 30-meter dash, maximum pull ups and vertical jump.

Pre-registration is encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome.

“Next Olympic Hopeful allows us the opportunity to evaluate elite athletes from across the country and then introduce them to an Olympic sport we think they could excel at based on their athletic abilities,” said Scott Riewald, USOC director of high performance. “The program has already made an immediate impact, with two winners from last year’s program – Kyle Plant (bobsled) and Josh Williamson (bobsled) – earning a combined six medals in international competition.”

The program will narrow the pool of applicants across the country to 100 athletes, who will be invited to spend five days at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for intensive screening and sport-specific training.

One winner for each of the eight targeted sports will be invited to join national team camps in their respective sport. Also, the entire program will be featured in a two-part documentary, which will air on NBC and NBCSN in November.

The tryout will be held on Saturday, May 19 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Devon Boathouse.