MARQUETTE, Mich. (WOOD) - For more than 25 years and 25,000 athletes, the Olympic Education Center at Northern Michigan University has helped US competitors prepare to win 70-some Olympic medals . But money woes put the program in jeopardy.
"How many cities can say that they are an Olympic training site education center for the Olympics, that they have that connection?" asked Brian Gaudreau of the USOEC.
Wrestler Justin Lester is one of six competitors who trained in Marquette and are now in London. The remote location, he said, helps mold winners.
"It's a feeder program that we need," he said. "That's all you can do up there is focus on wrestling. It's a great atmosphere, really is, tons of nature where you can train."
All about Justin Lester
All about Spenser Mango
Olympian Spenser Mango echoes that. "Northern Michigan, it's pretty easy to focus. Not much to do and it snows every day for most of the year."
The USOEC is funded by both the government and the US Olympic Committee, but it's not enough.
"You have to have the money to do the things that you need to do," Gaudreau said.
And that need is to stop the bleeding. After hosting the short-track speedskating trials in 2006, that program is being phased out. Directors don't want to see other programs fall.
"It's a balancing act," Gaudreau said, "and our job is to do what we can to balance all that and be as successful as they possibly can."
Officials said a new fundraising effort will begin by the fall.
Police are investigating a report of a home invasion, but say there are inconsistencies.
A Kalamazoo County sheriff's deputy will not face criminal sexual conduct charges.
A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday night for an innocent bystander who was shot and killed in October.