LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

GENEVA -- The SPIRE Institute is hosting athletes from Illinois, Iowa and the rest of the Big Ten for the indoor track and field championships.

It will soon host the world.

The U.S. Olympic Committee has picked Spire as the newest Olympic and paralympic training facility.

USOC Director of Training SitesAlicia McConnell said it's a "...world class facility, you walk in and it's like looking at a beautiful piece of art.You feel the passion of it and you're inspired by it."

The man behind the passion and the inspiration of Spire is Ron Clutter.

"I can honestly say I didn't wake up in the beginning and say I would have the Olympic rings here. But they're here now," Clutter said.

This sports complex, which is 750,000 square feet of world class training, education, and wellness, will help Team USA better compete with athletes from other countries.

Fiur-time gold medalist Michael Johnson knows all about finishing first, and says this facility is second to none.

"There's a desire and you're inspired to take advantage of that. You have possibly everything you need and it takes away any excuses. There's really no excuses when you have these kinds of facilities to not be at your best," Johnson said.

"The economic boost to Northeast Ohio will be measured in the tens of millions of dollars, and Olympic gold.There should be a special podium for Ron Clutter for bringing this to us."

Question to Clutter: is this your Olympic dream coming true?

"This is the closest I'll ever get to a gold medal," Clutter said.

Spire will begin by training athletes in track and field and wheelchair basketball, but that's only the beginning. The hope is more Olympic hopefuls in other sports will eventually come here and call Northeast Ohio their training home.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE