Adam Andrasko has always been athletic. After growing up and graduating high school in the small, rural town of Hawk Run, Pa., he played four years of Division II football for Lock Haven University and went on to earn his master’s degree in sports management education from Old Dominion University in Virginia. Although he graduated at the height of the recession, Andrasko landed an internship with the U.S. Olympic Committee that he parlayed into a career in Colorado Springs, where he has found success, love and a new home. Andrasko, now 30, spoke to the Business Journal about his role with the USOC, his recent engagement to Rio Porter and his passion for sport.
Can you start by talking about your position with the USOC?
My title is manager of training sites and community partnerships. As most know, we have three training centers that the USOC owns and operates in Lake Placid, Colorado Springs and Chula Vista. What a lot of people don’t identify with is the fact that we have 18 training sites. … The primary focus of our department is to get our athletes the highest level of training at the lowest amount of cost, and that is what our deals look like. We leverage the use of the marks and the resources of our organization in order for our athletes to train at a free or reduced cost. We have about 500-550 athletes that currently train at those facilities, so it is working very well and we’re continuing to grow that. At the same time, we have 11 community Olympic development programs, which are based on emerging, elite and grassroots involvement in Olympic sports. Those are partnerships with organizations across the country for specific national governing bodies. I also manage 37 multi-sport organizations. … Finally, I am responsible for Olympic Day, which is the largest outreach event that our organization does — we did 1,055 events last year. Olympic Day is officially June 23, so we mobilize around the month of June to host those events.
Have you always been involved in sports?
I come from small-town USA. There were about 900 people in my hometown — my high school was a little bigger than that, but not a whole lot. I got a Division II scholarship to play college football for Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania, played four years there and enjoyed that ride. From there I anticipated that I wanted to be a collegiate athletic director, so I went to get my master’s degree at Old Dominion in Norfolk, Va. I got my master’s degree in education with a focus in sports management in 2009, which was the downturn of the economy, so the sports market was flooded. … I struggled to find a position but was fortunate enough to secure an internship with the U.S. Olympic Committee. … That was a fun eight months learning a lot about the Olympic movement, which is much different than the world of amateur sports and much different than the collegiate environment that I had come to know and understand. … After that I was fortunate enough to have a position open up for me with the USOC in Lake Placid, so I moved there in June of 2010 to become operations coordinator and learn about the world of winter sports. … After six months there, I identified a position back in Colorado Springs in the same department I currently work in. So, in March of 2011, I moved back to Colorado Springs. I’ve been here ever since and continue to grow and develop more responsibilities in the position I’m currently in.
What’s different about the Olympic movement compared to college sports?
There are a large number of organizations that make up the Olympic movement. When you’re at a university, there are a large number of sports, but they all fall under the same organization, so the structure is there but it is all very standard. Here, the business model of USA Swimming is their own business model, the business model of USA Cycling is their own business model, et cetera … and then the USOC operates as its own 501(c)3, which benefits all of those organizations as a whole. Understanding that whole structure and working in the nonprofit sector is very different than the model that is set up by an educational entity. So understanding a different element of sport was very exciting, but at the same time very intensive to understand.
I understand that you’re involved with the local young professional scene?
I had some good friends who requested that I become involved with Colorado Springs Rising Professionals, so I started on what is now the Sport and Culture Committee as a member, quickly became the chair and most recently moved off of that committee to become the co-chair of the Membership Committee. It’s a great organization to be a part of. They’re doing some really great things for young professionals and there is something in it for everybody. … I also helped to create Emerging Leaders in Sports, which now has more than 250 members who are local sports professionals.
What do you do in your spare time?
I recently got engaged to Rio Porter, who works for the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau. Now we’re in the wedding planning stage, but we’re very happy and live in Old Colorado City together with our dog. There is a lot of hiking, I cycle a relatively good amount … a lot of skiing when that is available, and a lot of camping. Although I’ve been here for almost five years now, I’m really still trying to experience all Colorado has to offer.