COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, which has been eight years in the making, finally opened its doors to the public.
The ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony included speeches from Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and Gov. Jared Polis.
"We should all aspire to be our best selves. It means we want to be the Olympian in our own lives," Polis said at the opening.
The opening of the museum was pushed back from its original date in May to implement more COVID-19 safety measures.
For starters, guests are required to wear a badge with a chip in. it.
"That chip technology allows us to track how many guests we have in each gallery," says Michelle Dusserre Farrell, Vice President of Athlete Engagement. "That allows us to make sure we're controlling traffic flow, and that we're maintaining that social distancing protocol that we must right now."
Michelle says the museum was built to be accessible to people of all abilities.
Throughout every exhibit, guests won't see a single step.
"Everybody takes an elevator up to the very top, and from top-down to the bottom floor when you finish your visit, it's all ramped," says Michelle. "It's made so everyone has a parallel experience."
For John Register - an Olympic athlete and Paralympic silver medalist - the accessibility of the museum is the most integral part of its design.
"It is empowering," says Register, "knowing everyone can touch every single thing, knowing the museum was built for every person coming through."
On display at the museum is the prosthetic leg John competed with in the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
He says he hopes the exhibits - along with the museum's state of the art design - will inspire kids of all abilities to dream big.
"You see all the athletes and you think 'I can do that, they were once just like me,'" Register said. "That is the thing that helps the dreams begin."
Tickets to the US Olympic Paralympic Museum are on sale here.