Lubbock based travel management firm, National Travel has a personal connection to the athletes you see performing at the Olympics. National Travel organizes all of the travel needs for the U.S. Gymnastics team.
National Travel's Chief Operating Officer, Allan Judah says planning for the games takes years.
"We do all their travel and their housing and it's very interesting. We travel with them to all of their meets and through that we not only get to meet them, but watch them," Judah says.
Judah says National Travel employees have gotten to know the team very well.
"I've been to more gymnastics meets that I can care to say in the last 12 years. I've got to meet many of these athletes' families and it's really cool," Judah said.
Judah says the teams are made up of athletes with a tremendous amount of pressure on them, but that they are just normal people.
"These are personal people that we have met with, traveled with, eaten with. We see them as normal people, where everybody sees them on stage," Judah said.
Judah says the city of Lubbock is very supportive of the Olympics and that is why they've been chosen as one of the 40 cities that will host the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions on October 7th. Judah says the CEO of USA Gymnastics personally requested that Lubbock be one of the locations.
"He called me and said, Allen, we need to bring this tour to Lubbock. We think that Texas is a very big market for gymnastics and it is... We've promised these athletes that when they come to Lubbock, Texas it is going to be a live crowd," Judah said.
Copyright 2012 KCBD. All rights reserved.