PHOTOS: Inside the exclusive USA House in London

USA House at London's Royal College of Art

Away from the hustle and bustle of Olympic Village in East London, U.S. athletes can quietly and privately retreat to USA House.

The USOC staked its claim to an area of London’s Royal College of Art across from Hyde Park back in April of 2011. The state-of-the-art facility serves as a more secluded area for athletes and their families — and for VIP ticket holders and donors.

Decorated with sponsor-themed lounges, USA House is equipped with a gourmet cafeteria, several bars, meeting rooms, a team shop — and plenty of tight security.

It may be the USA House, but it’s definitely not open to all citizens of the USA. USOC officials say the decision to keep the facility private came after athletes wanted it that way.

“It did come from the request of our athletes many games ago, who wanted an additional area of refuge,” USOC director of marketing and event services Lisa Reliford told Metro during a closely watched media tour. “They’re in the village, they don’t get to see their parents a lot during that time. The minute they get out of the village, everybody wants to be around them and to get their autographs, so this is an area where they can just come and decompress.”

USA House features bits of history, like Olympic torches from past games. A giant American flag hanging in the lobby was made after more than 29,000 Americans donated $12 each to purchase a stitch. It was flown to London with Team USA.  

USOC officials say that when  athletes come to USA House in the evening, they often conduct a ceremony called the “order of Ecos,” where medal-winning athletes will present their coaches with a medal in a show of gratitude.

“The whole house just chants ‘USA,’ and it’s so exciting,” Reliford said.

Here’s a look inside USA House that you might not otherwise get — unless you become an Olympian or are willing to shell out some big bucks.

The Budweiser deck — appropriately, a bar.

Athletes and their families can indulge in gourmet treats in the USA House’s dining center.



(Photo by Getty Images)

All-you-can-eat yogurt is one treat.

Help yourself to a Coke float.

This bike was designed by U.S. triathlon Olympian Hunter Kemper

This is the flag made up of stitches that were sponsored by more than 29,000 Americans.

You, too, can dress like an Olympian. All merchandise here is priced in dollars — not pounds!


USA House’s lobby boasts historic displays.

And they’re already prepping for 2016.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…