Written By: Jessica Mangiameli
For the second time in a row, extraordinary swimmers from all over the country will come to compete in the Olympic Swim Trials which will be held in Omaha, Nebraska. The trials will be held at the CenturyLink Center from June 25th-July 2nd.
The winners of these specific trials will earn the right to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics games in London. Omaha earned the right to hold the swim trials for the second time in a row after they hosted the swim trials in 2008 and had record setting attendance. The 2008 record setting meet drew 160,003 attendees over the time span of eight days. When the swim trials were held in Long Beach in 2004, it drew a crowd of 50,000 less than in Omaha, Nebraska in 2008. In 2008, sixty percent of the tickets were sold to out of town guests. The capacity of the CenturyLink Center is just over 14,000 for each meet, making it a very special opportunity to participate in.
The CenturyLink Center is transformed when a portable pool is brought in. The stage for the Olympic trials contains a green waterfall which is the backdrop for the medal ceremonies. There is also fire that shoots up from the deck when a new world record is set. To accommodate the swimmers, an adjacent convention center has a warm up pool and most swimmers stay in hotels within walking distance of the arena. It is basically set up like an Olympic village which makes it easier for the coaches and athletes to train.
Some of the major swimmers that will be on hand for the trials include Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte for the men’s division. The women’s division will include competitors Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni and Natalie Coughlin. Phelps, Lochte, Soni and Coughlin are all returning medalists from the 2008 Olympic games which were held in Beijing. Missy Franklin is an up-coming 16-year-old super star expected to perform very well.
The first couple days of the 2012 Olympic Swim Trials will overlap with the ending of the College World Series Baseball Tournament. This could cause a few problems for attendees of each event. The city assures the public that they have everything under control and there should be very few problems.
The Swim trials can also be seen on television. It is still to early to predict where the 2016 Olympic Swim Trials will be held but it is certain that Omaha will be considered. Other competing cities will be on hand in Omaha to gather ideas on what their city can do to compete for the right to hold the trials.