COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Officials from USA Swimming and the Omaha Sports Commission announced today that the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming will return to Omaha, Neb., in 2012. The competition will take place from June 25 to July 2 in a temporary indoor pool at Qwest Center Omaha.
The competition dates for the 2012 Trials were developed through consultation with the USA Swimming National Team, the United States Olympic Committee, the Omaha Sports Commission, NBC, College World Series of Omaha, Inc., the NCAA, ESPN and Qwest Center Omaha (MECA).
“We are thrilled to bring the Olympic Trials back to Omaha in 2012,” said Chuck Wielgus, USA Swimming executive director. “The 2008 Trials were a tremendous event, offering a fantastic experience for our athletes, fans, families and coaches. We look forward to not only re-creating that excitement, but building on it, and putting together an even better show in 2012. We are fortunate to have great partners in the Omaha Sports Commission, the U.S. Olympic Committee, NBC and our corporate partner family, and together, I am confident that we will raise the bar on our sport’s marquee event.”
“I also want to extend our sincere appreciation to the NCAA and College World Series of Omaha, Inc. for creating circumstances that will allow us to bring the Trials back to Omaha. Their flexibility and cooperation made it possible, and we are all looking forward to a great summer in 2012.”
Omaha was selected as the host of the 2012 Trials based upon the overwhelming success of the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Swimming in Omaha. During the eight-day competition, 163,000 Trials tickets were sold and an average of more than 12,000 fans attended finals each night. In addition, swimmers competing at the meet set a total of nine world records and 21 American records.
“The Omaha Sports Commission is proud to be able to bring this world class event back to Omaha in 2012,” said Harley Schrager, Chairman of OSC. “The manner in which our community embraced the Trials in 2008 made us work all the harder to create an encore performance. The positive economic impact on our community, as well as the public relations benefits Omaha enjoyed during and following the 2008 Trials, cannot be overstated. The Sports Commission has as its mission to bring amateur, scholastic and collegiate sporting events to Omaha. The Swim Trials exceeded our greatest expectations, and they will again in June of 2012. Gaining this event was a cooperative effort amongst several organizations and individuals, but I want to expressly offer sincere thanks to David Brown and the Omaha Chamber of Commerce for the important role they played.”
“The return of the Olympic Swim Trials to Omaha in 2012 marks another tremendous success and opportunity for our city,” said Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle. “The worldwide attention that the city received during the 2008 Swim Trials made tremendous strides in highlighting Omaha as a destination city. I am excited to be able to showcase our city again in 2012. This would not have been accomplished without collaboration between USA Swimming, the Omaha Sports Commission, the NCAA and many others and I thank all of these partners for turning their goal into a reality. This truly is evidence of what great things can happen when we all work together.”
Myrtha Pools will provide two temporary 50-meter pools for Trials which will be installed in the Qwest Center, the state-of-the-art, 17,000-seat sports and entertainment venue in downtown Omaha, and the convention center will once again serve as the home for the award-winning, 100,000 square-foot USA Swimming Aqua Zone, a sponsor and fan experience area.
“In 2008, the city of Omaha successfully hosted a world-class sporting event and the city helped set the stage for USA Swimming’s eventual triumphs at the 2008 Olympic Games,” said USOC Chief of Sport Performance, Mike English. “With the return of the 2012 Trials, the USOC looks forward to working alongside the city of Omaha, the Qwest Center and USA Swimming to ensure an even better encore performance. On their Road to London, U.S. Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls can rest easy knowing that they’ll compete for a spot on the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams in the nation’s best venues and in front of passionate fans.”
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for all sports is a collaborative, three-way partnership between the U.S. Olympic Committee, the National Governing Bodies and the local organizing committee.