USA Swimming is taking all the necessary precautions to avoid the spread of the pandemic. With the Tokyo Olympics set to start in a few months, the swimming trials are curtailed to allow only a limited number of participants.
US Swimming announced on Tuesday morning to provide a safer and healthier environment to competitors and those involved in the sport. To ensure a safe social distance inside CHI Health Center in Omaha, the number of competitors are trimmed almost half than usual. It is estimated that about 750 swimmers are trying to opt for one of the 50 slots for the US Olympic team.
During the era of the decorated champion Michael Phelps, the trials in the US were a spectacular event. The crowd used to witness pyrotechnic both inside and outside the swimming pool! The swimmers were cheered up by the crowd knowing that one of these is going to be an Olympic star.
Precaution First For The Olympic Swimming Trials
The most amazing and charming part about these swimming trials was the vast number of swimmers participating. About 1,200-1,700 swimmers would try their luck at the Olympic swimming trials. Only a few could actually make it to the Olympics team.
To keep up the swimmers’ enthusiasm, organizers are carrying out the “Wave I” event for the participants from June 4-7 in Omaha. Two winners from each “Wave I” event will be picked up for the “Wave II” trial meet to be held from June 13-20. The swimmers in the “Wave II” meet are fortunate to compete in the same Olympic pool that was once run by gold medalists Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel, and Ryan Lochte.
Tim Hinchey, USA Swimming’s president and chief executive, is quite affirmative about the trials. Describing the swimming trials to be one of the greatest spectacles in swimming, Hinchey is optimistic about the effects on both the participants and the young viewers who would race someday for the same qualification rounds. In Hinchey’s word, the super-bowl like environment experienced by swimmers and visitors is going to leave an enthusiastic and positive response on both.
While thrilled with swimmers and the fans’ response, Hinchey is also concerned about the spread of the virus in such a large swimming trial event anticipating a crowded pool deck.
While working on the plans to contain the virus outspread, the event organizers are yet to finalize on spectators’ entry. Earlier, about 200,000 swimming fans used to attend the 8-day long swimming trial events. But this time, Hinchey is “cautiously optimistic” to allow only a few fans to attend the event. With an allowed limit of 75% capacity at the CHI Health Center, the tickets for the trials are not yet put-on sale.
While the “Wave II” trial events are all set to be broadcasted by NBC, no such plans are yet visible for the upcoming “Wave I” swimming trial event.
Keeping all the possibilities in mind even about the vaccination programs, event organizers are considering the fact that the covid-19 vaccine will not be available on a large scale by June.
While Hinchey expresses his feelings about being glad if the vaccine could be provided to players, coaches, and event organizers before the start of the events, he is not planning to rush in for the same. Hinchey said that they will not jump before those who need the vaccine right now and will wait for their turn to be vaccinated.
USA Swimming grew all the way larger in terms of members, swimmers, and events during the time of Phelps’ dominance. Hinchey is now trying to keep that pace with the young competitors and veterans. The organization is trying its best to keep the doors open for the event lovers and the swimmers at the trials.
So follow up the events for the ticket sale or the opportunity to race in the trial events.