Making a splash: S.A. short-listed for Olympic Swim Trials


by Joe Conger / KENS 5

Bio | Email | Follow: @joe_conger

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 6:40 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 15 at 8:52 PM

San Antonio has made the short list for cities holding the Olympic Swim Trials.

Imagine the Alamodome filled with 3 million gallons of water in three, Olympic-size pools.

It’s all part of the bid to attract the Olympic Swimming Team Trials.

“We’re going from Monster Jam to monster splash right behind us here,” said George Block, Chairman of the Board of Directors for San Antonio Sports.

San Antonio has made the short-list of six cities, vying to hold the 8-day swim event in the summer of 2016.

What makes the Alamo city’s bid attractive, say city officials, is the dome. It may be just the right size when compared to the larger stadiums that make up the competitors’ bids in Jacksonville and Indianapolis.

The cities of Omaha, St. Louis and Greensboro are also in the running.

“We think the athletes can have a great experience in a walkable downtown, in a walkable venue where they are literally steps from the warm up to the competition pool. We think this can be a great place to pick the team for Rio,” said Block.

Besides the pools inside the Alamodome, Northside school district has promised access to its natatoriums, as well.

The team-trials would bring more than 180,000 swim fans in contact with potential gold-medal winners and bring swimming to a wider audience.

“Swimming got moved in front of track and gymnastics to be the lead sport into the Olympics. It could be a very big deal in San Antonio in terms of economics and in terms of PR,” Block said.

And that, say local swim coaches, could make a splash well into the future.

“And even after, you can go into a Subway and see a cardboard cut-out of Michael Phelps. So even months after, there is still this, 'I wanna be like him,’” said NISD Aquatics Director Scott Zolinski.

The Olympic Committee and USA Swimming will make site checks some time in the next several months.

The formal selection isn’t expected until the end of April.