St. Louis possible location for Olympic swimming trials

10:59 PM, Jan 14, 2013   |    comments
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By Elizabeth Matthews

St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - It's probably the biggest Olympic event, second only to the Olympics themselves. The 2016 Olympic Swimming Trials could be coming to the Edward Jones Dome. St. Louis is one step closer to making that happen as it was announced that St. Louis is one of the final six cities being eyed for the event.

Transforming the turf into a turquoise paradise, that's the hope for the Edward Jones Dome.

"It would be unbelievable, it would be a boost for the swimmer in St. Louis to be able to see that," says Autumn Cortevo a swimming coach.

"I watch them all, all of the races," says Ellen Klasing a 17-year-old swimmer.

For young swimmers like her, to see the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials would be the chance of a lifetime to see professionals like Missy Franklin.

"If she can do it, they can do it," says Cortevo of Missy Franklin.

Then there's Ryan Lochte.

"Yes, he's lovely," says Klasing.

Even this 17-year-old swimmer knows this is a big opportunity for St. Louis.

"Get the word out there that swimming is a big thing not just for the Olympics but for year round," says Klasing.

St. Louis is in the top 6 cities, also in the running are Jacksonville, Greensboro, Indianapolis, San Antonio and Omaha. Omaha has hosted the past two years and could be BIG competition.

So what next? St. Louis has to impress the USA swimming organization and put St. Louis' best foot forward.

"Have our operational plans in order we have to pull together our business community, our fans our media, to show support for the event," says Frank Viverito the President of the St. Louis Sports Commission.

It would be a big undertaking converting the dome into two Olympic sized swimming pools, but Viverito says it's well worth it.

"It brings about 40 million dollars in visitor spending to the community and it really connects well with to our Olympic legacy and is a great way to promote St. Louis," says Viverito.

Only good things can come of this, except maybe school attendance.

"I am sure there would be swimmers all over the area place that would not be making it to school just to go down and watch," says Cortevo.

We should have an answer on this decision by the end of April or early May.




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