The 2008 Olympic Trials pool has taken quite a journey over the last four years. Wednesday, just in time for the kickoff of the final drive to the 2012 Olympics, the ribbon was cut on its new home in Richmond, Virginia at a brand new, 53,000 square foot facility of Poseidon Swimming.
The $14-million facility is a collaboration between the Poseidon USA Swimming club as well as other local schools and organizations forming what is known as the Greater Richmond Aquatics Partnership (GRAP). The facility, aside from the monster 50-meter x 25-meter course, will also include a 6-lane, 25-yard warmup pool and an additional state-of-the-art therapy pool. It will be known as “the Collegiate School Aquatic Center,” named after one of the partners in the project.
USA Swimming National Teamer Tyler Harris, the most famous alumni of the program, saw this facility as not only a step forward for his team, but also for swimming in the Richmond community as well. “I would not be where I am today if it was not for Poseidon Swimming. For the program to acquire these pools will only bolster the incredible program thatPoseidon already is. However, the greatest aspect of the facility will be its ability to serve the Greater Richmond Metropolitan area. Through Richmond schools, children will be able to learn to swim and hopefully open their eyes to all that swimming has to offer. This vision is shared by all the organizations involved in the project.”
Harris sees this facility as having the ability to turn Richmond into one of the swimming hubs of the eastern seaboard, pointing to commitments already to host the Eastern Zones meet this year and and the Long Course Virginia Senior Champs.
Other features of the facility are a full-color video scoreboard, seating for 700 off-deck, and a total compliment of Colorado FINA-ready timing systems.
Today’s opening attracted a pair of National Teamers – Katie Hoff and Claire Donahue came in to Richmond for the ceremonies.
Not every piece of the pool came along from Omaha. The gutter systems and walls all come straight out of Trials, which should create one of the fastest racing environments in the country. But the GRAP did pitch in one upgrade – a pair of brand-new bulkheads.
And here’s a fun little twist to the pool – it comes complete with its own set of records from the 2008 Trials. Poseidon head coach Ted Sallade says he’s looking forward to seeing if any of those can go down. Good luck!
Partners in the pool:
Trinity Episcopal School
Richmond Kickers Youth Soccer Club
Richmond Sports Backers