Construction on 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Pool Will Begin May 17

Construction will begin on May 17 to build the competition pool inside of Omaha’s CHI Health Center for the 2021 U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials, with the expectation to begin filling it with water on May 26.

The pool is placed on top of the gym floor in the 18,000-seat arena, which has changed sponsors and therefore names since it was filled as the CenturyLink Center for the 2016 Trials. A temporary deck is then built up around the tank, creating an elevated structure that covers the first few rows of seating.

At long last, using heavy-duty fire hoses, over 2 million gallons of water are poured into the pool.

Historically, there has been an early June “test meet” in the pool, though this year has a tighter timeline thanks to the new Wave I and Wave II trials split, where the slower Olympic Trials qualifiers will swim in a meet, in the same pool, from June 4-7. The top 2 finishers in each event from that meet will advance to swim against the faster qualifiers in the Wave II meet from June 13-20.

There, the top 2 swimmers in each individual event, and the top 6 in each free relay event (100 and 200 freestyle, specifically) are expected to be chosen to swim at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Below, watch the video of the 2016 Olympic Trials pool being filled:

Watch the 2016 Olympic Trials pool being filled here:

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P Laughlin
1 month ago

Don’t they actually build two pools, one for warm-up, warm-down, and the competition pool?

1 month ago

Cutting it close

Reply to  Hswimmer
1 month ago

Yeah just a week to balance chemicals and heat up a huge pool. Not much room for construction delays.

1 month ago

For the nerds like me 2012 video shows more detail on the construction

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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