Among the highlights of the U.S. Olympic Trials every year is the massive dryland connection space that is the AquaZone. In 2021, however, because of the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, the concept will be scaled way back and reimagined as the “AquaLounge” instead.
The AquaZone historically has been the interface between the industry of swim and the masses of fans that descend upon Omaha every four years for the Olympic Trials. Featuring demos, interactive booths from swim brands, presentations, and autograph sessions, it’s the tie that takes an 8-day swim meet and turns it into a full-scale swim event.
Instead, this June, the AquaZone will become the AquaLounge. The space will feature a retail store and concession space as well as a ‘lounge’ area.
The AquaLounge will be available at both the Wave I and Wave II Olympic Trials meets.
Elite athlete autographs are going to be much harder to come by at this year’s meet, as protecting potential Olympians from contracting COVID from the general public will be priority number one at the meet. Any positive test at the Olympic Trials or between the Trials and the Olympic Games that start a month later would, most likely, eliminate an athlete from that meet.
But with 50% capacity still planned for the CHI Health Center, Omaha is still going to feel like “Swim City,” especially at the beginning of the meet, before the College World Series begins. That means around 10,000 swim people descended on the city of half-a-million to watch what will be the second-fastest long course meet in the world in 2021.