A group of United States-based National Team and Junior National Team swimmers who were training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs are heading home after the state ordered the facility to close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a source told SwimSwam.
Many of the athletes had planned their trip to the OTC before the outbreak ramped up in the U.S.
The list of athletes who have been at the OTC include Arik Katz, Michael Brinegar, Haley Anderson, Ashley Twichell, Ally McHugh, Gunnar Bentz, Kevin Cordes, Leah Smith, Bethany Gallat, Brandon Fischer, Chase Kalisz, Kaersten Meitz, Matt Grevers, Jonathan Tybur, Nic Fink, Emily Escobedo, Lillie Nordmann, Carson Foster, Lisa Bratton, Zane Grothe, Devon Nowicki and a group of Cal men’s team swimmers training separately under Dave Durden.
That group includes athletes who train out of a number of bases in Arizona, California, Indiana, Georgia, Michigan, New York and Wisconsin.
Professional and amateur swimmers around the country are scrambling to find places to work out in the wake of universities around the country suspending all athletics-related activity for the year, and the White House’s recommendation to limit all gathering to 10 people or fewer.
Olympian Lilly King, for example, told USA Today that she and fellow Indiana University swimmers are struggling to find a pool as both the university and local YMCAs have shuttered. Stanford-based swimmers have also had to leave campus.
Club teams – especially those that practice at publicly-owned facilities – are canceling practice en masse. One remaining option for displaced swimmers (for now) includes privately-owned pools, but even those are starting to close.