U.S. Masters Swimming (USMS) announced the cancellation of its 2020 Summer Nationals Meet on Thursday due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally scheduled for August 12-16 in Richmond, Va.., the decision to cancel the competition was made jointly by USMS and local partners SwimRVA and Richmond Region Tourism. The meet was initially apart of USMS’s 50th anniversary celebration this year.
“In an abundance of caution for our athletes, coaches, volunteers, fans, and staff, we have decided that this was the best course of action,” said USMS CEO Dawson Hughes. “We will use this time to further support our local clubs and coaches to ensure a safe and productive return back to swimming.”
Northside ISD Aquatics and San Antonio Sports, who were slated to host the 2020 Spring National Championships before they were cancelled in mid-March, have been awarded the 2022 Spring meet, while Richmond has agreed to host the summer edition two years from now. The 2021 hosts have already been announced (Greensboro, N.C., in the spring, Geneva, Oh., in the summer).
“We are disappointed that we had to make this decision, but it was the right one for the safety of swimmers planning to attend our meet,” says Adam Kennedy, the SwimRVA Executive Director and Summer Nationals meet director. “We look forward to working with USMS to host 2022 Summer Nationals in our historic city.”
“USMS will continue to focus on supporting clubs and coaches in their efforts to restart USMS workouts as soon as appropriate, based on facility, local, state, and federal safety and social distancing guidelines,” the organization wrote in a press release announcing the cancellation.
In an effort to help its members return to competition, the organization plans to host several virtual events later this year, including the first USMS virtual championship in August.
“We will continue to monitor updates regarding COVID-19 and will provide information to our members as it becomes available,” said Hughes. “We thank our members in advance for taking every precaution to protect themselves and others.”