by Erin De Leon
Get ready San Antonio swim fans, because Rio is coming to town. A few months ago, USA swimming announced that the 2016 US Olympic Swim Team would conduct their training camp at the Northside ISD Swim Center (8400 North Loop 1604 W) from July 13th-21st. Following the Olympic Trials, which will take place June 26th-July 3rd in Omaha Nebraska, the newly formed team will head to the Alamo City.
Former home to swimming superstars Annie Chandler and Jimmy Feigen, San Antonio is apparently the ideal location for a controlled training environment for athletes to perfect their nutrition and training schedule with the added bonus of a state-of-the-art facility.
The Northside Swim Center, which opened in July 2013 and was the site of the 2015 USA Swimming Phillips 66 National Championships, boasts a 50-meter, Olympic-size outdoor pool with a 25-meter diving and warm up pool. With room enough for 2,400 spectators, locker room space to accommodate up to 1,200 athletes and high-tech timing, lighting, sound and video scoreboard systems, the center is the perfect place for the Olympic team to train.
Though the team is sure to spend plenty of time in the pool while here, it is very likely that the athletes may take some time to see the sights. San Antonio native (a Churchill High School alum) and Olympic-team prospective in the 50 and 100 freestyle Jimmy Feigen spoke excitedly on his expectations for the training camp. In an interview with KSAT12, the 2012 silver medalist made a point to highlight the honor San Antonio has in hosting this camp and that he has in showing the team his city.
“The whole swimming community’s put a lot of faith in San Antonio to produce the kind of results we had in London again in Brazil,” Feigen said. “I think they put a lot of faith in San Antonio and I don’t see San Antonio letting them down.” And let them down we most certainly will not!
Area fans and swimmers will get the chance to meet the team as one of their practices will be open to the public and will be followed by an autograph session. We’ll have to wait until the Trials are over to find out the official team, but based on the season Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Missy Franklin and Ryan Lochte are some of the athletes who will be making an appearance in first San Antonio then Rio de Janeiro.