On Oct. 21, Atlanta, and more specifically Tech’s Campus Recreation Center (CRC), was selected as one of two finalists to host the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in Diving.
“From a major event standpoint, we are one two final locations for the 2016 United States Diving Olympics trials,” said Michael Edwards, Director of Campus Recreation. “After a site visit by the selection committee, we were brought down to the final two, and there will be another meeting by the selection committee on Nov. 11. David [Williams] and Sarah [Warner] were the driving force behind it. They were the people who put everything together, and they should get the credit.”
Atlanta’s success, as a potential location for the 2016 Olympic Trials, can be attributed to the collaboration among entities both at Tech and the Atlanta community. Many influences, such as businesses, sports groups and reputable individuals have given support to make Tech a venue for the Olympic Trials.
“Overall, the success was a team effort throughout. It was a team effort in terms of the Georgia Tech community and the Atlanta community as well,” said David Williams, Associate Director of Aquatics & Member Services. “We had the Atlanta Sports council, Coca Cola, AT&T and then support from former Olympians and divers.”
Edwards believes that Tech stands out from Indianapolis due to its vast support and past involvement in the Olympics, and if the selection committee favors the qualities of Atlanta as a venue, Tech’s CRC could be chosen as the place to choose the next U.S. Olympic divers.
“I think the advantage that we have is the twentieth anniversary of Atlanta’s hosting of the ‘96 Olympic Games, so I think that we have a big legacy aspect that we can reach into,” Williams said. “We can probably reach a broader audience than they can in Indianapolis due to the fact that we can reach our other venue partners from ‘96. Our partners are second to none.”
To make the CRC a venue for the Diving Olympic Trials, effort and support is needed to make the necessary preparations and meet expectations. The selection committee intends to keep the athletes, spectators and vendors in mind.
“Its got to be a venue of Olympic proportions. For any athlete, the Olympics is the pinnacle of your sport,” Edwards said. “They’ve got to select a venue that can do anything, and its not just the venue. The city, institute and staff involved have to support. Also, facilities must be able to hold up to the technical demands.”
The other finalist city is Indianapolis, while other competitors in the selection process included Minneapolis, Tuscon and Greensboro, N.C.