MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va. (WBOY) – Paris is set to host the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. The path to get there could start at Mylan Park for one Olympic sport.
Morgantown and Knoxville, Tenn. are the two finalists making an effort to host the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for diving. The location of the trials is expected to be revealed on Jan. 5, 2023.
“For us, it’s really exciting and (especially) hearing the communities support (of potentially hosting) this event,” Mylan Park Director of Aquatics and Track Jennifer Lainhart said.
As of within the past week and a half, the selection committee visited Monongalia County for 48 hours to view the area.
“We had 48 hours to show them what Monongalia County was like and we showed off the best of Monongalia County,” Mon. Co. Commission President Tom Bloom said. “They could not believe how we were really throwing out the red carpet.”
According to Bloom, Susan Riddle from Visit Mountaineer Country CVB played an integral role in accommodating their visit. Bloom mentioned Governor Jim Justice and WVU President E. Gordon Gee were among many of the notable names in courting the selection crew.
“For people to understand, for north central West Virginia that we are going to have the chance of having the Olympic trials here is unbelievable,” Bloom said.
While it can be unbelievable to some people, officials at Mylan Park aren’t the least bit surprised.
“For me, I’m not surprised, but I’m sure the rest of the people are like ‘wow, could that really come here,'” Lainhart said. “For me really knew stepping into this position that I would have that as a goal to bring in as many high level, elite-level competitions to show what this facility can really do.”
There has already been some “elite-level competitions” that have been brought to The Aquatic Center at Mylan Park. The facility has hosted multiple Big 12 Swimming and Diving Conference Championships as well as some other championships.
On Dec. 14-18, the 2022 USA Diving Winter National Championships will be held at Mylan Park, which is being seen as an audition to impress the selection committee.
“If you Google best diving facilities, we’re not on that list yet, but we’ve only been open three years and some change,” Lainhart said. “So, give it more time and we’ll be on that list and show people what we really have.”