MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) – The 2022 USA Diving Winter National Championships sprung off on Wednesday to mark the start of the five-day event. They will run until Sunday, Dec. 18 at The Aquatic Center at Mylan Park.
On Wednesday, the men’s 10m synchronous dive preliminary rounds and championships took place, as well as the preliminary rounds and championships for the women’s 3m synchronous dive.
Heather McIntyre, Mylan Park’s Assistant Director of Marketing & Outreach, said she is excited to see an event of this magnitude come to fruition.
“It’s huge. I’m looking around every day and I’m meeting Olympians, USA Diving staff, and I know that we have the Olympic committee here,” McIntyre said. “We have so many people across the country focusing on Mylan Park for our first national championship.”
Some Olympians and world champions are among the nearly 150 divers that are participating in the event. McIntyre added that the event wouldn’t be made possible without help across the community and state from groups such as the Convention of Visitors Bureau and West Virginia Tourism. Those contributions are benefiting the area and state in return.
“Our hotels, our restaurants, our retailers are all benefiting from a ton of folks coming into our market, sometimes for the very first time to see what we’re all about,” McIntyre said. “This is amazing. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity seeing Olympians compete.”
With the Olympic committee in attendance closely watching the event, officials at Mylan Park hope that this event can help the facility secure the bid to host the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for diving.
“I actually quote Jennifer Lainhart [Mylan Park’s Director of Aquatics & Track], who says that ‘this is the pinnacle of an aquatic director’s career is to host an Olympic trial,'” McIntyre said. “So, it could not only be huge for the facility, but also the state of West Virginia.”