U.S. Olympic Team Trials announced to go to Knoxville, instead of Morgantown
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WBOY) – Mylan Park and Morgantown would be given a silver medal if cities and facilities received Olympic-like awards on where the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for diving will be held.
USA Diving announced on its website that Knoxville, Tenn. will host the trials to spring the hopes and dreams of many athletes to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games in Paris.
“We’re very excited to bring the trials to Knoxville. The city has a rich history of hosting major events, and we’re thrilled to continue that in 2024. We were very impressed with the vision and enthusiasm they brought forth in their bid,” said Lee Michaud, president of USA Diving.
Morgantown and Knoxville were the two finalists to host the trials. The decision was originally expected to be announced Jan 5., but was delayed almost a week.
Knoxville has previously been the host city for several USA Diving national events, including the 2019 USA Diving Junior National Championships and the 2014 USA Diving National Championships.
The Aquatic Center at Mylan Park has hosted numerous other big events in the past, such as the Big 12 Swimming and Diving Conference Championships and the USA Diving Winter National Championships.
The selection committee was on hand for the USA Diving Winter National Championships held back in December. Officials believed that the event served as an audition to host the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for diving.
Despite the area not hosting the soon-to-be trials, Monongalia County Commission President Tom Bloom wants to continue to work with USA Diving in the future.
“I can tell you that we’re still going to work with them to bring some sort of international and other events so that people can see that Morgantown, Monongalia County, Star City, Granville and Westover is a place that is up and rising,” Bloom said.
“I cannot say enough about the professionalism, attention to detail and care the people of Visit
Mountaineer Country Convention and Visitors Bureau (VMCCVB), West Virginia University, Mylan Park, the City of Morgantown, and the state of West Virginia conducted the bidding process for the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Trials,” Michaud said.
The effort to potentially bring the trials to Mylan Park stretched across not just the area, but the state.
“The Governor has supported, WVU, the community, everyone (was) looking forward to it,” Bloom said.
“The Olympic trials bid process provided an opportunity for multiple groups locally, regionally and statewide to work together to showcase our destination and our Aquatic Center at a national and international level,” said Susan Riddle, president and CEO of the VMCCVB. “The value of divers, coaches, judges and visitors being impressed enough to be great ambassadors for Mountaineer Country moving forward is priceless.”
Riddle added that the area plans to bid to host the 2028 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for diving. Los Angeles is set to host the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.