Federal Way was announced today as the site of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in diving in 2012.
The team diving trials will take place at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way June 18-24, 2012 for the first time since 2000.
Federal Way beat out Indianapolis which played host to the trials in 2008. Federal Way was a runner-up that year.
Debbie Hesse, chief executive officer of Indianapolis-based USA Diving, said Federal Way was chosen because the area offers “a chance to grow the sport” of diving. That includes increasing the fan base for diving and inspiring youth divers, she said. Another advantage is tapping into the region’s corporate community, she said.
King County Executive Dow Constantine made the announcement at a news conference at Ivar’s Salmon House in Seattle. Gov. Chris Gregoire followed him, stressing the diving trials will bring national TV exposure and tourism dollars.
“With sports, comes money,” Gregoire said.
The diving trials will draw tourists to the region, she said. “It’s going to put a spotlight on one of the great areas of the United States.”
The Olympic trials will bring the nation’s best divers to Federal Way to compete in men’s and women’s individual and synchronized events to represent the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Federal Way Mayor Linda Kochmar said the diving trials will fill hotel rooms in city.
“I’m here to tell you Federal Way is a wonderful city,” Kochmar said. “My gosh, Indianapolis is very nice. But Federal Way is so much better.”
Hesse and three other event leaders were flown in for the news conference on a float plane, landing at the Salmon House deck on Seattle’s Lake Union.
“It’s a great way to start this event with a giant splash,” Hesse said.
“USA diving is on the upswing,” she said. “We hope the beginning of our success in 2012 will start in Seattle and Federal Way.