Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Olympic swimming trials coming to SA?

The city of San Antonio is a finalist to host the USA Olympic Swim Team trials, which would select the 2016 USA team who competing inthe Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games.

The official bid has been submitted and the evaluationprocess is underway, which includes a site visit to San Antonio and theAlamodome by USA Swimming.

The Alamodome will build an Olympic style swimming poolwhere the San Antonio Spurs and NCAA basketball courts were located.

San Antonio Sports, a nonprofit organization who led thecharge to bring in a variety of important sporting and cultural events to the city, has a bid posted on their website with a greeting for USA Swimming by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

George Block, a former USA swimming coach and current Chairman of the Board for San Antonio Sports, emphasized the impact andsignificance of hosting this event.

“This is as big as the Final Four except the Final Four istwo days and this is eight days of prime time television,” Block said.

Block has been an advocate for bringing attention to youthdrowning in San Antonio, especially in the Hispanic community.

San Antonio is a major market for sporting events, and theability to bring in a diverse audience with a large Hispanic population isimportant for the sport of swimming.

“San Antonio is your gateway to the Hispanic market,”Block said. “Were interested in lasting community benefit not just get an eventin get an event out how did the tax receipts go.”

What’s valued to many with this opportunity is thelifesaving effect the event might bring to a younger generation of swimmers inTexas.

“The big events are like dogs on the dog sled, they arewhat pull the sled and what’s on the sled is youth,” Block said.

“The first lessons a child should have should be swimminglessons,” Block said. “In Texas, with our coastline and rivers and lakes andpools, you need to be a strong swimmer. USA Swimming’s tagline is saving livesand building champions… first is saving lives.”

As a finalist this year, swimming is already becoming abuzz word at UTSA.

“Anytime the city has a major event like an Olympic trials, that always elevates all of the sports in San Antonio to a new level ofvisibility, so that’s always helpful to have those events in town,” said UTSA Athletic Director Lynn Hicky

San Antonio could benefit immensely from hosting in 2016on various levels.

“What sporting events do is they let you see theopportunities for everything else be it the arts, or music, or business, oreducation, sports ends of sort of being the tip of the spear,” Block said.

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