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How Lucas Oil Stadium transformed into two swimming pools for Team USA’s 2024 Olympic swim trials

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Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis will serve as the host of the U.S. Olympic Team swim trials from June 15-23, with Olympic hopefuls vying for the right to compete in this year’s Paris Olympics. These trials will be unique as they take place within an NFL stadium. According to the Indianapolis Star, the 8.2-feet deep pool built over the field holds two million gallons of water and features a pool deck covering an entire acre including 12 rows of normal stadium seating.

Workers spent three weeks constructing the two stadium pools — a 50-meter competition pool and a 25-meter warmup pool — first taking up the turf and goalposts before laying down plywood, building the pool walls, and then laying down a thick liner of synthetic rubber (in place of concrete) at the bottom. Two gallons of water, one for each pool, were then piped in via a fire hydrant. Upon completion of the Olympic trials, the water is planned to be released back into the White River in central Indiana.

The Olympic trials will determine the 52 athletes who will qualify to compete on Team USA’s swim team in the Paris Olympics. An Olympian will be named to the team every night, culminating on June 23 when the complete field is determined.

“Who would have thought that there would be a pool built inside of a football stadium?,” asked Patrick Talty, president of Indiana Sports Corp., in the Star’s story on Wednesday. “Not many people did, but this community did. And this community has delivered.”

This will serve as the eighth time in history that Indianapolis has served as the host city for Olympic Swimming Trials. That includes over a century ago in 1924, when the Broad Ripple Pool in Indianapolis served as the site for the men’s trials before that year’s Olympics also held in Paris.

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Author: Steven Taranto
June 5, 2024 | 6:15 pm

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