Allan Jones Aquatic Center
In less than two weeks, Knoxville and the University of Tennessee will play host to the US Olympic Swim team. The athletes will practice at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center on UT's campus before heading to London to compete.
"Very, very excited they decided to choose Knoxville, Tennessee to come as a practice training facility," said the facility's Aquatic Director Christine Scollay.
She is busy finalizing plans for the swimmer's arrival.
"A lot of it is just logistics and scheduling, developing what times they're going to be in the facility and what times they're going to be doing other things," she said.
Boasting two indoor 50-meter pools, two indoor diving wells, and an outdoor 50-meter pool with an additional diving well, the facility was built for the UT swim and dive teams. It opened in 2008, and is also equipped to support large events.
The Olympic practices will be closed to the public, but many hope the athletes' arrival will help put Knoxville in a larger spotlight.
"It gets picked up all over the country, and that then exposes Knoxville to everybody else," said Kim Bumpas, president of the Knoxville Sports and Tourism Corporation.
She says any large sporting event helps bring dollars and publicity to the city.
"When you host an event like that at UT, that's going to lead to other opportunities," she said.
Scollay hopes the practices will help build a stronger relationship between UT and the Olympic Committee, as well as attract more national attention to Knoxville.
She also looks forward to sharing the Volunteer spirit with Team USA.
"Of course we want to put our best foot forward and we'll roll out the big orange carpet while they're here!"
Tuesday evening, Lenoir City native Claire Donahue qualified for the Olympic swim team.