U.S. Olympic Considers Panama City Beach for Year Round Swimmer Training

Panama City Beach is 1-of 2-cities in the running to become the permanent training home for a U-S Olympic sport.

The U-S Olympic Committee is considering Panama City Beach to be the year round training home of the Synchronized Swimming Team. The other city reportedly in the running is Greensboro, North Carolina.

Frank Brown Park Aquatic Center Director Bob Smith delivered the news to Panama City Beach City Council members during Thursday night's city council meeting.

To be selected, the city has to make some financial commitments. The swimming pool at Frank Brown would have to be enclosed. Smith says he's found a used enclosure, a sort of a plastic bubble dome, at a cost of 200-thousand dollars. A new dome would cost about 400-thousand.
But smith says the financial return would be incredible.

The facility would not only host training for the Synchronized Swimming Team, but would be guaranteed the Junior National Synchronized Swimming Championships for the next 4-years.
And it could open the door for other competitions that would boost the local economy.

Ken McGarelin said then there's the prestige factor. "I would like you for a moment to imagine coming down east and west onU.S. 98 and then down Highway 79, signage that would indicate, you know, Welcome to Panama City Beach, Florida - Home of the U.S. Olympic Training Center for Synchronized Swimming."

The team has to vacate its current training facility at Indiana Purdue University. Olympic officials will be making a decision soon. They say the girls will report to their new training home a few weeks after they return from the Summer Olympics in London.


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  • by JD Location: PC on May 12, 2012 at 04:11 AM
    Oh the excitement....right up there with curling, double lug and dancing with a ribbon on a stick....
    • reply
      by John on May 12, 2012 at 06:26 PM in reply to JD
      If the way the media has treated the Olympics in the past teaches us anything, the only two sports that really matter are women's gymnastics and women's figure skating. Take away those two sports, and no television channel in America would even bother covering the Olympics except to maybe to post the results. It's happened before....
  • by beach guy on May 11, 2012 at 03:22 PM
    Come on people, if you can actually pull off getting this the permenant home of the US Olympic swimming team dont cheap out and buy a used cover, surely the TDC could kick in the other $200 grand to cover the cost of buying a new one.
    • reply
      by Ronal Reagan on May 12, 2012 at 05:25 AM in reply to beach guy
      Beach guy, you sure are quick to spend someone else's money. Past of the fog of the hype, just how much revenues does anyone thing that "synchronized swimming" will bring to the community? When was the last time you saw a big time, multi million dollar ad campaign built around a synchronized swimmer? Dont think i ever remember one. And "bed taxes"? Really...just how big is a swimming team? What are we talking a couple of dozen people that this will bring in and you want the city to pony up almost a half a million dollars for a friggin dome?
  • by pete Location: pcb on May 11, 2012 at 07:20 AM
    In fiscal 2011 the pool lost $538,000. The year before it was $609,000. The people that wrote the initial financial plan for the people were dead wrong. The pool is a wonderful addition to the community and the Olympic name is a huge plus but there is and will continue to be a large monetary loss. Caution is the name of the game.
    • reply
      by beach guy on May 11, 2012 at 03:25 PM in reply to pete
      Wow, thats absurd amounts of money that the pool is losing per year, what a waste.
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