West Virginia bids to host 2024 Olympic Diving Trials in Morgantown
CHARLESTON, W.Va (WDTV) - Gov. Justice announced on Thursday that West Virginia has submitted a bid to host the 2024 Olympic Diving Trials.
The trials would take place at the Aquatic Center at Mylan Park in Morgantown.
“The world has taken notice of West Virginia and what we have to offer,” said Gov. Justice. “Hosting this event would be a tremendous honor for our great state and a big opportunity for many, many reasons. I’m proud to see our partners in Morgantown stepping up to the plate to take on a project of this magnitude.”
The Aquatic Center at Mylan Park has a long history of hosting major and multi-day events, including multiple USA Diving Events.
Looking ahead, it will host the 2023 NCAA Zone Diving Championships, the 2024 Big 12 Championships, and USA Diving’s Winter Nationals event this December.
In 2021 alone, the facility earned more than $50,000 in bid and hospitality support from the Monongalia County Commission Tourism Advancement Fund, according to Gov. Justice.
“Bidding on an event of this magnitude is a validation of the hard work local leaders put into making this facility a reality,” said Sean Sikora, president of the Joint Use Management Agreement (JUMA) at Mylan Park and Monongalia County Commissioner. “I could not be more excited about showing the entire country our famous Mountaineer hospitality should we be selected to host this event.”
Partners from Mylan Park, the Monongalia County Commission, area municipalities, West Virginia University, WVU Hospital, the West Virginia Department of Tourism, and the Visit Mountaineer Country Convention and Visitors Bureau (VMCCVB) all came together to serve as the bid prep team.
The partnership and the positive impact from winning this bid will be felt and seen on both the tourism and economic development levels.
“The Aquatic Center has been able to host national competitions due to help and support of the community, including resources, volunteers, surrounding businesses and county leadership,” said Jennifer Lainhart, director of the Aquatic Center. “The facilities’ amenities and the community buy-in has led to elite-level national diving competitions choosing Morgantown repeatedly as their event location.”
USA Diving will conduct site visits in October and November, the bid winner will be notified in November and December and the winner will be publicly announced in early January 2023.
“Opportunities such as receiving an invitation to bid on an Olympic Trial is what dreams are made of,” said Susan Riddle, president and CEO of VMCCVB. “The Aquatic Center at Mylan Park is a prime example of how tourism development helps improve the local quality of life. Numerous groups collaborated and committed to building the facility, and now, the Convention and Visitors Bureau attracts and sells the use of the facility to major events regularly. Events have a tremendous positive economic impact and the community benefits from the use of a world-class facility. As an events-driven destination, the Greater Morgantown area couldn’t have much better tourism tools to attract more to our destination than what we have at Mylan Park. It is a win-win formula for growing the tourism economy.”
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