AUBURN, Ala, October 18. TAKING the opportunity to observe how some of the greatest swimmers in the United States train, a Chinese swimming delegation visited the school last Tuesday and Wednesday according to sources at the school.
"The Chinese federation requested a tour of top programs in the United States and we are very excited to be able to host them here," AU Coach David Marsh said. "They are trying to put on the best event possible in Beijing (XXIX Olympics * 2008) and they want to learn more about the US systems and how we go about training as well as the operations side of things."
"They seem quite fascinated with the NCAA championships. They don't understand the rules but they see the spirit in the videos," Marsh said as the delegation sat inside of the new Auburn team room at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center and viewed video highlights of past Auburn NCAA titles.
"The swimming in America is very good. This gives us a chance to see what goes into a championship. Auburn University has the best team in the NCAA so we wanted to try to set up a contact with them and to learn a lot of things from them. We want to have the best team out there in Beijing," said Zhao Ge, the head coach for China's swimming team.
The delegation has been spending a good amount of time in the United States. This past week they were in Indianapolis for the 2004 FINA Short Course World Championships and they are headed to the USOC Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. next.