LONG BEACH, Calif., June 8. THE Janet Evans Invitational (JEI) Swim Meet, June 10-13, will kick off the Long Beach Aquatic Festival, a two-month extravaganza featuring the U.S. Olympic Team Trials of Swimming and the Toyota Aquatics Grand Prix.
The 11th annual Janet Evans Invitational, presented by Speedo, will be the first and only time that swimmers will have the opportunity to test the new pools at the Charter All Digital Aquatic Centre prior to the U.S. Olympic Trials of Swimming, July 7-14.
This year’s JEI is one of the largest international meets in the world and will feature more than 1,000 swimmers from more than 20 countries. Part of the Toyota Aquatics Grand Prix this year and the U.S. Grand Prix series, it is named after one of the world’s greatest female Olympic swimmers, Janet Evans, who was a four-time Olympic gold medalist and an honoree in the International Swimming Hall of Fame and who will be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame on July 1 this year.
An entry list for the JEI can be found at www.socalswimming.org
“I’m thrilled that our event is the first one to be held in the fantastic temporary pool facility,” said Evans. “It’s a remarkable venue and will give competitors the opportunity to swim in the pool being used for Trials. This is very exciting and promises to be the best meet we’ve ever had in our 11-year history.”
Many of the U.S. athletes who are scheduled to compete at the JEI will return next month for the U.S. Olympic Trials of Swimming, vying to represent the USA on the Olympic Swim Team.
The meet kicks off on Thursday at 5 p.m. with timed finals of the 800m freestyle. Preliminaries begin at 9 a.m. and finals start at 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Tickets are $30 for the entire seven sessions and are available for purchase at www.longbeach2004.com
Other events, which are part of the Toyota Aquatics Grand Prix, are the FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Superfinal (June 23-27) and The FINA Men’s Water Polo World League Superfinal (July 16-18).
U.S. OLYMPIC TEAM TRIALS – SWIMMING
The 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming serves as a gateway for the nation’s top swimmers to earn their spot on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team. The 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Swimming will take place July 7 – 14, 2004 at the Charter All Digital Aquatic Centre being constructed adjacent to the Long Beach Arena. The Trials include eight days of competition with morning and evening sessions. Start times for the morning session is 9:00 a.m. with the evening final sessions starting at 5:00 p.m. The schedule of events is posted on www.longbeach2004.com.
TOYOTA AQUATICS GRAND PRIX
The Long Beach Area Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Long Beach Sports Council, and the Los Angeles Sports Council have teamed together to host the “Toyota Aquatics Grand Prix” in Long Beach, which will feature:
· The Janet Evans Invitational Swim Meet, June 10-13, 2004, will relocate to Long Beach for 2004 from its usual home at the University of Southern California. This event draws up to 800 of the nation’s finest swimmers and will allow Olympic hopefuls to “test” the waters of the new swim stadium, as well as serve as a test event for the local organizing committee. Three-time Gold Medal Olympian Ian Thorpe, as well as 13 other members of the Australian Olympic team, has committed to compete at this event.
· The FINA Women’s Water Polo World League Superfinal – 2004, June 23-27, will be an international tournament featuring the newly-crowned World Champion USA Team and the other seven teams which have qualified for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
· The FINA Men’s Water Polo World League Superfinal – 2004, July 16-18, where the top six teams in the world will match up with each other in a pre-Olympic tune-up.
Charter All Digital Aquatic Centre
For the first time in U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming history, swimmers will compete for Olympic berths in an above-ground pool. Italy-based Myrtha Pools will construct two 50-meter Olympic-sized pools in the parking lot adjacent to the Long Beach Arena that will host the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming and the Toyota Aquatics Grand Prix. The deck of both pools will be 9 feet above the ground and bleachers will start at that level, giving spectators an unparalleled view of not only some of the world’s best swimmers, but of the Queen Mary and the Long Beach skyline. More than 150 panels and 10,000 pieces of hardware, which will be shipped to the event site from Italy, will be used to combine the two 50-meter pools and surrounding stadium. The construction began the first week in May, with construction crews, plumbers, and welders working daily to have the pools assembled in the
WORLD CLASS FIELD OF SWIMMERS
REPRESENTING MORE THAN 20 DIFFERENT COUNTRIES…
Long Beach Arena parking lot by the first week in June. The construction will begin on May 4, 2004, with construction crews, plumbers, and welders working daily to have the pools assembled in the Long Beach Arena parking lot a month later. At the conclusion of the Toyota Aquatics Grand Prix, the pools will be disassembled and each will be shipped separately to two different locations where they will be reassembled and used as permanent structures. The city of Yucaipa, in Southern California and the Berkeley Aquatic Club in New Jersey has each purchased one of the pools.
All-session ticket packages for the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Swimming as well as tickets for events during the Toyota Aquatics Grand Prix in Long Beach are currently available by logging onto the Long Beach Sports Council website at www.longbeach2004.com
TOYOTA AQUATICS GRAND PRIX ARTWORK
In addition to purchasing tickets for the Toyota Aquatics Grand Prix in Long Beach, artwork commissioned by Southern California artist Michael Bryan can also be purchased online at www.longbeach2004.com. Only 250 limited edition prints, which are hand-signed and numbered by Bryan, will be sold individually for $1,000 and 100 limited edition metal re-creations will be sold for $2,500.
The U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Swimming and the Toyota Aquatics Grand Prix are expected to bring more than 115,000 spectators to Long Beach with an economic impact of $15 million to the area. NBC will broadcast six hours of TV coverage of the U.S. Olympic Team Trials-Swimming, while the Toyota Aquatics Grand Prix will focus international attention on Long Beach.
Long Beach, California’s 5th largest city is a first-class visitor destination offering the essence of a seaside resort with all the amenities of a big urban city. Centrally located right in the middle of Southern California, Long Beach has easy access to three airports and is just a short drive from Universal Studios Hollywood to the North and Disneyland to the South. Long Beach is home to the majestic ocean liner Queen Mary and the renowned Aquarium of the Pacific. Within walking distance from the swim stadium, visitors will find picturesque Rainbow Harbor, Shoreline Village, The Pike and Pine Avenue, each with unique restaurants, shops and entertainment options.