They Came... They Saw... They Can’t Wait to Come Back -- April 15, 2004
INDIANAPOLIS, IN., April 15. OLYMPIC gold medalist (2000) Ed Moses and five-time world champion Michael Phelps made recent visits to Conseco Fieldhouse, site of the 2004 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).
The Fieldhouse, which will house two temporary pools for the Oct. 7-11 event, made a strong impression on two of the world’s best swimmers. Both indicated a high level of anticipation and excitement about competing in the home of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. Each is committed to swim in the event provided he qualifies for the U.S. team. More than 900 athletes from as many as 120 countries are expected to participate.
“This is the third time I’ve been here, and it is just an awesome facility,” said the 23-year-old Moses, a native of Burke, Va. “To swim in front of thousands of people in this arena, I don’t think I will ever have experienced an event like this.”
“We had the same situation in Barcelona for the 2003 (FINA) World Championships with a temporary pool in an arena,” said Phelps, who set five world records in last year’s FINA World Championships. “But this will take place in an arena everyone knows, and I think that will make it much more exciting.”
Phelps and Moses, in Indianapolis for the Counsilman Classic Grand Prix meet at the IU Natatorium in early April, received an “Olympic champions” welcome from members of the Pacers organization.
Moses was the honorary captain for a Pacers game versus the Milwaukee Bucks. Indiana Coach Rick Carlisle, like Moses a University of Virginia graduate, gave Moses a post-game tour of the Pacers’ locker room and introduced him to President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird. Moses also traded gifts with Pacers star and 1996 Olympic gold medalist Reggie Miller. Moses received an autographed ball from Miller, while Moses returned the favor with a Speedo FASTSKIN suit. Made to fit Miller’s 6-foot, 8-inch frame, it is the largest such suit ever manufactured by Speedo.
Phelps, a native of Baltimore, Md., also received a gift from another Olympic gold medalist – Bird, who presented Phelps a Pacers’ Number “7” jersey – “7” being the number of gold medals Phelps would have to earn at the Olympics to equal the swimming record set by Mark Spitz at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany.
The 18-year-old Phelps won six medals (four gold) at the 2003 FINA World Championships and became the first man to break to world records in different strokes in the same day.
“I hope you have more competition in Athens than I had in Barcelona,” Bird said to Phelps. Bird was a member of the famed “Dream Team” that won by an average of 43.8 points while winning gold at 1992 Olympic Games.
The World Championships (25m) will be a new event for both Moses and Phelps, but neither is a stranger to 25-meter competition and both had considerable success in short course pools in the 2003/2004 FINA World Cup Series.
Moses won the World Cup Series after dominating the 50-, 100- and 200-meter breaststroke events in Moscow, Berlin, Stockholm and New York. He broke his own 200-meter world record in Berlin with a time of 2:02.92. Phelps won six gold medals at the World Cup meet in Melbourne, Australia, in November of last year.
“I’m not a short course world champion yet,” said Moses. “I would love to add that to my resume.”
Both Moses and Phelps also were pleased about the event taking place in Indianapolis – a city that has hosted numerous national and international meets, including the U.S. Olympic Team Trials in 1984, 1992, 1996 and 2000.
“It will be great to come back to Indianapolis,” said Phelps. “I made my first Olympic team (2000) here. I set a world record in the 400 (individual medley) here last year at the Duel in the Pool. So I’ve been pretty good throughout my career here.”
All-session tickets are on sale World Championships through TicketMaster.
For more information on the 2004 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m), visit
FINA World Short Course Swimming Championships