Local News
3:25 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Dozens Of Olympic Swimmers Compete In Charlotte

Michael Chadwick and Matthew Josa, SwimMAC teammates, will compete at Charlotte UltraSwim.
Credit Jeff Siner / Charlotte Observer

  There are 22 Olympic medal winners diving into the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center this weekend – and that's only counting the Americans. 

Some of the fastest swimmers in the world begin competing in Charlotte Thursday. Hundreds of swimmers are coming to town for the Charlotte UltraSwim, including dozens of Olympians from the U.S. and abroad. The competition has taken place here since 1986.

"We have a longstanding history of bringing world class swimming to Charlotte," said event coordinator Jeff Gaeckle. "The thing that's changed is over the last eight years since Michael Phelps became such a signature of our sport, swimming has become a bigger and bigger deal."

Phelps won a record 22 Olympic medals before retiring last summer. One of his main competitors, Ryan Lochte, and several other big-name swimmers like Ricky Berens and Allison Schmitt compete in Charlotte this weekend.

Gaeckle says he's expecting more than 5,000 people to attend UltraSwim. The event starts Thursday afternoon at 4:00. Then Friday through Saturday there'll be preliminary races starting at 9:30 in the morning and final races starting at 6:00 at night.

You can follow the action here.