Eight days long with around 1,800 swimmers, but only about 40 will make Team USA in London. A lot of work went in to the venue that would hold such an important event, including 15,000 man hours. Sunday, officials provided Channel 6 News with a swimmers' view of the trials.
On Sunday afternoon at the CenturyLink Center, the only competitive swimming was for fans at the Aqua Zone. The Renners came to check it out. They can't wait for the trials to begin.
"Two-thousand-eight we watched it and thought it was really fun and looking forward to going back and seeing it again," said Kevin Renner. "I didn't remember it at first," admits Renner's daughter, Elana, "but now, when I got to this one, I'll know it."
Everyone is ready and waiting for Monday's start. Swimmers were already getting some practice time in. "This is the warm-up pool deck where the majority of the athletes will start and finish their day," explained Chief Operating Officer Harold Cliff.
The 13-lane practice pool is similar to the competition pool, but smaller and not as deep. "We can clean this entire pool in three hours," said Cliff as he showed off the filtration system. "So we're pushing 4,000 gallons a minute. Each of the lane ropes, $1700."
The Last Call Room is where the swimmers will line up in lane order and wait to be called on deck. "A lot of races have been won or lost in the last call room. It's where the nerves really kick in," said Cliff.
The walk up to the deck can't be too calming either as 14,000 to 15,000 people will fill the arena. If swimmers can shake the nerves and qualify, London awaits.
There are a couple of English influences that can be seen around the arena. "Mind the gap," a famous London train warning, is at the entrances to seating. One of the famous red phone booths is also set up. That is where every athlete wants to end up. "The swimmers, when they make the team, will be offered to sign the booth," said Cliff.
There are some changes this year that will make it even more fun for fans coming to the trials, including more LCD lighting and pyrotechnics.
New in 2012, the practice pool built in the CenturyLink Center for the trials will be dismantled and stored for other uses in the Omaha area.