Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

A replica of the Eiffel Tower is to be the focal point of swimming trials in the city center

By meerna Jun12,2024

INDIANAPOLIS — The transformation of Indianapolis for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials isn’t just about Lucas Oil Stadium, downtown Indy is also seeing big changes.

Georgia Street looks like a miniature Paris as a 70-foot-tall replica of the Eiffel Tower towers over the crowds flowing in and out of the Indiana Convention Center.

This has been a huge project for the Latinas Welding Guild over the past few months.

“It’s run by women, Latinas, Latinas,” Consuelo Lockhart said. “It meant a lot to us to be able to represent our community.”

Lockhart is the group’s CEO and founder. A team of nine guild welders spent over a thousand hours crafting the structure.

“How many people in their welding career can say they welded the Eiffel Tower for the Olympic swimming trials,” Lockhart asked.

The Eiffel Tower will be the focal point of the fun on Georgia Street for nine days of swim trials.

The Eiffel Tower in Indianapolis is already turning heads as people stop to take photos.

As a reminder, not all activities on the nine days of Olympic swimming trials will take place in the Lucas Oil Stadium pools.

“We will have free concerts every evening from 1 to 7 p.m. We will have a poolside bar. Get dressed, you don’t need a swimsuit,” said Dan Gilot of Indiana Sports Corp.

All this will be free of charge. It’s called USA Swimming Live. It will be open June 15 with the Toyota Aquazone at the Indiana Convention Center.

All activities are related to swimming and water. You can even race against your friends in the virtual pool.

“We are creating a three-player VR gaming experience where you can go down to Georgia Street and compete with someone else in the pool. You don’t need to know how to swim to do this, anyone can enter our virtual pool and swim against each other to the finish line,” said Christian Rogers, associate professor of computer graphics technology at Purdue University in Indianapolis.

You don’t have to know how to do the backstroke or butterfly to feel a little closer to the Olympians in the pool across the street.

“You’ll move your arms and see the swimmer swim away, and whoever gets to the finish line at the very end of the pool wins,” Rogers said.

You’ll find Indy Goes Gold participating bars and restaurants throughout downtown.

“Where restaurants have special offers for all the fans that come in,” Gilot said. “So you can buy specialty drinks and specialty dishes at discounted prices.”

Swim trials represent a rare opportunity for Circle City. Indy is accustomed to hosting football and basketball events in the colder months, but a major warm-weather sporting event doesn’t come often in the Circle City, especially one lasting nine days and expected to attract more than 250,000 visitors.

“I think everyone is very excited to be involved in the project,” Gilot said. “Can you think of another event that activates for 10 consecutive nights in the city center, like swimming trials? It just doesn’t happen.”

Trials will begin on June 16, with record attendance expected on the first night of the finals. On June 15, the fun will begin with a starting block party on Georgia Street.

By meerna

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