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Olympics

USA Swimming to put toes in the water with regional meets beginning in August

U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte competes at the U.S. Open Championships in Atlanta in December.
U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte competes at the U.S. Open Championships in December.
(Michael Reaves / Getty Images)

Faced with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, officials who govern swimming in the U.S. have settled on a new and cautious strategy to get athletes back in the water.

USA Swimming announced Monday that it has canceled all national meets through this summer, replacing them with a tentative schedule of 14-16 regional competitions beginning in mid-August.

The smaller events will “limit the need for travel and promote a safer competition environment,” the organization stated in a news release.

“Someday soon you will strap on your goggles and walk on the pool deck again, and we absolutely cannot wait,” President Tim Hinchey III said.

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When sports returns there could be big changes -- face masks, thermometers and social distancing -- in order to protect everyone from the coronavirus.

According to the plan, these warm-up meets will segue into a string of national events starting in November and stretching into next year as American swimmers prepare for the Tokyo Olympics, now postponed until the summer of 2021.

Details about the regional schedule will be announced later.

“There is still much work to do, but we encourage you to remain hopeful,” Hinchey said. “There will be bumps along the road, but rest assured that we will respond swiftly and in the safest and most responsible way.”


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