2021 Olympic Trials - Day 1 (Check our Instagram for Spencer's tour of the pools!)

Benji DeMotte

Greetings from Omaha and the 2021 Olympic Trials Meet!


As you know, Excel Swimmer Spencer Jyawook is here competing and we both want to share the experience with you all.


Due to Covid restrictions, we had to be here 48 hours prior to his Monday race so this is a recap of Day #1. 


We arrived in Omaha at about 10:00 am and drove to the CHI Convention Center. For those of you who are not aware, the trial pools are built in a basketball arena to accommodate the 40,000 fans that typically show up for the meet.

Upon arriving, we were both tested for Covid and quarantined for about 30 minutes while the results came back and used that time to read over all the logistics of competing at trials


Once we made it through quarantine, we were escorted through the labyrinth of tunnels to get to the athlete lounge and warm-up pool area. This second pool (which was also built last week) is even bigger than the competition pool. It has 8 long course and 6 short course lanes. There are blocks, backstroke wedges and touchpads available at all times for the swimmers to practice on. Surrounding the whole pool are large areas for the athletes to hang out in. They are provided with food, water and strangely enough, corn hole and oversized jenga.

After wandering around the whole warmup pool area, we headed up to the competition pool to watch a couple of the time trials. The first thing that you notice walking in is the “clean deck” which means that only officials and the current heat of swimmers are allowed on deck. Everyone else is in the stand where the seating area is darkened so the pool and deck have the appearance of glowing.


After a couple of races, I made Spencer get his suit on and we headed back to the warm up pool. While he’s really pumped for his race, he’s also trying to soak up every minute of the experience so basically has been smiling since we

arrived here. This is what warm up looks like for us:

We headed back to the hotel for some much needed rest and agreed to meet for finals and definitely not fall asleep with our phone under the pillow just in case a coach would try to text us a few times and perhaps even call twice to wake us up for finals. 


One of us forgot the deal.


After not making it back to finals, we headed to dinner and then back to the hotel for more rest. 


Day #1 In the books.


A couple of things for you all at home. First, if you would like to watch Spencer swim tomorrow, he is scheduled to go off at 10:37am and you can watch with a temporary pass here.

Also, you can send Spencer greetings in the form of texts, pictures or even videos through the Toyota Good Luck Boulevard. Each time that Spencer walks through the front door of the warm up pool, a scanner reads his pass and all of your greetings automatically pop up on 6 big screens for him to watch. One of the things that has really impressed Spencer is how many swimmers here are representing their colleges. As a club swimmer, he says he feels like he’s representing a much higher number of swimmers and that he keeps picturing all his Excel teammates walking through the doors with him. And through your digital messages, that’s close to a reality. So far, he’s been very humbled by the responses so PLEASE keep them coming (Note- it will ask for your date of birth and if you put anything older than 2003, you’ll have to sit through a couple of questions about whether you want to buy a toyota). 


That’s it for today. I’ll send out a Day #2 recap later and GO EXCEL!