The V3 Sports case: forge of Olympic dreams
The races are over, the tickets for Tokyo have all been assigned and the pools have been emptied. CHI Health Arena is once again a venue for concerts, events and basketball games. On the other hand our Myrtha pools, adopting the modular system in stainless steel, have been disassembled piece by piece. Faithful to the philosophy of sustainability and thanks to the long life cycle, Myrtha Pools plans to always reuse the tanks of major sporting events to bring excellence to swimming centres or to promote swimming in areas that lack it. This is in fact the case with the Omaha swimming pools. So if the Omaha warm-up pool is installed in the FAST Center in Florida for athletes and students, the one used in the competitions by the American swimming team will make possible the Olympic dream of many African American children and teenagers in Minneapolis. A project made possible by the commitment of V3 Sports, a non-profit organization founded by Erika Binger. Just in Omaha, the V3 group had the pleasure of visiting the Myrtha facility up close and swimming in the US Trials pool. A little taste, before it is permanently installed in the future V3 Center in Minneapolis, while Erika also answered a couple of questions to tell us about the project and the intense days at the US Trials 2021.
How was the experience in Omaha?
“Our experience in Omaha was amazing! From the first glimpse of the incredible pool; the behind the scenes tour with Myrtha, meet and greets and gifts; the delight and awe on our guests’ faces when they realized the Olympic Trials Pool was OUR pool – and it was gorgeous; the races themselves and the general atmosphere of excitement will have lasting impressions. The opportunity to go “behind the scenes” and see the entire aquatic facility was an experience our team members will never forget. Quite frankly, it was all a bit “surprising!” Not only were we impressed with the Myrtha team’s expertise in the design and build process, we couldn’t believe how much the crews were able to create in just two weeks’ time. I wish everyone knew just how much work went into building the 50-meter pool and warm-up pool, from the miles of pipes to the thousands of feet of piping to the 40 tons of steel required; the entire facility was a massive and impressive architectural undertaking and achievement. It was also fascinating to hear Mike Mintenko describe the mood and emotions of the “waiting room” as a former Olympic athlete himself. We were all riveted!”
Could you tell us more about the mission and the impact of the Myrtha pool will have for V3 and the community of Minneapolis?
“Finally, as we joined the masses at the Olympic Trials, we were struck by how “white” the sport truly is. It helped me realize we have a long way to go, as a team and as a society, to integrate people of colour into the sport of swimming. I truly believe V3’s partnership with Myrtha and USA Swimming, and securing the Olympic Trials pool, will help flip that script as we bring your world-class pool to North Minneapolis. I look forward to the day when the next Cullen Jones or Maritza Correia McClendon, coming from Minneapolis, rises above the competition and finds his or her own Olympic glory! V3’s mission is to provide health, wellness, equity, and opportunity through fitness, water safety, education and economic impact. When we receive funding for our Centre, the Olympic Trials Pool built by Myrtha will help us reach our community, primarily people of colour who drown 4-5 times more than their white counterparts. Without a year-round accessible community pool and welcoming environment, these tragic statistics will continue. This pool will be a regional destination and be a place where children learn to swim, teens find inspiration and adults connect. Our pool will begin to ensure the life-saving skill of learning to swim, is accessible. The health disparities we have long endured will begin to diminish, and who knows, a future Olympian may come from our community! After all, we will have the times from the 2021 Olympians for our future users to chase!!”