By David Gold

greensboro_aquatic_centre_01-09-11September 4 - Officials at the Greensboro Aquatic Center in North Carolina are celebrating after landing a number of prestigious events, including the Olympic trials for United States synchronised swimming, which will be held in two months' time, when 40 swimmers take to the venue's brand new pool.

The 79,000 square foot facility impressed the US YMCA's national director of events Jim Weaton, who told the crowd that the YMCA Championships would return to the town for 2013 and maybe even 2014 as well, in addition to the YMCA's Short Course Swimming and Diving Championships.

"Some things happen for a reason,'' Weaton said.

"I was on a plane, thinking 'Wow, it sounds so good.

"'It's almost too good to be true'.

"Then, I picked up this magazine, and I devoured for two hours page after page of your community.

"And when I got off that plane, I thought, 'Yeah, I believe in my heart, Greensboro is the place we ought to be'.''

These events are expected to bring more than 3,000 swimmers and 8,000 spectators to the American town in the next two years, giving the local economy a $13 million (£8 million/€9 million) boost, but this figure could grow threefold when you include all the other events planned for the coming years.

Jordan Dillon, the business development director for USA Synchro - the organisation behind the Olympic trials - said: "Good pools are hard to find, and this is just a beautiful place.

"You walk in and it's gorgeous, and I think it'll bring in a lot of events.

"It could even be a home for one of the national teams.''

The boost means that Greensboro's reputation as a tournament town for its hosting of college basketball will be challenged by the growing swimming profile of the town.

For the past few years, the city has called itself Tournament Town, thanks to its long-standing tradition in hosting college basketball, particularly the ACC men's basketball tournament.

However, with the new big pool off West Lee Street, Greensboro may need a new nickname: Swim Town.

Henri Fourier, President and chief executive of the Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, said: "This opens an entirely new marketplace for us.

"Just big-time swimming and diving and water polo and synchronised swimming.

"People will look at us and think, 'Wow, they're a national contender'."

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