Union Americana de Natacio?n (UANA), an international governing body in the Western Hemisphere for amateur aquatics, has announced the FINA-sanctioned 2021 UANA Tokyo Olympics Swimming Qualifier will be hosted at the Orlando Health National Training Center on April 29 – May 2, 2021. The event is hosted in partnership with Azura Aquatics, Montverde Aquatic Club, Lake County, Orlando Health National Training Center and the Greater Orlando Sports Commission.
“The UANA Tokyo Qualifier is a significant opportunity for swimmers throughout the world to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games. With athletes from close to 50 countries competing, the State of Florida has established itself as an important and desirable location for international competition,” said Dale Neuberger (USA), FINA Vice President. “I extend my appreciation to the Greater Orlando Sports Commission, the Orlando Health National Training Center, Azura Aquatics, and Montverde Swimming for their significant collaboration with UANA.”
This event will provide a long-awaited opportunity for Olympians and Olympic hopefuls to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics as well as the 2021 Junior Pan American Games scheduled to be held in Cali, Colombia this September.
“I am extremely pleased with the event that UANA, together with Azura, Montverde, Orlando Health National Training Center and the Greater Orlando Sports Commission, is putting together in a very short time. Organization of any sporting event during the pandemic is very challenging and requires more attention to details to ensure our athletes and coaches are able to do what they do best safely,” stated Maureen Croes, UANA President. “I am grateful to all involved, as cooperation and willingness to support has been beyond my wildest dreams. What started as a racing opportunity for many swimmers that have been searching for competitions to enter, turned into a spectacular event that will also be broadcasted on the PANAM Sports TV platform and will feature very fast swimmers from close to 50 countries. In the name of the UANA Executives and our aquatics family, I want to thank the City of Clermont, Lake County and the Greater Orlando Sports Commission for their hospitality and hope that we will be able to return for future events in this beautiful Aquatic Center.”
Among the elite swimmers competing are: Alia Atkinson (Jamaica), Breaststroke superstar and World Record holder who trains in Florida (South Florida Aquatic Club); Kieran Smith (USA), the current US Open and NCAA record holder in the 500 yard Freestyle who trains with the Florida Gators; Bobby Finke (USA), the current US Open and NCAA record holder in the 1650 yard Freestyle; Carlos Claverie (Venezuela), a semifinalist at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in the 200 Breaststroke; and Yeziel Morales (Puerto Rico) and Celine Marquez (El Salvador), both of whom won gold medals last month at the South American Championships in Argentina and train with Azura Aquatics in Florida.
In addition, dozens of current and former US-based collegiate athletes – including two-time Florida High School Athletic Association State Champions Patrick Groters (Aruba) and Izaak Bastian (Bahamas) – will compete at the event, representing such schools as the University of Alabama, University of Denver, Florida State University, University of Louisville, University of Michigan, Purdue University, Rutgers University, Texas A&M University and Texas Christian University.
"We look forward to welcoming the 2021 UANA Olympic Swimming Qualifier and competing athletes to Lake County," said Lake County Commission Chairman Sean Parks. "Being able to host this event at the National Training Center in Clermont means a great deal to our local economy, and we're proud to showcase our area to visitors, athletes and their families as the true Choice of Champions."
UANA is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for the athletes, coaches and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, tickets will not be sold to the public for the event, but a live stream broadcast will be available. Information regarding the live stream and event schedule can be found at UANA-Aquatics.com.
“The Orlando Health National Training Center is honored to host this prestigious event,” said Paul Johns, Chief Operations Officer of Orlando Health South Lake Hospital. “For nearly 20 years, we have served athletes from the Lake County community and around the country at our facility. This is an exciting time, and we look forward to hosting international and national athletes as we head into Olympics season.”
“On behalf of our partners at Visit Lake, Montverde Academy, and Orlando Health National Training Center, we are honored to welcome the 2021 UANA Tokyo Olympics Swimming Qualifier to our community,” said Jason Siegel, President & CEO of the Greater Orlando Sports Commission. “We are thrilled to host and support these Olympians and Olympic hopefuls on their journey to compete for gold. The National Training Center will provide a safe and enjoyable atmosphere, and we are confident the athletes and coaches will have a wonderful experience in Lake County.”
About Greater Orlando Sports Commission:
GO Sports is a private, non-profit organization established to attract and manage sports-related events, conferences and activities that drive positive economic development in the City of Orlando, Lake County, Orange County, Osceola County, and Seminole County. Founded in 1993, the organization has hosted or co-hosted more than 1,450 events in the Greater Orlando area with a total economic impact exceeding $1.9 billion in spending within the community. For more information, please visit GreaterOrlandoSports.com.
About Union Americana de Natacio?n (UANA):
UANA is an international governing body with the purpose of organizing, supervising and controlling, in the Western Hemisphere, the amateur aquatics activities of Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Synchronized Swimming, Master and Open Water Swimming.
About Orlando Health:
Orlando Health, headquartered in Orlando, Florida, is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with $7.1 billion of assets under management that serves the southeastern United States.
Founded more than 100 years ago, the healthcare system is recognized around the world for its pediatric and adult Level One Trauma program as well as the only state-accredited Level Two Adult Trauma Center in Pinellas County. It is the home of the nation’s largest neonatal intensive care unit under one roof, the only system in the southeast to offer open fetal surgery to repair the most severe forms of spina bifida, the site of an Olympic athlete training facility and operator of one of the largest and highest performing clinically integrated networks in the region. Orlando Health is a statutory teaching system that pioneers life-changing medical research. The 3,200-bed system includes 15 wholly-owned hospitals and emergency departments; rehabilitation services, cancer and heart institutes, imaging and laboratory services, wound care centers, physician offices for adults and pediatrics, skilled nursing facilities, an in-patient behavioral health facility, home healthcare services in partnership with LHC Group, and urgent care centers in partnership with CareSpot Urgent Care. Nearly 4,200 physicians, representing more than 80 medical specialties and subspecialties have privileges across the Orlando Health system, which employs nearly 22,000 team members. In FY20, Orlando Health served nearly 150,000 inpatients and nearly 3.1 million outpatients. During that same time period, Orlando Health provided approximately $760 million in total value to the communities it serves in the form of charity care, community benefit programs and services, community building activities and more. Additional information can be found at http://www.orlandohealth.com.