Olympic gold medalists Michael Phelps (Baltimore, Maryland), Ryan Lochte (Daytona Beach, Florida) and Allison Schmitt (Canton, Michigan), who have combined to win 39 career Olympic medals, are expected to headline next week’s Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte.
The four-day meet is slated for May 15-18 at the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center.
Other multiple-time American Olympic medalists expected to compete in Charlotte include Elizabeth Beisel (Saunderstown, Rhode Island), Anthony Ervin (Valencia, California), Jessica Hardy (Long Beach, California), Cullen Jones (Irvington, New Jersey), Nick Thoman (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Amanda Weir (Lawrenceville, Georgia).
In total, 50-plus members of the USA Swimming National Team are expected to swim in the four-day meet.
On the local front, Lochte, Jones, Thoman and fellow Olympic medalists Tyler Clary (Riverside, California) and Lauren Perdue (Greenville, North Carolina) will lead a group of over 60 athletes from Charlotte-based SwimMAC Carolina expected to compete.
The action begins Thursday, May 15 with timed finals for distance events at 4 p.m. EDT, followed by 9 a.m. EDT prelims and 6 p.m. EDT finals Friday, May 16 through Sunday, May 18.
Tickets are required for each session and can be ordered online through Monday, May 12 or purchased at the pool next week, if available. All-session passes and tickets for the Saturday, May 17 finals session are no longer available. Visit grandprixcharlotte.com for complete ticket details and advanced online purchasing.
Universal Sports Network will televise live coverage from the Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte on Friday, May 16 and Saturday, May 17 at 6 p.m. EDT. Click here to find Universal Sports Network on your television provider. Additionally, a live webcast of the entire meet will be streamed online Thursday through Sunday via usaswimming.org.
The Arena Grand Prix at Charlotte is the fifth stop of USA Swimming’s 2013-14 Arena Grand Prix Series, which provides the nation’s best swimmers six opportunities to face top-flight competition on U.S. soil. The series concludes June 19-22 with the Arena Grand Prix at Santa Clara (California).
Conor Dwyer (Winnetka, Illinois) tops the men’s Arena Grand Prix Series standings after four of six meets with 34 points, while Megan Romano (St. Petersburg, Florida) leads the women’s standings with 30.5 points. Click here for a complete leaderboard and additional series information.
As part of USA Swimming’s partnership with Arena, the Arena Grand Prix Series will offer swimmers the opportunity to take home prize money for top finishes in all individual Olympic-distance events. In total, $150,000 in prize money is available to be distributed over the course of the six-meet series. At each meet, $500 will be awarded for a first-place finish, $300 for second and $100 for third in all individual events. Arena is serving as the title sponsor for the Arena Grand Prix Series for the second straight season.
In addition to the prize money, swimmers will compete for a Series grand prize from BMW. For the first time in the history of the Series, BMW will give the highest-scoring eligible male and female U.S. swimmer a one-year lease of a BMW ActiveHybrid 3 Series.
Male and female overall Arena Grand Prix Series champions will be honored at the conclusion of the 2013-14 series based on the number of points accumulated throughout the six meets. Participants will be awarded points in each individual Olympic event throughout the duration of the Series (Five points for first, three for second, one point for third place).