COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – On the Road to Rio, the United States Olympic Committee is joining forces with National Governing Bodies in hosting a total of 29 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team Trials events in 24 cities across the U.S. With 12 events having already been staged dating back to September 2015, the schedule now kicks into high gear with Trials in 12 out of the next 14 weeks.
The U.S. Paralympic Team Trials for Archery #1 wrap up today in Phoenix, while the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Canoe/Kayak Slalom #1 are underway through Saturday (April 9) at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in North Carolina.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for Wrestling take place over the weekend (April 9-10) in Iowa City, which was just featured as America’s hometown for wrestling in the debut installment of the USOC/NBC documentary series Olympic Hometowns in America. Being held at the University of Iowa for a second consecutive time, more than 10,000 tickets have already been sold for the two-day event. All sessions from Iowa City will be live streamed via NBC Sports Live Extra, while Saturday’s finals will air live on NBCSN (7 p.m. ET) and Sunday’s finals will air on NBCSN at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Thousands of Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls will be vying for up to 452 opportunities to represent Team USA in Rio (up to 297 Olympic and 155 Paralympic slots), which accounts for more than half of each team. Trials will be held in a total of 18 sport disciplines (15 Olympic, 3 Paralympic) in 19 states throughout a 10-month period covering more than 100 dates of competition.
“Our fans continue to prove that they have a huge appetite for Team USA outside of the traditional Games window,” said Chester Wheeler, USOC senior director of NGB marketing & business development. “Not only are the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team Trials crucial to selecting the best possible athletes to represent Team USA, but they also build excitement in all corners of the United States and allow fans the opportunity to get up close and personal with our incredibly inspiring athletes.”
The final Trials for canoe/kayak slalom in Oklahoma City (May 7-8) and the Diving Trials in Indianapolis (June 18-26) will coincide with the second and third of six 2016 stops for the Road to Rio Tour presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance. The Tour gets back underway in less than three weeks at the 100 Day Countdown celebration in New York City’s Times Square (April 27).
Trials events in late June and July are expected to attract some of the largest audiences, including the Men’s Gymnastics Trials that will take place in St. Louis (June 23 & 25) conjointly with the women’s P&G Championships. All-session and multi-session ticket packages are on sale, with limited seating in the lower bowl still available.
The first-ever combined U.S. Paralympic Team Trials for Swimming and Track & Field will then take place from June 30-July 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Simultaneously, the Olympic Team Trials for Swimming (June 26-July 3) will take place for a third consecutive time in Omaha, Nebraska, and are on track to be sold out for each of the 15 sessions with standing-room only crowds in the 14,500-seat arena.
Then, from July 1-10, the Track & Field Trials will return to historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, for a sixth time and will feature eight days of competition. A limited number of four-day session tickets are still available. Finally, the Trials for women’s gymnastics will close out the Trials schedule on July 8 and 10 in San Jose, California. A limited amount of upper-level seating is still available.
NBC Olympics will present an unprecedented 76 hours of coverage of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials and other selection events across NBC, NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra – including more than 60 hours of coverage in primetime. Additional hours of live coverage will be offered exclusively on NBC Sports Live Extra. In addition to upcoming Trials for wrestling, rowing, diving, gymnastics, swimming, and track and field, upcoming coverage also includes men’s and women’s water polo matches against Australia (May 22; NBCSN, 4 p.m. ET) and the U.S. women’s field hockey team facing off with India (July 18; NBCSN, 6:30 p.m. ET).
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team Trials represent one way athletes earn their places on Team USA for the Rio Games. In addition to Trials, NGBs utilize a variety of selection events and/or offer direct qualification opportunities. Selection procedures for each sport are developed by the NGBs in concert with the USOC and following parameters set forth by each International Federation, the International Olympic Committee and Rio 2016.
The full Trials schedule can be found here.