U.S. Diving Trials mean big business

U.S. Diving Trials mean big business

Credit: Travis Pittman / KING

Woodinville's Carrie Dragland and partner Bianca Alvarez in the 3M Synchronized Springboard on Day 1 of the Olympic Diving Trials.

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by LORI MATSUKAWA / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 18, 2012 at 9:07 PM

FEDERAL WAY -- The road to the Olympics goes through Federal Way where the diving trials for "Team USA" are underway. They began Sunday and go through Sunday June 24.

Carrie Dragland of Woodinville and her teammate Bianca Alvarez placed 4th in Sunday's semi finals and will compete Thursday in the finals of the 3 meter synchronized springboard event.

With an estimated 3200 participants, guests and spectators this week, Federal Way is rolling out the red carpet.

 They're fluffing the pillows and loading the keycards in the Hampton Inn, like most of the hotels in Federal Way, booked through the week. "All the hotels in the area are jumping onboard, everyone's pitching in to help, " says Sue Lane, who works the reception desk at the Hampton Inn. "A lot of families are coming in, too, so a lot of the hotels have all the families."

The City of Federal Way spent $140,000 to gain the rights to hold the event and is busting out banners and buttons to make the divers and their posses feel welcome.

"We've been welcomed with great big smiles and 'What can we do to make your stay beautiful and comfortable here?'" said Linda Paul, CEO of USA Diving.

The Seattle Sports Commission says the diving trials will mean a $3.5 million shot in the arm for King County. The City of Federal Way alone looks to gain a million to a million and a half.

A spokesman for the city says restaurant reservations are up and should stay that way through the weekend when the high profile diving events hold their finals.

General admission tickets start at $10 for a chance to see the best divers in the country.  140 divers are competing for just 14 spots on the U.S. Olympic Diving Team. Notable participants include 3-time Olympian Troy Dumais, 2011 World platform silver medalist David Boudia and 2008 Olympians Kelci Bryant, Chris Colwill, Thomas Finchum, Haley Ishimatsu and Christina Loukas. NBC and NBC Sports Network will broadcast a total of 14 hours of Diving Trials coverage.

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