On Saturday, July, 25, 2015, an open training session for the United States team competing at the 2015 FINA World Championships took place at Swimming Pools Kantrida. The two and a half hour session featured 47 swimmers, and Rijeka's swimming and diving clubs members came to watch their idols.
The media had the unique opportunity to speak with the team's coaches who were astonished with both Rijeka's pools and Kvarner.
"I hope you are aware of what you have. Here you have the best training conditions in the world even without the sea in the background! But thanks to the sea and these conditions, I have to say, the training conditions are better than U.S. Here we had a training in sea because we don't have to fear sharks, we have been warned of them while we had our camp in Australia. It's so relaxing to swim in the sea, the team truly enjoys. Staying here the best way to get ready for the competition, not only physically, but psychologically, too."
David Marsh, Team USA Men’s Assistant Coach for 2015 FINA World Championships
"We had a training camp in Rome, Italy, we loved it, but this (Rijeka) is truly beautiful. You are very hospitable, we have a great accommodation. Here is beautiful, clean sea, we have everything we need to win medals. You can bet we will won them. To Americans it's all about winning as many medals as possible. First we have to get the swimmers ready, and medals will come for sure. Everybody is in great shape.''
Dave Salo, Team USA Women's Head Coach for 2015 FINA World Championships
"It's wonderful here. Swimmers and the National Team staff say they have a feeling they died and gone to heaven, it's that beautiful. We were made to feel so welcome and we have everything necessary for training, even more than that. We don't feel like leaving, we are having so great time. If there wasn't for the upcoming competition, we would definitely stay longer. The World Championships in 2017 are taking place in Budapest, so we hope the training camp for that competition will also be here, at Swimming Pools Kantrida."
Frank Busch, USA Swimming National Team Director
"It is amazing here. This is one of the top five beautiful places I have ever been. We are truly blessed for having a chance to come here. Opportunities like these are rare, I am so glad we took it. This is my first time in Croatia, hopefully not my last one. before we arrived, we got the pictures and I was wondering if it can really be that beautiful. When we arrived, I said: Oh God, it's even more beautiful! Many people I talked to said that Croatia is either the most beautiful or one of the five most beautiful places they have been. And that is true. In Russia, the expectations are high, but we know what we are ready for and what we are capable of. I know that every one of us will give their best and in the end we will see how many medals we will won for our country. I feel great, very fast, I enjoy training every day. When I think about it, this seems like a little vacation. We work hard at the pool, that's correct, but the rest of the day we rest and enjoy ourselves."
Missy Franklin, swimmer, USA Swimming National Team
"You have a really warm weather here, but it doesn't bother me that much. Especially if I am close to water because water is my natural habitat. Everything is nice, everyone are kind, the food is great. Very nice place. Especially for a training camp. A man can't wish for more than he has right here. I have never been in Croatia until now, but I am definitely coming back.
What I expect in Russia? First of all, many golds for my country. That part never changes because we are all aware what is expected from us, no matter what competition we are competing at. Besides, we have our fans. I would never think, not in a million years, that I would become an idol to young swimmers and that so many children will come watch our training."
Ryan Lochte, swimmer, USA Swimming National Team
After the training camp in Rijeka, swimming stars, including individual Olympic gold medalists Katie Ledecky, Missy Franklin, Nathan Adrian, Tyler Clary, Anthony Ervin and Matt Grevers went to Kazan, to participate at the 16th FINA World Aquatics Championships.
The youngest future swimmers were the most excited to see Ryan Lochte, 11-time Olympic medalist, who spent some time with his fans with the rest of team at the end of the training session.
Training camp of US national swimming team lasted from July 22-29, 2015, and the greatest compliment to Rijeka and its pool complex is the announcement of their probable return in 2017.
(Published: August, 2015)