Illinois Could Host Olympic Swimmers in Training


Westmont could be a new practice location for Olympic swim training, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

The proposed project would consist of building a natatorium to host training Olympic-caliber swimmers. The facility would include two pools: one for training top-level athletes and one public pool. An upper-level seating area for 1,200 people is also included in the plan.

The competition pool would be 50-meters, and one of the fastest in the country due to its high air quality and consistent deepness, Oak Brook resident Mary Ann Kaufman said. Kaufman is the idea-generator behind the project.

“We want a facility that offers a pool for the type of training necessary to qualify for the Olympics and host competitions along with offering swimming for all,” Kaufman told the Tribune.

The Illinois High School Association has also shown interest in utilizing the facilities to host future state meets, she added. Visiting swimmers and coaches would be able to stay in the 325-unit luxury apartment complex that is also a part of the proposed development.

Harp Group member Peter Dumon bought the 18 acres of land two years ago and supports the idea of the natatorium, as it will drive more people to the property. The current lot is used for parking, which is underutilized, he told the Tribune.

“There have been other plans for something like this, but they never really get off the ground because the funding isn’t there,” Kaufman said. However, she claimed a family foundation could potentially fund this project.

The Westmont Village Board will discuss the project further at the June 15 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

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Holly's running career began in high school; after being bummed about not making the volleyball team her sophomore year, she decided to join some of her middle school friends on the cross country team. She also did track in the fall, where the 1600 m race was her niche. Since then, she has run several shorter distance races and two half marathons. Her goal for 2017 is to try a triathlon, and eventually do the Chicago Marathon. She graduated from Illinois State University in May 2016 with a degree in journalism. Working at Chicago Athlete, Holly has been able to explore photography a lot more, which is one of her main hobbies. She enjoys taking photos at endurance races, and is also passionate about nature photography and portraiture.