The Olympic Swim trials are over and I must say that I’m a little sad. I love swimming and it was a blast watching the swim trials on TV. Sarah and I actually went to an evening session last Monday and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was an unforgettable father-daughter day. I was especially impressed with the Qwest Center and how they configured it to host the swim trials. I can’t imagine another venue that would be more perfect than what the swimmers had here.
It has been fun reading some of the comments of people from different parts of the country as they covered the swim trials (and experienced Omaha). Two of the most common sentiments were: 1) they were totally surprised at how nice the city of Omaha and the Qwest center was and 2) the people of Omaha go out of their way to make guests feel welcome. Any time there is an event here with national exposure, those are the comments you are most frequently going to hear. Vicki Terlap of SwimNetwork.com wrote a piece that pretty much sums up what I have been reading from others. In her article she says,
“I’m here to set the record straight. Omaha is FABULOUS. Like the squeaky-clean, freckle-faced, straight-A student in your high school biology class, Omaha is eager to please and willing to go out of its way to make sure everything is done just right.”
But we’ve known that – haven’t we? We have hosted the College World Series since 1950 and will for another 25 years at least! Whenever a tragedy strikes (Von Maur comes to mind), Omahan’s rally around each other to give whatever support they can. Whenever a storm tears up part of our city – it’s the neighbors who go out of their way to help each other out – just like they did the Friday night before the trials started. The Qwest was damaged - half the city was without power – but the trials went on without even a hiccup.
So sure, we have nice facilities and things to do in Omaha but the real treasure in this city is the people who live and work here. Good job Omaha!