Make your home page

2-time Olympian Cullen Jones takes deep dive into swim trials at Toyota Aqua Zone

Toyota Aqua Zone making a splash during US Swim Trials

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — With the Olympic swim trials underway at Lucas Oil Stadium, many free fan activities are happening around Indianapolis, including a free deep dive into swimming at the Indiana Convention Center.

The Toyota Aqua Zone has taken over the convention center, offering several free activities including a flight simulator, basketball and swimming merchandise, and more.

One of many companies setting up shop at the Aqua Zone is Speedo. Along with U.S. Olympic Swim Trial-themed merch, Speedo also has make-your-own-goggle stations.

Some of the merch in the Speedo section pays homage to the Olympic team, but also to Indianapolis.

Brian Basye, vice president of sales for Speedo, shared these themes with News 8. ” The red, white, and blue theme is Indianapolis-themed. It’s been really, really fun to design this product, really, really interesting, but it pays homage to the racing from here.”

Basye says their merchandise is a good way to help grow the sport of swimming. “I think a lot of this is designed so we can have a race, can have fitness, can have recreational swimming. We have something for everyone,” he said.

Two-time Olympian and four-time medalist Cullen Jones also joined News 8 to discuss how special the U.S. Olympic Swim Trials are here in Indianapolis. 

“It’s been amazing, we’ve been to Omaha, we had 17,000 (people), but now to have over 20,000 people to be here swimming in just the first night, and have a world record on the first night – can’t ask for more,” Jones said. “If you’re not thinking about coming to trials, you’re missing something, you’ve got to make sure you come out here.” 

Jones says this event is a must for sporting and swimming fans. 

He also recalls the first time he made the Olympic swim team for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. He says those memories are for a lifetime. 

“Being at trials, at first, that’s usually the hardest thing, because we have so much depth in the U.S., so when I made the Olympic team and I was going to Beijing, I was a deer in headlights,” Jones said.

Jones competed on the iconic 4X100 meter team that took home gold in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Other notable team members included Michael Phelps, Neil Walker, and Jason Lezak. The same team set the world record in the race that year.

“(We had) Michael Phelps on the relay and we were just excited and with his leadership, it helped a rookie like me feel comfortable,” Jones said.

Jones also has two gold medals and two silver medals. 

Before he was an Olympian, Jones says he came from humble beginnings. He says he almost drowned at the age of five, and his parents then put him into swim lessons. 

He now works with Speedo and is giving back to the community, even here in Indianapolis. Speedo donated $1 million in products to U.S.A. Swimming. The gift comes as part of the brand’s initiative to diversify swimming through its campaign for change, Speedo’s Swim United program. 

Toyota Aqua Zone runs until June 23.