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Watch the Construction of an Olympic Pool in 30 Seconds

A Michael Phelps-paced time-lapse triumph

The opening ceremony for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro takes place on Friday August 5, with the first medals awarded the following day. With days until the flame lights up the Olympic stadium, there are still unfinished venues in the athletes’ village.  

The hasty construction of shiny new facilities is not confined to the host country, however. In May, an American pool company had 16 days to build two Olympic-sized swimming pools in Omaha, Nebraska, ahead of the U.S. swimming team’s Olympic trials. 

USA Swimming captured the build in a lightening-quick time-lapse. First, the venue is cleared of chairs and other non-essential items. (The Century Link Center in Omaha, Nebraska is multipurpose and normally home to the Creighton Bluejays basketball team. Louis C.K. performs there this week and in September, Century Link hosts Jimmy Buffet, then the World’s Toughest Rodeo.)

Several layers of different flooring then appear, as the 50-meter pool seemingly sinks into the ground. Hoses fill in the pool with water. The lanes are added to give the final touches. 

USA Swimming’s two biggest superstars dived into this pool during trials: the most decorated Olympian of all-time, Michael Phelps, and the best female swimmer in the world, Katie Ledecky.  

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