The FINA Swimming & Diving World Cups came together for an official opening party high above the lights of the German capital as FINA and the German Swimming Federation (DSV) hosted a Media Night.
Hosted in the "Loft14" on the top floor of the Vienna House Andel’s Berlin, the media night brought together a collection of top swimmers and divers with numerous FINA World Championship and Olympic titles with members of the media.
FINA Executive Director Brent Nowicki expressed his pleasure in Berlin hosting swimming and diving world cups together.
“By bringing the world’s best swimmers and divers under one roof, we believe this new format offers additional value to the city of Berlin and sponsors, as well as to the athletes who can now unite around their passion for aquatic sport.”
During his welcoming remarks, Nowicki also referred to the impressive figures for the combined FINA World Cups, a field that includes 13 Olympic champions and 44 FINA World Champions among the 625 athletes representing 63 competing nations.
“Berlin has been a fixture in the FINA Swimming World Cup for many years and we are delighted that we have now been able to include diving for the first time," Nowicki added. "I am sure it will be a great event."
DSV Vice President Wolfgang Rupieper thanked FINA and the sports metropolis of Berlin for their support in implementing this innovative format, as well as the local organizing team and volunteers "for their tireless efforts, without which this event would not be possible."
Count German standout distance freestyle swimmer Florian Wellbrock among the athletes that appreciated the more informal pre-event press conference environment.
“Athletes, media representatives and guests of honour then got to talk to each other in a relaxed atmosphere. "It was very nice to get together here once again in a convivial atmosphere before the competition and just to be able to communicate with each other," said the reigning Olympic and world champion.
Event anticipation could be felt everywhere.
"I love the SSE in Berlin, I always look forward to swimming here," said Germany’s Angelina Kohler.
American Nic Fink echoed the upbeat mood.
"I've been to so many cities in Europe and swam in almost all the major pools, but not here yet. Berlin has been missing from my bucket list,” said the reigning FINA World Champion over 50m breaststroke in both the long- and short course.
“Everyone has been telling me what a great venue and what great fans are here, so I'm looking forward to the coming days."
Contributing: German Swimming Federation