Divers prepare for USA Nationals with Opening Ceremony - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Divers prepare for USA Nationals with Opening Ceremony

More than 700 divers will compete (Source:WALB) More than 700 divers will compete (Source:WALB)
Competitors come from across the country (Source:WALB) Competitors come from across the country (Source:WALB)
Seth Greer (right), competitor (Source:WALB) Seth Greer (right), competitor (Source:WALB)
Parker Hardigree, competitor (Source:WALB) Parker Hardigree, competitor (Source:WALB)
Tommie Beth-Willis, Chamber of Commerce (Source:WALB) Tommie Beth-Willis, Chamber of Commerce (Source:WALB)
MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) -

The USA Diving National Championships kicked off Saturday.

The event's opening ceremony welcomed more than 700 athletes from across the country. 

Some competitors, ranging from ages seven to twenty-two, made the trek from far away.

"It was a lot of work to get here, but all-in-all, it was really fun," Seth Greer, a diver from Kentucky, said.

Other competitors like 16-year-old Parker Hardigree call South Georgia their home. He's competed in nationals before, but said this year at the Moose Moss Aquatic Center is special. 

"I'm pumped. I'm excited to have so many people come to Moultrie," Hardigree said. "They just get to see what an awesome community we have."

The two-week event is expected to make a $4.3 million economic impact.

"We're very excited," Tommie Beth-Willis, the Interim President of the Moultrie Chamber of Commerce, said. "A lot of the businesses are having extended hours. They are prepared to have extra staff to make for better customer service to accommodate all the visitors in town." 

Beth-Willis said she expects more than 2,500 visitors over the next two weeks. Governor Nathan Deal, who spoke at the event, said those people will get to see that Georgia has more to offer than just Metro Atlanta.

"This is a great example of something that exposes this part of Georgia to the rest of the United States," Deal said. "These swimmers, who are here and their families and coaches, will go back and spread the word." 

The competition begins Monday. It will run through August 14th.  

Copyright 2016 WALB.  All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly