The history of the Moultrie center that preps Olympiads - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

The history of the Moultrie center that preps Olympiads

Hundreds of elite divers from all over the country will compete at Moss Farms Diving over the next two weeks. (Source: WALB) Hundreds of elite divers from all over the country will compete at Moss Farms Diving over the next two weeks. (Source: WALB)
Robert Moss, known as Moose, built a small diving pool on his farmland for his kids. But he dreamed even bigger.  (Source: WALB) Robert Moss, known as Moose, built a small diving pool on his farmland for his kids. But he dreamed even bigger. (Source: WALB)
"He was a tremendous individual that not only liked his farming land and his family, but everybody else's family when it came to the sport of diving," said Dave Burgering, Fort Lauderdale head coach. (Source: WALB) "He was a tremendous individual that not only liked his farming land and his family, but everybody else's family when it came to the sport of diving," said Dave Burgering, Fort Lauderdale head coach. (Source: WALB)
After convincing the city of Moultrie a new diving facility would be a great addition from an economic standpoint, he started working with close friend and architect Camila McLean to create his vision. (Source: WALB) After convincing the city of Moultrie a new diving facility would be a great addition from an economic standpoint, he started working with close friend and architect Camila McLean to create his vision. (Source: WALB)

Hundreds of elite divers from all over the country will compete at Moss Farms Diving over the next two weeks.

But not many of them know the story behind the facility and the man who made his dream a reality. 

It's hard to believe this state of the art diving facility started with one man's vision.

"He was a tremendous individual that not only liked his farming land and his family, but everybody else's family when it came to the sport of diving," said Dave Burgering, Fort Lauderdale head coach.

Robert Moss, known as Moose, built a small diving pool on his farmland for his kids. But he dreamed even bigger.  

After convincing the city of Moultrie a new diving facility would be a great addition from an economic standpoint, he started working with close friend and architect Camila McLean to create his vision. 

"We would go to each diving facility when we were competing, and I would have a pad of paper.  We would look at the things that, not only worked, but more importantly, what did not work," said McLean.

Learning from others' mistakes, McLean and Moose were able to build the Moss Farms Diving facility in a couple of years solely on funds raised for the project. 

Now, divers from across the nation use these five platforms, eight spring boards, and a 6,000-square-foot dry-land practice area.

"Here we are enjoying great coaches, a great facility, great teams enjoying other coaches coming here and using our facility. Can't expect more than that," said McLean.
 
The facility has served as the training site for six Olympic teams, and as host to several National diving championships.  

And even after Moose's death in 1993, his passion for the sport and his legacy live on.

"Everybody has said from the time they built it, like the movie Field of Dreams, 'If you build it, they will come.' he built it and here we are.  And we'll just keep coming back for more and more," said Dave Burgering.

This two-week National championship is expected to bring in more than $4 million to the community. 

To see the full schedule of events, click here.

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