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Knoxville Tennessee

Hello and welcome to my travel blog!

My name is Tessa Cieplucha, a Canadian National swimmer, and during my swimming career I get the opportunity to travel all over the world. In this travel blog I want to explore the some of the places I get to visit, while I compete, and share my love for travel with you.

I am also an Environmental Science and Geography graduate and combined with my love for travel I wanted to share some of the things I learn about each location with you.

I thought it would be appropriate, as my first blog entry, to talk about the place I currently live and train. I went to University of Tennessee in Knoxville Tennessee on a swimming scholarship and over the years I have been able to see and experience many of the cool things that make Knoxville great.

Knoxville, TN

South-eastern United States has a combination of vast mountains and farming regions. Knoxville is situated at the base of the Appellation Mountains. Having the Smokey Mountain National Park nearby, the Oak Ridge National Lab, and a bustling downtown city, Knoxville attracts almost every type of personality.

Downtown Knoxville, sometimes called The Scruffy City, has so much to offer. There’s Market Square, a fun pedestrian area with shops and great restaurants, and even a skating rink during the winter months… in the south! There’s more shopping and dining options on Gay Street and in Old City. Strong Alley is famously known for its amazing murals, a must when visiting Market Square.

As a hungry athlete one of my personal favourite breakfast eateries is Tupelo Honey in Market Square.

Knoxville has a population of almost 200,000 people, and its main industries are utilities, trade, production, and of course the university, home of the Tennessee Vols. The location and landscape are without a doubt the largest draws for people to settle down here. The Tennessee Valley Authority commands and oversees all environmental developments and resource management.

Knoxville has been growing and adopting more green energy solutions. Almost 20% of the city’s energy usage comes from renewable sources, which makes it the number one city in the Southeast for solar investment. The mountain range landscape plus the heritage of the state caused the South to be a large contributor to coal and fossil fuel pollution and production. Tennessee seems to be catching the tail of the ecologically sustainability wave and is starting to create a new way of life for Southern America.

The Allan Jones Aquatic Center was constructed in 2008, at the University of Tennessee. This facility can hold up to 2,000 people and is home to the University’s Swimming and Diving team. It features a 50-metre Olympic sized swimming pool with a sperate 25-yard diving well. The University of Tennessee campus is the only campus in the country to have three 50-metre Olympic sized swimming pools within 100 yards of each other. I have been training at the Allan Jones Aquatic Center for the past 7 years, competing for the Tennessee Lady Vols in 2017-2020, and now as a professional athlete.

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