Robert Schonberger at thought home

August 8, 2013. Somewhere in Sydney.

So I’m here in Sydney; There’s a great outdoor swimming pool, by the beach, called the Bondi Icebergs. They have an olympic pool, filled with saltwater, right by the beach. It was built as a training pool for lifeguards to use in the off-season.

It’s a great locals hangout, and I take any excuse I can to swim in it when I’m around. It’s 50 meters long, and in order to be a member you have to race the club races for 5 winters in a row. Icy.

Sitting in the sauna yesterday, though, I overheard that the pool doesn’t have higher level sanctioned events in it since it’s apparently not exactlyOlympic length, being perhaps 2-3 centimeters short of 50m. This makes it ineligible for various types of official competition, record setting and more.

At first, I thought this would be a ridiculous oversight. Damaging to the reputation and the core of the place, and meaning they don’t get to host any lucrative meets. I’m not sure if it is short of 50 meters, but I felt that this was a strange mistake.

The more I thought about it, I realised in some ways this was a feature. Some places deserve to be non-competitive, or at least, competing on their own terms. Nobody that swims in the saltwater minds. In fact, it means that the people that swim there do so for more pleasurable reasons. It’s a feature.

Still not sure if it is in fact 2cm too short.

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