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Olympic swimming, leisure centre style

Bringing swimming back to the masses
 
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We all know that swimming isn't a real sport - but you try telling Australians that. The merest suggestion of it being a leisure activity for fat people who can't be bothered to buy a pair of trainers is met with anger and derision. And that means, unfortunately, that when the Olympics are on, all you'll get to see is a load of tall men going up and down a pool. It doesn't need to be that dull though. For example, if during the race a load of kids from the local primary school all bombed into the water, playing with floats, fetching bricks from the bottom in their pyjamas and swimming widths, the 'sport' would work on so many extra levels. Those who qualify with the slowest times could be penalised as well, being forced to swim behind an 80-year-old swimming breaststroke really slowly. Then there's the issue of how people enter the pool. All false starts could easily be eliminated if all finalists had to enter the pool down the sort of water chutes that you graze your back on in Balearic water parks. On that theme, we may as well introduce the wave machine too. Another major problem with swimming is that it's very anti-climactic once the end is reach. How about adding an extra dimension to it, with the second placed competitor having three seconds knocked off his time if he can manage to dislodge his mate from a lilo, or scare a child by pretending to be a shark? The women's events could have a bit of extra interest added to them too - all it needs is a lifeguard by the side of the pool who can spend his whole working day distracting them by trying to chat them up, ignoring any drowning toddlers in the shallow end.
mrballs, Aug 14 2004

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       As a competitive swimmer, I'd have to say that this is certainly an interesting proposition.   

       As for you're opinions, I'll just say that swimming's not exactly a spectator sport.
WordUp, Aug 15 2004
  

       If they can have sychronised diving as a sport, I don't see why they can't have this (+).
oneoffdave, Aug 16 2004
  

       raspberries to you
dentworth, Aug 16 2004
  

       //I'll just say that swimming's not exactly a spectator sport// - I thought that too until I saw how the Sydney Olympics did it, with an underwater camera which travelled along the pool with the swimmers - beautiful.
hippo, Aug 16 2004
  

       the Athens underwater camera seems badly placed. a swimmer needed a dozen stitches to a gashed leg.
po, Aug 16 2004
  

       Sorry, but swimming IS a sport, it's one I love. And as for it not being a spectator sport....It's a spectator sport for those who appreciate it. I spent a few hours this morning watching the olympics and I enjoyed it thoroughly. A race is a race, not an obstacle course. Gotta bone.
swimr, Aug 16 2004
  

       As for "being forced to swim behind an 80-year-old swimming breaststroke really slowly", repeat the olympian's prayer after me: "When I'm that old and feeble, I pray that I'm just a wee bit faster than that."
dpsyplc, Aug 16 2004
  

       Particularly keen on the wave machine bit.
david_scothern, Aug 18 2004
  

       Of course there would have to be a few new rules.   

       Instead of diving in at the start traditional style, the competitors would have to 'dive bomb'.
britboy, Aug 18 2004
  
      
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