Part Three - The Bucket List
I have already recounted the Olympic Pools I swam in, as well as my near misses. This final post covers all the remaining pools to fill out my Olympic Pool Bucket List. I better start saving my air miles and seizing the moment when I'm in the right city!
1924 Paris Olympic Pool - now reincarnated as Piscine Georges Vallerey:
This one kind of hurts as I've been to Paris more than a handful of times between business travel and personal travel, but, not only did I not swim in this pool, I cannot recall swimming in any pool in France. I will not let this one slip away then next time I am there.
1936 Berlin Olympics - Olympiapark Schwimmstadion
This is not one of those pools I've missed as I've not spent much time in Germany, having only flown through Frankfurt periodically and spent one week in Nuremburg on a consulting project back in the 2003/2004 time-frame. Beyond Berlin's historic significance and uber-trendy hipster rep these days, I now have more reasons to get there.
1952 Helsinki Olympics Swimming Stadium
Of all the Olympic pools I've not swum in, this really should be the first one I attempt to get to as I have Finnish roots from my paternal grandmother.
The entire country of Australia will figure prominently once I finally amalgamate my complete bucket list of pools. Thanks to my wife being a huge tennis fan and our shared dream of one day attending the Australian Open, I just might be able to get to this pool, even if the renovations and changes over the last ~60 years have substantively changed this facility far more than the three above.
1960 Rome Olympic Swimming Stadium
The sum total of the time I've spent in Rome was a couple of hours on the tarmac of the international airport stuck on an Air Zambia jet during a re-fueling stop from Lusaka to London in 1992 as I made my way home from my stint in the Peace Corps. The swimming stadium still exists so if I ever make it off the runway in the future, I'll have to go.
Although I've lived next door to Mexico (between my time in Texas and Arizona) for half my life, I've still not yet made it there. As referenced in the article linked above, Mexico City seems to have done an admirable job of converting many of their Olympic facilities into community assets.
In theory, assuming the open swimming hours work out, I could land in Munich, pickup a fast German coupe, swim in the Munich pool in the morning and then motor the 5+ hours on the Autobahn to get to Berlin for an evening workout. Road trip anyone?
I imagine that relatively few Americans have swum at this pool thanks to the horrible decision for most of the western world to boycott these Olympics. Russia's not really at the top of my 'must-see' vacation spots, though I imagine I should go to Moscow at some point merely for the historic impact of the city and the country.
1988 Seoul Olympics - Jamsil Indoor Swimming Pool
Though I've watched pretty much every Olympic Swimming event with great enthusiasm since 1976, the Seoul Olympics were probably the most special to me as a number of my teammates from the University of Texas competed. I imagine I am marginally more likely to get to South Korea than Russia, so I can foresee myself someday swimming here.
1992 Barcelona Olympics - Piscines Bernat Picornell
This is one of those pools where I'm kicking myself for not having made the effort to get there. I had two conferences in Barcelona in the early 2000s and really should have had time to swim here, but I didn't.
2004 Athens Olympic Aquatic Center
I have seen mixed messages about the state of this pool, as well as the ability to actually get into it. I was actually in Athens for about 36 hours in the summer of 2015, but didn't have the time to track it down. Though I was there for a short time, I really enjoyed what little I saw of this ancient city and hope to get back.
2008 Beijing Water Cube
If you ask the casual non-swimming fan, this is probably the most memorable pool thanks to Michael Phelps. It also looked fantastic during the Olympics, both outside and inside. I am not sure if I'll ever get to Beijing, but I like that they've turned this into a multi-use aquatics facility, so I have a shot,
2016 Rio Olympic Pool
Based upon articles like this one, I might not ever get to swim in this pool :(
I'll close with this question on these pools - have you swum in any on this list? If so, share your story in the comments section!