The Olympic Pool Is Apparently One Giant Collective Toilet Bowl For Swimmers

  • Jordan Rabinowitz

I’m not trying to front, but this news is kind of gross. If you don’t like to hear things about bodily functions, this probably isn’t for you. If you do like reading about bodily functions, that’s totally weird, but you would be glad to learn that an overwhelming amount of Olympic swimmers pee in the pool.

Although most Olympic swimmers don’t go home with gold, virtually all of them leave a gold mark of their own on the Games. Alright, I’m done with the disgusting euphemisms. Let former U.S. National Team member Carly Geehr tell you about it, like she did in blunt fashion when the question was posed on Quora.

Nearly 100% of elite competitive swimmers pee in the pool. Regularly. Some deny it, some proudly embrace it, but everyone does.

The more interesting question is *when* does said peeing happen?

  • Just about the only time you can get away with peeing during a race is during a breaststroke pullout. You spend enough time gliding that if you really gotta go, you probably could. Otherwise, you’re too tense and too, well, busy to even think about peeing.
  • Before a race is an interesting time. It depends on the meet and to some extent the color of the pool deck. I kid you not. You always try to pee before you swim, but sometimes your body defies logic and finds a way to refill your bladder just to spite you. Adrenaline and nerves wreak havoc on your system, and I knew tons of other swimmers that always, regardless of prior planning, had to pee right before a race. What to do if you’re desperate? Well, it’s not uncommon to splash yourself before you climb up on the blocks, so that extra liquid on yourself and the pool deck affords you an interesting opportunity. (I’ll let you finish the rest of that thought.)
  • Warmup/practice – totally free reign. As a swimmer, you just have to accept that you’re swimming in pee. I had a teammate that would sit on the wall and announce “I’m peeing!” which was… disgusting… but at least she warned us. I’m sure I’ve swum directly behind people who were just letting it all out.

Geehr also said there’s almost no way for the audience at home to detect urination, so please, crowd all those weird fetishes out of the gutters of your head — you’re just there to watch the competition.

But doesn’t it make you feel just slightly uncomfortable now knowing that whenever swimmers splash themselves a bit before the race, they’re probably just pissing themselves in front of the entire world? Still though, it’s strangely fascinating. I don’t know about you, but I’m on urination watch from here on out. NBC may be able to spoil who wins the race, but the swimmer who forgot to pee before coming out to the pool will always be a surprise.

Also, anyone who’s ever won an Olympic medal swimming breaststroke can proudly say they actually pissed all over the competition. That’s pretty cool.

[Huffington Post, photo via]