Do Olympic Swimmers Pee in the Pool, Too?
Yes, Yes They Do, Says a U.S. Swim Team Alum
There's no Olympic swimmer at this summer's London games who hasn't trained and hoped to go home with a gold medal. But there's another kind of yellow the Olympic athletes are trying to avoid.
We're talking pee in the pool, people, and just like in any other pool in the world, Olympic competition pools also contain their fair share of urine, according to a former U.S. National Swimming Team competitor who has 'fessed up that she and her fellow championship caliber swimmers do indeed tinkle in the pool.
"Nearly 100 percent of elite competitive swimmers pee in the pool. Regularly. Some deny it, some proudly embrace it, but everyone does," says Carly Geehr, the U.S. swim team alum who participated in a question-and-answer session at Quora.com.
Geehr even went on to break down exactly when competitive swimmers are most likely to let the pee stream freely in the pool.
"Warmup/practice -- totally free reign," Geehr writes. "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."
Peeing during a race is a rarity, Geehr writes, because swimmers are too tense and too, obviously, preoccupied with the race.
But before a race?
"It depends on the meet and to some extent the color of the pool deck. I kid you not," Geehr says. "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 … 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.)"
As for why cameras never capture the swimmers doing their potty business in the water, Geehr says the urine "diffuses" pretty quickly in the pool, especially when a swimmer is moving at race speed.
Kinda changes how you're going to watch televised swimming competitions from now on, though, doesn't it?