Americans Katie Ledecky and Simone Manuel became new records in the water this year in Rio. While their dedication and drive were obvious factors in the victories, did the design of the pool play a part as well?
2 Works for You Chief Meteorologist Brett Anthony decided to test the theory out by visiting the Jenks Aquatic Center.
“The Olympic competition is held in an indoor facility because it is much easier to control,” said George Villarreal with Jenks Aquatic.
We came to the Jenks Aquatic Center to see how the structure of a pool affects swimmers' times.
“What will be in play in Rio, for the pool swimming, is that they will be able to control the pool temperature directly.”
Another aspect, the depth of the pool, also controls the turbulence. It takes longer for movement to reach the bottom and ricochet back up. This decreases disruption on the athletes -- allowing them to swim faster.
“Obviously in Olympic swimming, in pool swimming, you want to have exact conditions to effect everybody exactly the same.”
Circulation in the pool also helps with this -- buffer lanes and gutters reduce chop -- and help quiet the currents.
“There might be a slight turbulence on the surface of the water but we are talking about small waves and every swimmer is going to have to contend with it.”
But, in the end, the glory isn't in the world record -- the glory is in the gold.
“The rest of their lives they will be medalists at the Olympics no matter what their time is.”