RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, August 29. LAST month during the World Championships, the Brazilian swimming community led by the likes of Olympic medalist Djan Madruga and federation president Coarcy Nunes, held off an attempt to bulldoze the Julio de Lamare pool.
The Olympic-sized pool resides alongside the Maracana Soccer Stadium and is more than 30 years old. It is a historic landmark for swimming in the Brazilian community, and had undergone a $5 million upgrade for the 2007 Pan American Games.
This year, the Maracana Soccer Stadium was purchased by a private company that had plans of eliminating the pool and building a parking garage and a shopping complex in its place in advance of the 2014 FIFA World Cup of Soccer.
With a staunch group of swimmers, attorneys, media members and nearly everyone that hopes to protect historic landmarks in the area banding together, the parking garage never had a chance as the Governor and development company backed down from the plans. Now, there's actually some more being invested in bringing the pool up to current standards within the sport.
"It was a historical achievement for sports in Brazil greatly promoted by local media," Madruga said of the pool being saved.