Mission Viejo and Mark Schubert Splash Again Under Strict Social-Distancing Guidelines

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Photo Courtesy: Mark Schubert

Mark Schubert, who has been on deck at seven Olympic Games and coaching at Mission Viejo in California, made his first appearance on the pool deck Friday after spending an extended amount of time away because of the Coronavirus pandemic, he announced on Facebook.

The legendary coach wrote a proposal to the city of Mission Viejo and got the green light to train a small group as long as they adhered to strict social distancing guidelines. Schubert indicated he received a clearance letter from USA Swimming, but that letter was the guidelines for returning, which required following local, state and federal rules. The Mayor in Mission Viejo? Former Schubert charge Brian Goodell, the Olympic 400m and 1500m freestyle champion of 1976 whose 30-lap victory was scorched to at the helm of a tight three-way battle with USA teammate Bobby Hackett and Australia’s Stephen Holland that remains one of the great Olympic swimming thrillers.

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Mark Schubert (left) at the 2018 US Nationals. Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

The idea of making a safe return to the pool had been brewing in Schubert’s head for a couple weeks, and finally came to fruition on Friday.

“We just trained 18 swimmers – one per lane short course,” Mark Schubert told Swimming World. “They come in one at a time and put their equipment at the end of the lane. They come in with their suits on because the locker rooms and showers are locked. They swim the workout in the center of the lane because they are 9-foot lanes.

“When the workout is over with, they leave one at a time and go to their car one at a time and split. If they need to go to the bathroom, we have single bathrooms in the swim school and they are responsible for disinfecting it afterwards. We have disinfectant and hand sanitizer so the city was impressed.”

It was the first time Schubert and his Mission Viejo swimmers had been in the pool since mid-March.

“We went 4,000. It was a little over an hour. These guys are probably in the worst shape they have been in their life so I can’t kill them the first day.”

It’s going to take some time to get back to any sort of normalcy, but this is a good first step for Schubert and company.

“It felt great to be back on deck and I know they were really happy to be back in the pool.”

Schubert, who has coached numerous Olympic gold medalists such as Tiffany Cohen, Goodell and Lenny Krayzelburg, has a talented training group in southern California with Olympic hopefuls Michael Brinegar and Katie Crom. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1997.

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2 years ago

We wish here in Canada ?? our competitive swimmers could train

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2 years ago

Christine MacAulay I would love to see the same with USA elite level swimmers to. Nothing open in the south suburbs of Chicago.

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2 years ago

All swimmers or just ELITE? If just ELITE what does that really mean? Just curious. We need to open up the pools. There is no reason to have the pools closed.

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John Salvino
2 years ago

Suppose it’s Trials swimmers. Doesn’t that make sense? Or National swimmers? It’s going to be difficult for them and all of us. I’m supportive.

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Robert Barker
2 years ago

No reason, except a deadly virus that’s spread by close human-to-human contact.

Dead swimmers don’t make cuts and dead parents (and coaches) don’t train swimmers.

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Paula
2 years ago

Really? No reason? Can’t think of a single reason?

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2 years ago

Bring these restrictions to FMC in Chicago for elite level swimmers please. Great start there USA Swimming.

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2 years ago

This is great news and a good first step. Who will advocate for ALL of our swimmers?

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2 years ago

Jennifer Williams I wonder same thing. Like who did he contact for permission? I like to get permission from someone at USA Swimming for FMC in Chicago to start with elite level swimmers.

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2 years ago

How about all the collegiate swimmers as well? Universities could definitely start a PHASE Two protocol. Unless I missed something we all need to remember that there has been no hot spot or outbreak at a pool, public school, college, or university. We need to unite and advocate for our swimmers.

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I’m confused how he got the go ahead for this? Can the city approve this over the state’s rules? I’m just trying to figure out how this works since CA seems to be one of the stricter states on the distancing rules and how it could work for other pools in other areas of the country.

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Allen Wone
2 years ago

Yes how did he get special permission

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2 years ago

It is located in Orange County. The County that Governor Newsome is going after. The Sherrif is not enforcing. The county is standing up to the governor and thinking for themselves.

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2 years ago

Jennifer Williams they like playing Russian roullette it seems……ironic isn’t it?stay safe?

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2 years ago

Peter Scott so glad we can have an our own opinion. “Seems” is not a good enough reason for me. No outbreak traced to any pool, university or swim meet.

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Melanie
2 years ago

Well said Jennifer Williams!

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2 years ago

Jennifer Williams because they are shut……might have something to do with that don’t you think??stay safe?

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2 years ago

Jennifer Philip Andrews waiting on the science that says that the virus is transmitting outdoors during recreational activities. All the data out of China is that the transmission primary occurred indoors in tight groups. The same shows here as well. Spreads like wildfire in nursing homes, hospitals and probably public transit/etc. No evidence it is transmitting outdoors or in pools. If the science exists showing this, I am very open minded and would love to review it.

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2 years ago

Jennifer Philip Andrews No, they are not allowed to do this in violation of the state order. The county and cities can only eliminate the restrictions they placed that exceed the state’s order, in other words those that are tighter. This would be a violation.

That said, I am glad they are defying the order in wish that more cities and counties would do it. It’s been long enough. People live and people die. That’s life. Everyone just needs to be as cautious as they can, wash their hands, and go about their lives

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Anonymous
2 years ago
Reply to  Kimberly Joy

Dumbest thought…”people live and people die” so viva the virus. Trump like insight.

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2 years ago

Jennifer Williams Governor Newsom is not “going after” Orange County. Schubert is risking lives. Anyone who has been an elite swimmer knows the influence a coach has. He is putting their lives at risk – per science. And why? So they can take a deadly virus home to grandpa?

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STOP
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Terry

Schubert is not risking lives. Stop with the fear monger.

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Linda A.
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Terry

Debby Terry the coach is not risking lives. Read the article. Look at his protocols and measures he is taking to ensure social distancing. And in addition they are swimming in chlorinated water. This pool is owned by the city of Mission Viejo and the mayor is Brian Goodell, former Olympic gold swimmer. Pools in Southern California are outside in the fresh air and sunshine where UV rays kill the Coronavirus. My daughter is a competitive swimmer and has asthma and when her club reopens I will be comfortable letting her go back because I already know they will stagger practice times so that there is only one swimmer per lane and they will be 6-8 apart swimming in chlorinated water. Incidentally my daughter has been out of school since March 13 and she hasn’t seen a single friend, so I do take this seriously.

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Susan
2 years ago

The mayor is Brian Goodell

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2 years ago

????????????

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2 years ago

Danyelle Grondin Parker Jenny Lohr Faulconer

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I wish in AZ we could get back to swimming

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2 years ago

Lynette Besonday-Washburn I wish the same in Willowbrook, Illinois.

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2 years ago

Lynette Besonday-Washburn even if it’s just elite level swimmers ranging from trials to pro series.

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2 years ago

Yay

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Kim Gordon

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2 years ago

Karin Knudson O’Connell perfect, lets go!!

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2 years ago

Lucky swimmers

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2 years ago

Fantastic!!

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2 years ago

Scott Schiffel some ideas to get approval for CVAC?

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2 years ago

Teri DeRosier Saw this today…

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2 years ago

This is amazing news for all teams!

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2 years ago

This doesn’t seem fair for all the other swim clubs in CA…

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2 years ago
Reply to  Cindy Murphy

Cindy Murphy exactly

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Rhisa Gibbs
2 years ago

Great job, getting our Olympic hopefuls back into the pool with fantastic, well thought out protocols. The phased approach is what has been required towards reopening.
This is what makes you great, Coach, and why athletes have relied on your coaching to fulfill their Olympic dreams for 40 years.

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2 years ago

Barbara Lightfoot-Nielsen Dave David Stewart Breanna Schafer Grace Anne Jamie Fussell

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2 years ago

Why doesn’t MV share their proposal will all USA Swimming clubs? So we can all get back into the water?

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Andy Seibt
2 years ago
Reply to  Rob Richardson

They already did! You just need to read the article, not just the headline!

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Michael Heather
2 years ago

It is very good that some could get into the water after so long dry, but it is a very sad commentary on our society that so many are consumed with “being safe” instead of being free citizens. Ben Franklin once said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” he was more accurate then he could have known.

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Anonymous
2 years ago

I like that!

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2 years ago

nice!

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2 years ago

Valerie Vilaska Gruss Mick Aguilar

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2 years ago

Laura Mendez Berry I used to live 5 minutes from there!

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2 years ago

Laura Mendez Berry that pool water looks very inviting

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2 years ago

Mick Aguilar yessssss it does
Swam there once for JO’s

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2 years ago

Laura Mendez Berry I hope you brought something shiny home with you?

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2 years ago

Laura Mendez Berry lol…my comment went to the wrong place.

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2 years ago

The restrictions are ridiculous and all pools should be allowed to open immediately. This has gone way too far

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2 years ago

How is that? Illegal under the state order….

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2 years ago

Great news!!!

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Wonderful!

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2 years ago

This creates a huge inequity for our swimmers, when we can’t all get in the water at the same time!

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2 years ago

Great news!!

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That’s great but can’t we all get back in the water then?

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2 years ago

Jennifer Bedore !!!!!

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2 years ago
Reply to  Julie Cowan

Julie Cowan this works with their city. There are many factors involved with their reopening. We have many plans too that are very similar but it is not time for our city…

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David
2 years ago

Nice….but how do you do that with a club team of over 200 swimmers?

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Dado
2 years ago
Reply to  David

I believe only their Elite swimmers are allowed. So far I heard only 18 swimmers.

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2 years ago

Gary Ota

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2 years ago

Fantastic!

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2 years ago

Cristin Stewart

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2 years ago

I think it’s awesome but Am I the only one who does not get these exceptions what club can and who cannot start swimming again?

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2 years ago

This is awesome!

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2 years ago

Boom!

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??????

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2 years ago

So glad they could get back into the pool and hopefully other teams can use these ideas too.

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2 years ago

Laura Carballo Sayão

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2 years ago

Marianela Vargas

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2 years ago

USA Swimming will hopefully be spreading these strict all clubs across the country soon ? can’t wait until the elite swimmers get return to the water.

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2 years ago

Leslie Cichocki hoping for us in Texas that’s it’s not just the elite….that’s hardly not fair…my opinion ??‍♀️

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2 years ago

Julie Grigar Elite would be like trial qualifiers, pro series, sectional and national team swimmers. The point is not to have 200 or 400 swimmers returning at the same time otherwise it will be harder to follow social distancing rules and to spread into smaller groups that’s why I recommend those who go to state or regionals to hold off because those meets are the most crowded.

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Mark Pellet
2 years ago

Thanks for using some common sense
Lets put our heads together for good

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2 years ago

That’s good for way smaller teams but what about a club team with 200 swimmers?

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2 years ago
Reply to  David Moreno

David Moreno Nadadores are definitely not a small team, it’s a start for them ?

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2 years ago
Reply to  David Moreno

Brooke Lee yes I am aware since I live in Los Angeles. ? It seems like it was only the highest level swimmers that workout. The article never states the WHOLE club is working out.

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2 years ago
Reply to  David Moreno

David Moreno you’re right the whole club is not working out. The highest group is, as a starting point. ?

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2 years ago
Reply to  David Moreno

Brooke Lee Nice start for the Olympic hopefuls.

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2 years ago
Reply to  David Moreno

F

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Mike Cooley
2 years ago
Reply to  David Moreno

200 swimmers clubs may be seen anymore in this day and age. Just like college football. They may not have 300 to 500 on the team dressing room at the same.

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2 years ago

So grateful.. hopefully others can follow. Put the higher groups in… my kids started when little too but there are timing issues now and college scholarships on the line. The Little’s will have time.

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2 years ago
Reply to  Todd Meyer

Todd Meyer I completely agree

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2 years ago
Reply to  Todd Meyer

Todd Meyer so true! I have a junior and freshman.

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Strohm Edwards

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2 years ago

Clovis Swim Club!

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Angelo
2 years ago

Strongly disagree when the whole world is in stay home or semi stay home order.
If we will all start doing this then it will be a world of rebelling and not a world of safety.i miss the pool too but when a major event like the OLYMPICS is canceled and when we still dont know much about the virus I find it at least irresponsible.
I respect of course the coaching ability and the freedom of each human but I am sorry I am not up with this cause its something that has killed 2 young friends of mine in italy and I wont agree with not following .
Sorry coach

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Mike Cooley
2 years ago

Thank you Mark S. for showing us away to open pools. If their a will there’s a way.

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2 years ago

I think this article has been shared three times already.

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Greg
2 years ago

Great job coach. Btw, other teams around the world are doing the same. Eg in Germany some teams have been following the same approach for 2 weeks now.