Swim Poll of the Week: 68% Favor Opening Swimming Pools For Elite Swimmers


This is the Swim Poll of the Week for Wednesday April 29, 2020, sponsored by Strechcordz Swim Training Products. In our last poll, we wanted to know: Should elite swimmers be allowed access to safe training pool environments in light of the coronavirus shutdown?

Last week, Australian coach Dean Boxall, leader of the St. Peters Western squad highlighted by World Champs Ariarne Titmus and Mitch Larkin, voiced his opinion that elite swimmers should be allowed access to the pool “in the next two weeks” in order to have peak performance at the Olympic Games next year. If they are not in the pool until the end of this summer, then they will struggle to get to their top form in time for the Olympics.

As of this writing for the swim poll, the Games are 451 days away.

It is expected that in some parts of the world like Great Britain, national performance centers will be open before other public pools to give Britain’s Olympic medalist hopefuls an early start at safe training.

The likes of Katie Ledecky and Lilly King in the United States are reported to be training in backyard pools in the United States, while coach Bob Bowman said today that his team in Arizona is getting “very comfortable now with ‘I don’t know.’ ”  One of his charges, 2012 Olympic 200m freestyle champion Allison Schmidt is getting 45 minutes in the water three times a week at a local country club.

Boxall had to close his St Peters Western program a month ago as Australia imposed lockdown measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 and the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 organizers announced a year-long delay in staging the Olympics.

Australia is well down the league of nations that suffered the worst of the pandemic since the spread of the virus emerged from Wuhan in China. To date, 6,647 Australians have contracted the virus, which has caused 74 deaths in the country according to official figures, compared to 819,175 Americans, among whom 45,343 have lost their lives.

While wary of the threat posed by the pandemic, Boxall hopes that guidelines will soon be introduced to ensure elite swimming squad members can get back to pool training.

“I don’t want to be seen as someone who is not in touch with what is happening,” he told reporter Laine Clark of The Australian Associate Press (AAP). Dean Boxall added:

“I get it, people are dying. It is a terrible crisis. But you go to parks and you see stacks of people but we can’t get elite swimmers to swim in a pool. We want to get back in the water but we can’t, we are hamstrung. I am not talking about the whole swimming community in Australia returning to pools, just the elite guys.”

The longer Australia’s elite swimmers spent out of the pool, the longer it would take for them to get back in shape, the coach said, adding:

“They need to be in the water very soon, like the next two weeks, just to get the body back into a rhythm. Usually if you have a month off, it takes you two months to get back into it – it’s normally double. If you call it (pool training return) in September it is going to be a struggle. If you call it in July, August, it is still difficult – they need to get back in the water.”

So for the swim poll, the question remains: Should elite swimmers be allowed access to safe training pool environments in light of the coronavirus shutdown?

We asked for the swim poll and you answered with…

Here are the swim poll answers:

Yes, give them access – 68%

No, it is not worth a risk – 32%


  1. Leslie Cichocki

    I think elite athletes in all countries including the USA should be training in the pool in hopes of the game next year otherwise none of us will be in our top form going into trials if not in by this summer which I agree with the Australian coach.

    • avatar

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  2. Donald P. Spellman

    I think this poll is a premature right now given that numbers in some states are still rising, we way WAY behind on testing in the USA 🇺🇸, and this virus KILLS asthmatics and people with other heath conditions (that many athletes, coaches, and officials may have).
    This entire situation stinks for all involved but I would rather have my athletes ALIVE and training healthy in two or three months than risk jumping back into normal training conditions too early.

    • Peter Scott

      Donald P. Spellman finally a voice of reason. Thanks for your comment. Far too many people are wrapped up in their own self interests and delusions 😷stay safe😷

    • Donald P. Spellman

      Peter Scott : My home State is a mess right now and I’m dreading seeing people I know posting items on social media about sick & dying relatives and friends. This is NOT the flu. This is an aggressive and tricky virus that is most likely more widespread than we think.

    • Peter Scott

      Donald P. Spellman you are 100% correct. I don’t live in the States I live in Mauritius and I have not been out since 20th March. We are not allowed out except 2 days per week to go to supermarket and that based on alphabete letter of your name. Without identity card you can’t get in. Police will fine you if you are out at the wrong time. The result…..only 10 deaths and hardly no new infections for a week now. We are still in total lockdown until next Monday and then a few jobs will start again.
      The comments and attitude of many in USA and UK are really, really disturbing.
      This is not the middle or end of the problem but only the beginning……😷stay safe😷

  3. Graeme Gordon

    It’s not fair to allow only elite athletes to train. How about a 15 time gold medalist at 3 Canadian maters championships that is recovering from surgery. I need to get in the pool, not that I’m ever going to break records, but for the healthy mobility of my permanently injured shoulder. And how about the next 10 year old future Olympian/Paralympian that takes home 20 gold at 5 olympics/paralympics. Would you deny the future swimmers over the current elite athletes the opportunity? With the 1980/1984 boycotts, we can certainly equal the playing field for ALL athletes alike by staying home and not dying. Some elite athletes have the facilities to train and some do not. Some have back yard pools like Gary Hall Sr. did at his Phoenix home. Two more months people, that’s it. Two more months of restrictions then we will finally probably have everything back open again. But you have to stay home. Don’t be like the Church leaders that have defied common sense and are now with the Lord. Don’t be like the protester organizers that have contractied (and spread) the virus. STAY HOME.

  4. Rob Richardson

    All pools should be reopened now to anyone that wants to swim maintaining a safe distance and other Covid protocols.

    If you are sick – stay home.
    If you are scared – stay home.
    If you are vulnerable (or live with someone who is) – stay home.

    Otherwise people should be able to do whatever they want. It should not be access only for the “elite”.

    • Rob Richardson

      Steven Rose it was my opinion – don’t need any shaming from you

    • Allison Gober

      Rob Richardson, Steven can suck rocks!!! I totally agree with you 💯 I sent my daughter out of town this week to have access to a pool. Her coach wrote her up workouts!

    • Steven Rose

      Allison Gober Enjoy that covid

    • Allison Gober

      Steven Rose I just had a doc in my office 2 days ago that’s been intubating COVID patients for the past 2 months. Believe me, if we are gonna get COVID, it ain’t from the pool!

    • Rob Richardson

      Steven Rose that description should also include

      People without underlying health conditions that stay home unnecessarily and delay herd immunity

    • Jennifer Brurok

      Rob Richardson and when our great pharma companies finally discover a vaccine, the same 50 % of the population who doesn’t get the flu vax won’t get the COVID vax and the solution will be “quarantine and go broke”. Ya’ll realize this will come back & mutate and will probably be a part of our lives as long as we are on this earth. We can’t hide forever tho so let’s just pray the pharma companies can save all our butts! Btw… what happened to all those people dying from vaping? 6 months sure does change a narrative and storyline, huh?

    • Jennifer Brurok

      Steven Rose that’s pretty horrible to say. One can be independently responsible and not need to stay locked in a room for 2 months. . If you have access to a pool in a warm climate and you can access it and be safe- who gives a shit? If I could afford to rent a house in Fl and send my daughter with a non employed family member, I would absolutely let her hang out in a house where she could do her ON -LINE school work, not miss a beat, be able to do what she adores (swim), and enjoy life instead of being stuck in cold, gloomy, crappy Midwest weather while I’m stuck working remotely from home every day. This entire situation sucks for everyone but wishing COVID on someone or implying they will contribute to the crisis is asinine without knowing their situation.

    • Rob Richardson

      Steven Rose we never got a vaccine for SARS and it essentially went away. We also don’t have a vaccine for HIV/AIDS but have treatments that eliminated the threat of death.

    • Rob Richardson

      Flynn Burroughs thanks Flynn! Amazing. The WHO funding should not be renewed until serious reforms are introduced

    • Flynn Burroughs

      The prevalence of positive antibody tests indicate that current hospitalization & mortality rates are SIGNIFICANTLY inflated.

      That’s true even if the positive antibody tests turn out to be only 1% …let alone the much higher %s currently being shown with limited testing (up to 25% positive in some parts of NY!).

      The reality is that if these antibody tests are proven valid and continue to trend in the current direction, this whole thing will go down as the greatest overreaction (or overreach) in the history of the world.


    • Robert Fisher

      Rob Richardson I’ll listen to what Fauci recommends, not your fox news take about sars and hiv/aids

    • Rob Richardson

      Flynn Burroughs I heard the Bronx did some spot testing and showed 40% with the antibody

    • Rob Richardson

      Robert Fisher my statements are consistent with Dr Fauci

    • Robert Fisher

      Rob Richardson you left out the part where Fauci objected to Ingraham’s “hypothesis” which is why she cut the interview short.

    • Rob Richardson

      Robert Fisher we can agree to disagree!

    • Robert Fisher

      Rob Richardson fair enough, be safe.

  5. Robin Kite

    National team members should be allowed to train in a controlled environment at the Olympic training center.

    • Al JJ Renaud

      Robin Kite Did the Olympic training center build a pool? They used to use the Air Force Academy pool.

    • Robin Kite

      Al JJ Renaud I don’t know. I just assumed the pool was part of the Olympic Training Center.

    • Mark Hesse

      Al JJ Renaud yes there is a pool at the Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The entire OPTC complex is currently closed

    • Amy Lynn

      Al JJ Renaud The OTC built a really nice indoor pool at the OTC a number of years ago. Back in the old days when I went to camp, they only had an outdoor 20 yard rec pool by the army barrack dorms. OTC Practices were at a long course country club in the morning and the Air Force Academy in the afternoons.

    • Amy Lynn

      Mark Hesse he is talking about the olden days – see my comment above ^

    • Mark Hesse

      Amy Lynn I got that I was explaining that although there is a pool it is not currently available

  6. avatar

    How about a definition of what an ‘elite swimmer’ is and then all teams follow that format! So…. who falls into the ‘elite swimmer’ category/definition?

  7. avatar
    Kim Rooney


  8. Diana Terry Bolding

    Open all pools this is ridiculous!!! Chlorine kills anything-

    • Steven Rose

      Diana Terry Bolding Too bad humans aren’t fish that strictly live in chlorinated water…

    • Connie Wolf Shaw

      Steven Rose oh Steven the troll pushing your fish narrative again. Get a life.

  9. John Dussliere

    Should they be allowed to? A great number of them haven’t missed more than a week. They found pools, they just aren’t sharing that info.

  10. avatar

    If elite swimmers are allowed then I fell all competitive swimmers should be allowed back in the pool.

  11. Cami Platek

    I think all athletes should be allowed in the pool.

  12. Riley Malcolmson

    Open it to everyone or no one, parity is crucial in sports no one should get an advantage

  13. John Dussliere

    In a pre-Olympic year maybe consider this:
    Everyone qualified for our Olympic Trials has an equal possibility of making the Team. Do all qualifiers have an equal probability of making the Team? No, but should an NGB give favor to some and not all in the class of Trials qualifiers? Something worthy of debate.

    • Donald P. Spellman

      John Dussliere : The big issue here would be who is considered a viable contender for an Olympic spot.

    • John Dussliere

      Donald P. Spellman these “guesses” get made every Games as NGB’s submit a long list and a short list of names to the NOC(USOPC) so they can clear all necessary administrative work should they get nominated to the Team. Short lists generally contain National and Junior Teams plus a number that have come up since those Teams were named. With Nat Teams picked two years out of the Games(thanks covid-19) the short list becomes more guesswork. The long list could have hundreds
      (anyone with a shot). So the “viability” list is generally an ongoing list tracking performance.

  14. Lee Thomas

    Given the low levels of the virus in Australia I see no problem with this. 1 lane each to keep up social distancing. Simple.

    • Rich Davis

      Lee Thomas yeah but Australia and New Zealand took this shit seriously. America, not so much.

  15. Jennifer Smalley

    You should just let people swim in a pool who want to swim in the pool who aren’t scared of this Coronavirus

  16. avatar

    We need to put NCAA athlete swimmers into the elite category as well.

  17. Liz Young

    I would think DI and DII swimmers would qualify as elite swimmers as well.

  18. Dick Beaver

    We, pool managers, Head lifeguards, coaches, and pool owners clean the locker rooms daily and most hose down the decks every day or two.
    So let’s open them and get on with our lives.

  19. Jason Barnard

    Define “elite”. Might not be enough water if the same type of guidelines are used as the PPP!

  20. Allison Gober

    Open the pools!!! At least let EVERYONE get back to practicing!!!

  21. Jim Bowser

    Elite swimmers are a tiny percent of the swim community 😮

  22. Todd Meyer

    Open the pools to lap swimming… leave a lane between… get in/out leave. No sunbathing and playing… athletes only. Not a game a job for many. If you can play golf, tennis and pickle ball… then swimmers should be able to swim

  23. Donald P. Spellman

    The economics on operating pools is an issue most places too. We will not see pools operating in a normal manner for weeks after reopening in many places due to social distancing and local health department guidelines.

  24. Jennifer Huber

    Chlorine kills COVID, why are pools closed?

    • Donald P. Spellman

      Jennifer Huber : Locker rooms, common areas, snack bars, all the places around the pools, etc.

  25. John Ian Bobbitt

    People forget, There’s a 2% rate of infection. That means everyone gets it, eventually. Period. Instate all the curfews, and social distancing you like….it’ll just take longer.

    50 people in top physical condition….training in an environment where they are LITERALLY suspended in a sterilizing liquid. Where ANY indication of a breathing issue will be impossible to hide for more than 10 seconds….

    If that’s all that stands between us and global ruin, we’re already screwed. Might as well do our thing.

  26. Kelley Harman OShea

    Open the pools. Let them decide if they want to swim. The Elite should not be given special privileges. If they can swim so can everyone else. Just do it safely with limited kids in the pool and locker room.

  27. Robin Kite

    National team members should be allowed to train in a controlled environment at the Olympic training center.