'Do Olympic or competitive swimmers ever pee in the pool?'


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The Independent Online

Nearly 100 per cent of elite competitive swimmers pee in the pool. Regularly. Some deny it, some proudly embrace it, but everyone does it.

The more interesting question is, when does said peeing happen? Just about the only time you can get away with peeing in a race is during a breaststroke pull-out. You spend enough time gliding that if you've really got to go, you probably could. Otherwise, you're too tense and too, well, busy to even think about peeing.

Before a race is an interesting time. It depends on the meet and to some extent the colour of the pool deck. I kid you not. 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. Adrenalin and nerves wreak havoc on your system, and I knew tons of other swimmers that always, regardless of prior planning, had to pee right before a race. 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.)

Warm-up/practice – totally free rein. As a swimmer, you just have to accept that you're swimming in pee. I had a teammate who 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.

Carly Geehr, former USA Swimming National Team member

Yeah. Peeing in the pool is commonplace. It doesn't even cross our minds. From a fan's perspective, you would never even know. I never went during a race, because that's not exactly what is on your mind when racing. The minute you dive in, all hell breaks loose in your head.

Carly is right though, even if you go to the bathroom right before your race, it always seems like you have to go again directly after. The warm-down pool, which is, well, warm obviously makes you have to go even more. So it gets dangerous in there!

Dave Ford, All-American swimmer

I've been a competitive swimmer for many years. During competition, you don't pee. The suit is really (really) tight and having to pee can be a good motivation to go faster.

On a more serious note, the stress and adrenalin makes you forget all your 'basic' needs. However, every swimmer I know pees during training sessions.

Martin Collignon, Industry Analyst at Google


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