Coronavirus: Olympic swimmer Sharon van Rouwendaal uses inflatable pool to train during lockdown

Athlete is currently in France, where residents are on lockdown until 15 April

Sarah Young@sarah_j_young
Wednesday 01 April 2020 12:03
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Olympic champion Sharon van Rouwendaal uses inflatable pool to train during isolation

With gyms and swimming pools closed around the globe due to government restrictions designed to help curb the spread of coronavirus, fitness fanatics have been forced to come up with creative ways to work out, including Dutch swimmer Sharon van Rouwendaal.

Instead of admitting defeat and pressing pause on her strict training regime, the 26-year-old, who won the 2016 Olympic gold medal in the 10K open water swim, discovered a novel way to ensure she stays fit amid the pandemic.

Earlier this week, the athlete shared a video of her training in the back garden of her home in Montpellier, France - which is currently on lockdown until 15 April - where she had set up an inflatable swimming pool.

The pool, which measures 3.2m in diameter and 0.7m deep, allows van Rouwendaal to get in her laps by using a bungee cord to add resistance and lock her in place in the middle of the water while she swims wearing a wetsuit to help her keep warm.

“There's always a solution, you just have to be creative!” the Olympian wrote on Instagram.

“I could only do 45 minutes in total because the water is very cold.”

The innovative set-up means that van Rouwendaal can ensure she does not lost contact with water in the coming months as she prepares to take part in the Tokyo Olympics, which have been postponed until 23 July 2021.

The Games, which were originally due to take place this summer, were postponed last week due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Van Rouwendaal is not the only athlete having to come up with new ways to stay fit. On Monday, Swiss triathlete and four-times Ironman World Champion Daniela Ryf also set up an outdoor swimming pool at her home to ensure she maintains her fitness levels during the outbreak.

Alongside a video of her training in the pool on Instagram, she wrote: “Good enough to get some #waterfeeling and #strength. Just a little chilly. What crazy things did you find in your basement?”

Elsewhere, British fitness instructor Joe Wicks launched daily live PE lessons for children around the world to follow, ensuring they can still keep fit while at home.

The sessions followed the closure of schools in the UK for all children, except those of key workers.

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