Get your news fix on happenings outside the pool with the latest ‘Beyond the Lane Lines.’ With each edition, we collect personal stories, little known facts, and general items of interest from around the world. Read on and learn something new this week.
#1 The ‘Airbnb of Swimming Pools’ Booms Amidst Pandemic
Nearly 2 years ago we reported on the launch of Swimply, an app that essentially extends the successful Airbnb lodging model to swimming pools. Swimply’s website serves as an online hub both water seekers and owners can visit to list or rent out pools located around the country for as little as one hour at a time.
At the time of our 2018 report, the concept touted listings across 18 states, with pools private pools earning anywhere from $40 to $79/hour.
Flash forward to this year’s coronavirus pandemic and pools on the fancier end of the swimming spectrum are now fetching upwards of $90/hour, resulting in $10,000 worth of rentals in a single week for some owners.
According to the NY Post, one owner involved in Swimply said, “I had 60 [rental] requests in 24 hours. His private pool is fully booked up through Labor Day with two to three renters daily via the app.
“I turn so many people away,” he said. “I’ve turned more away than I’ve taken.”
Earlier this month, Sweden’s Minister of Culture and Sports, Amanda Lind, along with the Minister of the Interior, Mikael Damberg, announced monetary sports support to the tune of SEK 1 billion (~$114 million USD) for the remainder of 2020.
“We are in discussions with the Center Party and the Liberals within the framework of the budget negotiations and we have good hopes of reaching an agreement. My belief is that the Center Party and the Liberals see the very great needs, and that the budget talks will soon result in a positive result for sports and culture,” said Lind.
The government is also preparing certain exceptions for events with seated audiences that can be carried out in an infection-proof manner.
“We as a union and our associations are today well equipped to be able to carry out competition events in a responsible way. If we look in Europe, it is allowed with up to 500-1000 participants for a long time, which has not been reported to have been contagious, it is therefore reasonable that the government decides on similar relief for us in Sweden. These small events are the backbone of association life and are vital to keep interest in sports up, said Swedish Swimming Federation Manager Mikael Jansson.
#3 Trinity Pool Unsafe to Open
The pool at Trinity College Dublin has been deemed unsafe to open due to structural issues. Per University Times, the facility’s issues have been building up for nearly a decade, with the pool now closed indefinitely.
Jemil Saidi, Chair of Dublin University Central Athletics Club (DUCAC), in an interview with The University Times last month, said that: “For us to still be talking about it – I mean action plans were set in August 2019 and here we are in 2020 in July and there hasn’t been a move on those plans. So I think we really need college to step in and commit to those plans that they made.”
Saidi did acknowledge that urgent short-term remedies laid out under Immediate Remedial Actions in the action plan which were essential for keeping the swimming pool open this past year had been carried out.
In the statement, Trinity Sport further explained that while College is hoping to hire a contractor to make temporary repairs as soon as possible, the intention is also to “schedule works to repair the pool deck tiles and to review plans to conduct a full repair and vision for the future”.
#4 French Olympic Medalist Alain Bernard Ties the Knot
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Alain Bernard of France and his girlfriend of 3 years Faustine got married in Antibes on August 21st.
Bernard, now 37 and retired from swimming, competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, capturing 4 medals across the competitions. He is also a 5-time FINA World Championships (LC) medalist, with his specialty being the 50m and 100m freestyle events.
Per Explica, Bernard and his bride had their wedding ceremony and reception filmed by professional Anthony Letullier.
— Alain BERNARD – OLY (@alainbernard) August 23, 2020
#5 American Olympian Claire Donahue Gets Married
Retired butterfly ace Claire Donahue got married to Jeremy White over the weekend.
“So hard to describe my feelings right now. So happy is the closest thing I can think of. @lordbigjw61 I cannot wait for all the love, lessons, fights and everything that goes with a lifetime with you.”
31-year-old Donahue is an alum of the now-defunct Western Kentucky University program and qualified for the 2012 Olympic Games in the women’s 100m fly. She finished 7th in the individual event and earned gold as a prelims swimmer of the women’s medley relay there in London.