Photos of Belmont Today and As it Stood and As it Stands

The Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in Long Beach, California looks its age, and is set to be replaced. Demolition is planned for October, after the completion of the temporary 50 meter pool.

For now it sits, lonely and empty, but the pool that hosted the 1968 and 1976 U.S. Olympic Trials will be remembered what it was like when full-to-capacity, roaring, and home to some of the most memorable swims in US history, including the infamous Mary T. Meagher 1500 meter fly in 1983, racing against boys, and broke 18 minutes to win a free dinner from Mark Schubert (or so it is rumored). Or memories of  John Naber breaking his first two World Records, in the 100 and 200 backstrokes, at the 1976 U.S. Olympic Trials.

Belmont is swimming’s Wrigley Field, its Rose Bowl, its Fenway Park, its Michigan Stadium. As newer and brighter stadiums have gone up with more bells and plenty of whistles, there remains a certain beauty of these relics of sports both for what they were and what their spirits have never wanted to be.

Kevin Chaney stopped by the Belmont pool this week, as it prepares for demolition, to snap some photos. We’ve picked some out below to show the glory days of the Belmont Pool hung upon its walls like old childhood photos our parents keep, contrasted with how it sits today.

It is a building that has seen so much, it must have memories, but it is the memories of the building kept by us that will hallmark the spirit of Belmont. Progress can’t be stopped, but history musn’t be forgotten.

R.I.P., Belmont. She had served us well.

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Belmont Pool old 2

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

Photo: Kevin Chaney

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A centerpiece in SoCal swimming – so many memories. I wonder how many degrees of separation there are amongst swimmers who have and have not swam at Belmont?

FAST4EVER

Seeing these pictures brings back fond memories of my kids competing at Belmont when they were young. JOs was always such a great experience for them! Can’t wait to see the new facilities.

Lane Four

I remember as an 11-year-old standing on the lane 4 starting block before my race and honestly thinking that this was the same starting platform Don Schollander stood on! Ok, I dated myself. If you don’t know who he is, look him up. My point is that there is so much history in that pool. But time marches on. I am looking forward to the newer incarnation of the old Belmont Plaza. Soon to be gone but NEVER forgotten.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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