While everyone is stuck at home and looking for things to do during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pitchfork Aquatics swimmers Jarod Arroyo and Vica Dow have gotten creative.
Both big fans of Monopoly, the classic Hasbro board game that has been around since 1935, Arroyo and Dow wanted there to be a swimmer version. There have been too many variations of the game to count. According to Monopoly Wikipedia, there are over 1,100.
But, unable to find one with a swimming theme, they decided to make their own.
“We both love Monopoly and wanted there to be a swimmer version, but we couldn’t find one to buy,” said the 19-year-old Arroyo. “So we decided to make our own.”
Rather than the traditional properties in the game, the spaces available for players to purchase are some of the best swimmers in the world.
“All the athletes are Olympic caliber swimmers who have either gone or have won a medal,” said Arroyo.
The tiers are as follows, from least expensive to most expensive:
- Brown ($60): Simone Manuel, Conor Dwyer
- Light Blue ($100): Kathleen Baker, Matt Grevers
- Light Blue ($120): Jay Litherland
- Pink ($140): Cullen Jones, Dana Vollmer
- Pink ($160): Rebecca Soni
- Orange ($180): Tyler Clary, Ryan Murphy
- Orange ($200): Jacob Pebley
- Red ($220): Vladimir Morozov, Chase Kalisz
- Red ($240): Kevin Cordes
- Yellow ($260): Allison Schmitt, Jason Lezak
- Yellow ($280): Ryan Lochte
- Green ($300): Missy Franklin, Nathan Adrian
- Green ($320): Caeleb Dressel
- Dark Blue ($350): Katie Ledecky
- Dark Blue ($400): Michael Phelps
The game also has “DQ” and “Blue ribbon” squares that require you to pickup a card, various landing spots requiring payment including autograph sessions, buying caps and goggles, photoshoots and “Olympic rings” (tattoo?). There is still a “Go to jail” square, with visuals of vials indicating a doping offense.
“Vica beat me in the first game,” said Arroyo. “She’s an expert in monopoly.”
Arroyo deferred his freshman year at ASU in order to focus on representing Puerto Rica in the (now-cancelled) 2020 Olympics. He competed at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, placing 18th in the 400 IM, 24th in the 200 IM and 30th in the 200 fly.
Prior to the postponement of the Games, Arroyo was in good position to qualify for his first Olympics. He hit “B” cuts in both the 200 and 400 IM at the Knoxville Pro Swim Series in January, setting a pair of National Records in 2:00.91 and 4:16.67, respectively.
Dow, 18, most recently competed at the Arizona SC Senior Open Champs in late February.
The two have managed to remain in the water a little bit amid the pandemic.
“We’ve been swimming in a relative’s pool that’s about 15m long,” said Arroyo. “We have also been doing simple dryland and some mental visualization and meditation. We’ve also been trying to get our every day and go on walks because right now the weather in Arizona is beautiful!”