If you have ever exercised at a community pool, you have probably witnessed some breaches of etiquette. It is unlikely, though, that you have seen a senior citizen receive a warning for swimming to fast. That is exactly what happened in the United Kingdom recently, though.
According to the BBC, Olympic gold medalist David Wilkie, age 62, was warned by a swimming pool lifeguard that he was swimming too fast. The Bracknell lifeguard said that he believed it was poor etiquette for Wilkie to swim at an excessive speed. Wilkie responded that he was just trying to do his best, as any swimmer would.
It is amusing to picture a 62-year-old retired swimmer jetting through the water at the local YMCA. There must, however, be hundreds of former Olympic athletes swimming laps at community pools.
One of the great things about swimming is that it is a lifelong sport. Unlike some other athletes (e.g., football, baseball, and basketball players), champion swimmers can keep swimming for the rest of their lives. Although they might not stay in true Olympic form for long, they will probably tend to be exceptionally fast for their age throughout their lives.
Is swimming too fast a serious problem at public pools? It is true that swimmers must accommodate each other’s relative speeds when they are sharing a lane, and perhaps that was the very circumstance in the Wilkie story. If you see a 62-year-old speeding through the pool, though, consider just letting him go.