Swimmers’ Coats

During these Olympic games, as with many others, swimming is one of the highlights for me. I like the excitement when half the field is separated by hundredths of seconds and you never know who will win going into the pool.

But what I always find amusing/confusing is the big coats that swimmers wear on poolside before they swim. I used to swim and at meets everyone was in their costume the whole time, maybe we’d put on a t-shirt but never the big jackets and trousers that top level swimmers wear.

michael-phelps-prerace-face-memes
Just look at his huge padded coat!*

Swimming pools are really humid and even in winter, as a lifeguard I would wear shorts and just one t-shirt when on poolside, never a jacket because it gets so hot. These swimmers wear huge jackets, coats, trousers and trainers as if they’re going skiing!

I’m sure the coats have their purpose, to keep the swimmers’ muscles warm before they race as well as advertising for the brands that sponsor them, but you don’t see this in other sports like athletics.

What I also find strange is that when they take the coats off, they don’t even look hot. They never break out in a sweat. What do you think about the swimmers’ coats?

*Image source: http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Michael-Phelps-Prerace-Face-Memes-42192858

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4 thoughts on “Swimmers’ Coats

  1. The commentator on the BBC mentioned this subject the other night – obviously, as you say, it is about keeping the muscles warm of course, but he also mentioned that because the pool in Rio has no roof, all the heat escapes and it gets pretty cold in there, particularly after the sun drops, which is relatively early at the mo, as it is mid winter. I guess if you are wet, you’d get cold pretty quickly. I do agree that they look pretty comical though.

    1. Ohhh, I forgot about the open roof in Rio! It also makes me laugh how some have big socks on too, and the headphones look a bit like ear muffs. Some of them carry bags onto poolside and I always wonder what they have inside, cos they come out of the holding area with their swimsuits, hats and goggles already on.

  2. At the masters swimming develop day, back in January at Loughbrough, they commented on this. The suggestion was they will have done a warm up prior to going into call rooms. They would then be in call room for about 20 minutes, so use the coats to preserve as mush heat in the muscles as possible. Ideally starting the race in a light sweat.

    1. Wow, 20 minutes is a long time, I thought they would have hopped straight out of the warm-up pool no longer than 5 minutes before their race. It’s not like they use over the top starts at the Olympic finals.

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