The 1,500-meter freestyle for women is the longest pool competition in the Olympics. It's the equivalent of 0.93 miles or 30 laps in the Olympic pool. While it is a new Olympic event for women this year, it has long been competed in world championships. Men first raced the distance in 1985.
The men's 800-meter free program consists of four heats of 200 meters each followed by a final round between the top two swimmers from each of the three rounds. The winner is the swimmer who covers the most distance over all four days of competition. The standard free-style course for men is 767 meters (2556 feet), with one turn around the 25-yard pool and one more back across the starting line.
The men's 500-meter freestyle is the shortest distance event in the Olympics but also the most important. It is contested only by those swimmers who have qualified for the B Final of their respective events. The B Final is the last chance for swimmers to improve their scores and make the final list of competitors for their events. There are six boats required for this race, which means that up to six swimmers can compete at the same time. They alternate off the wall and back on again throughout the race. The winner is the fastest over the entire length of the race.
At the Olympics, race walking is also the greatest distance race for an Olympic athletics event.
|Race walking at the Olympic Games|
|Gender||Men and women|
|Years held||Men 20 km: 1956 – 2020 Men 50 km: 1932 – 2020 Women 20 km: 2000 – 2020|
Olympic swimming pools are 50 meters long. There are also 25-meter-long SCM pools (short-course meters), however they are uncommon in the United States. They are widely used in the rest of the swimming world, and world championships are conducted in both 50-meter LCM and 25-meter SCM pools. The 50-meter pool is almost always filled to within 1 to 2 feet of the top with water between uses for safety and competitive equality. The 25-meter pool can be filled much lower if desired, but usually has the floor covered by a surface designed for use without pads or other objects that might be damaged by water.
When full, Olympic-size pools are around 20 meters deep and have a volume of 5,000 cubic meters. The length depends on how many lanes are required by the number of swimmers, while the depth depends on how far back the swimmers must reach to touch their toes. Longer lanes require deeper pools because more sunlight needs to be blocked out to ensure even heat distribution. Pools with just one or two lanes can be quite shallow since there's no need to block out as much light.
The meter is the standard unit for measuring all kinds of lengths, including swimming pools. So, one meter is 100 inches, or 2.5 feet.
In the United States, Olympic-size pools are usually between 75 and 90 feet long. Some larger community centers have pools that are 120 feet long.