China’s Swimming Pools Are Like the China of Swimming Pools

china pool1

Photo: farwestchina

The Chinese never cease to amaze you. They pack like sardines in a swimming pool named the “Dead Sea of China”. The original may not have any life in it but the Chinese version has human species packed to such density that you may have to share leg room with many others. Just as well, because you are only floating with hundreds of thousands of lifebuoys with kids, women and men in them jostling for place. This pool is in Daying County in the Sichuan Province. It is huge at 30,000 square meters with a capacity to hold 10,000 swimmers at any given time, but it pales into insignificance when compared to another leviathan in Yao Stink district. This swimming pool can accommodate 230,000 people at the same time.

Chinese Swimmers at Olympics

The Chinese have long shown an undying flair for swimming but it is just that they have no avenues to show their prowess. Even so, the said flair can be witnessed by the country getting 8 medals in various swimming disciplines in the London Olympics in 2012. This has been made possible by the vigorous practice regimen that various government agencies have put in place. You can marvel at the very good pools in elite sports schools and the students in those schools can swim all they want. However, the general populace does not have access to swimming pools as a matter of privilege.

Boiling Dumplings

china pool2

Photo: caspost

Most Chinese consider a swimming pool as a place to cool themselves off rather than indulge in racing. Normally, a swimmer in other parts of the world may look forward to a good swim when he plunges into a pool. Not so the average Chinese citizens. The scorching sun in summer drives droves of them into the cool pools. They are not at all put off by the already crowded pool but get into the water to swell the pool some more. The popular terminological reference for those who spend their time in the pool is “boiling dumplings” which symbolizes “standing room only”. For, that is all you can do in the pool. No moving hither and thither for you.

Hygiene Issues

Do the Chinese relish the prospect of being “close” to others? Not really! But, they are only too aware that swimming as a hobby is a distant dream for them. They know that the local governments cannot muster enough funds to build enough pools.

Hygiene is something the Chinese hardly give a serious thought to. A government survey says that 10% of the pools had more urea in them than is allowed. How does urea get into the pool water? Well, when there are thousands of people together in cool waters for hours, what do you expect?  Researches have pointed to a very high concentration of bacteria in general and coli bacteria in particular in the pools around the country. You cannot expect any degree of cleanness with urine and fecal matters liberally laced with water. In fact, one man lost his life due to these reasons  in  Beijing’s Mao Municipal Pool.

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Sara Xiang is an author to a home renting blog and has written a lot on the topic of alternative house sale methods. You could catch up with her on her twitter and facebook to get a glimpse of the kind of blogs she writes. Her eye to catch small details and convert them into interesting infographics is commendable.