How to Bring the Summer Olympics to Your Backyard

 

Even though the 2020 Summer Olympics have been postponed to 2021, there are still plenty of ways to feel the Olympic spirit this summer. We picked five Olympic sports you and your family can recreate in your own pool. With these tips and tricks, there’s no reason water-based exercise and fun needs to wait!

 

Just keep Swimming!

 

 

Swimming may be the obvious choice here, but it’s also a classic sport that can be reenacted in lots of different ways. There are four different styles of Olympic swimming: freestyle, butterfly, breaststroke, and backstroke. Take your pick and see who in your family can swim the fastest in each category. Just because you think you’re the master at butterfly, doesn’t mean you’ll be undefeated at backstroke—there's only one way to find out!

 

Strokes of an artist

 

 

Annette Kellerman is credited for the birth of artistic swimming. When she toured the United States performing water acrobatics, the spectacle proved to be incredibly popular and was later added to the Olympics. We can’t say we’re surprised by the swift gain in popularity. After all, who wouldn’t love dancing around in a pool? To recreate this sport, all you have to do is play your favorite song, jump in the water, and bust out your best moves! Bonus points if you can choreograph a routine with your fellow swimmers. 

 

Row, row, row your float

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know rowing was initially used to transport resources in ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece? It’s believed that it officially turned into a sport around the 1828 Oxford-Cambridge university boat race. This one takes some creativity, so get ready to gather all your best pool floats! All you need to do is hop on your floatie of choice, grab some DIY row paddles (like your hands), and paddle across the pool to win that gold medal.

 

Make a Splash!

 

 

 

Diving was included in the Olympics for the first time during the summer of 1904 in St. Louis. The sport originated from gymnasts doing tumbling routines into the water. If your pool is deep enough to safely use a diving board, step on up and show off your best dive. We’ll even bend the rules this time to let cannon balls count! Get the whole family together to rate each diving pose and see who reigns supreme.

 

Water macro? Water polo!

  

 

 

All you need for a game of water polo is a ball, two teams, and goal posts at opposite ends of your pool. Teams score points by getting the ball through their opponent’s goal post, but don’t forget the rules—your feet can’t touch the bottom of the pool, and unless you’re the goalie, you can only use one hand at a time on the ball. Nets are best for the goals if you can find them, but even placing two chairs outside the pool will work fine. Remember to take a break if you get tired from treading water! 

 

As always, remember to take all necessary pool safety precautions before getting started. After all, games are only fun so long as everyone stays safe.

 

Lather up the sunscreen and go for the gold!

 

 

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Water: The Real Olympic Superstar

The Olympic Games are one of the world’s oldest traditions. For thousands of years, athletes of all shapes, sizes, nations and creeds have come together to prove their prowess. However, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that many of the water-based competitions we know and love today joined the ranks. Now, as some of the most popular sporting events to watch, it’s hard to imagine the Olympics without them.

Since we're nearing the end of the Rio 2016 Olympics, we have a lot of questions on our mind. If you’re like us and want to know how many gallons of water a regulation-size pool holds, check out the fun facts below.

 

 Image via Pexels.com

Swimming:

  • When the swimming competition was founded in 1896, the only two stroke styles were freestyle and breaststroke.
  • Regulated pools weren’t around until 1908. Up to that point, the competitions took place in open water.

 

 Image via Pixabay.com 

Diving:

  • Diving was introduced at the 1904 St. Louis Olympic games. Springboard and platform events were added in 1908.

Water polo:

  • In the early days of European Water Polo, players would ride on barrels that resembled horses, and hit the ball with mallets. America had its own version more similar to rugby.
  • Water polo was introduced at the Olympics in 1900. At that time, it was only a men’s competition. It took until 2000 for women to have their own division.

Synchronized swimming:

  • Synchronized swimming is one of the newest Olympic sports, having debuted in the 1984 Los Angeles games.
  • Synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics are the only Olympic sports with no male equivalent team.

The pool:

  • Olympic pools hold about 660,000 gallons of water
  • Each pool is required to be 50 meters long and 25 meters wide in order to meet regulations.
  • The Rio swimming facility is gorgeous. (OK, this one is our opinion!)

The athletes:

  • If you follow the Olympics at all, you’ve most likely heard of Michael Phelps. Holding 18 gold, two silver and two bronze medals, he’s not only the best swimmer in the world, but also the most decorated Olympic athlete in history.
  • For women’s swimming, Jenny Thompson (now retired), holds 12 medals – eight of which are gold. She currently holds more medals than any other female swimmer in history.

Now that you’re an expert on everything water in the Olympics, you’re ready to cheer on your favorite team (USA of course). Show off your newfound knowledge to your friends and prepare your victory dance for when Phelps takes all the medals. We’ll be on the edge of our seats the entire time. How about you?

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6 Ways to Hydrate Like an Olympian

Ever wonder how Olympic athletes stay hydrated? With the 2016 Summer Olympics underway, that question has been on our minds a lot. Sometimes we just want to know how many glasses of water it takes Michael Phelps to swim in peak condition. That’s why we decided to do a little digging to discover exactly how Olympic superstars like Phelps replenish their energy in order to take the home the gold.

Sweat it off

Olympic athletes need to drink before, during and after their training sessions and competitions. Sweating is the body’s way of controlling temperature, and athletes do a lot of it over the course of a day. Constant water breaks are a surefire way to recharge your system and keep you at peak performance. 

Don’t go for the gold

What exactly does healthy, hydrated urine look like? Mostly clear! The more water you drink, the more diluted your pee urine becomes. If your urine is darker in color and has a strong odor, then you’re definitely dehydrated. No worries, though: All you need to do to fix the problem is have a couple more glasses of water a day.

Burn, baby, burn

Consuming thousands of calories a day is a necessity for Olympians. They burn off most of what they eat while competing and then need to replenish themselves in order to keep up muscle mass. Drinking more water not only helps athletes stay refreshed, but it also improves digestion and reduces stomach pains. (That must be a nice bonus after eating all that food.)

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Glass half full

Athletes may give it 110 percent when racing, swimming or pole vaulting, but their bodies are only made up of about half that percentage in water. If an Olympian loses more than two percent of their weight in water, they will begin to lose their mental edge. Staying hydrated both prevents fatigue and keeps the mind and reflexes sharp for optimal Olympic performance.

Drink more than you think

One of the biggest misconceptions about hydration is that you only need to drink water when you physically feel thirsty. In reality it’s already too late. By drinking water (or other beverages with high water content) every so often you can prevent dehydration from sneaking up on you. This is especially important if you’re out in the sun for prolonged periods of time. Pro tip: By carrying a reusable water bottle with you at all times, you’ll be more likely to take sips throughout the day.

Be a good sport

We know we talk a lot about water, but hey, that’s what we do best. However, one of the best ways to make sure you stay as healthy as possible is to consume sports drinks in addition to your regular water intake. Sports drinks contain electrolytes that help to replace the sodium athletes lose when they sweat.

 

We all need to stay hydrated, but athletes need to work on it a little bit more than the rest of us. To keep yourself hydrated, check out these hacks. If you take these hydration tips to heart, who knows — maybe you’ll be up on a podium wearing the gold one day!

 

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