Champions’ training place: How Olympic Water Sports Centre has changed

Champions’ training place: How Olympic Water Sports Centre has changed
Several swimming pools have already begun operating and the rest will open on 17 September.

The Moscow Olympic Water Sports Centre (MOWSC) has opened in the Sokolinaya Gora District in eastern Moscow after summer repairs. The open-air complex changing rooms and washrooms of the Swimming House were repaired and the old bowls of the children’s swimming pools replaced. The repairs were done during the summer months because the swimming pool has fewer visitors then.

“Some swimming pools have already opened and the repairs are nearing completion,” said MOWSC Deputy Director General Sergei Petrov. “The open-air swimming pools operate as usual. The new bowls of the children’s swimming pools in the Swimming House will open on 17 September. Workers are also completing the repairs in washrooms and coaching facilities in the Swimming House. The opening is scheduled for 1 October.”

Training sessions as usual

Major repair work is planned to be carried out in the near future. According to Head of the Moscow Department of Sports and Tourism Nikolai Gulyayev, the upgrade of the MOWSC will not affect its functions.

“The repairs will be done step by step, so the usual working schedule will be observed,” he said.

The Moscow Olympic Water Sports Centre is one of the largest and oldest sporting facilities in Moscow. “It is a unique centre where members of the Russian Olympic team train alongside newbies and those who lead a healthy lifestyle,” Nikolai Gulyayev said.

For professionals and amateurs, children and adults

Professional athletes, Olympic reserve school students and simply those who enjoy swimming go to the Olympic Centre. There are special pools for younger swimmers (aged three to seven) and older ones (seven to14). There is also an open-air complex where people can swim all year round, because the water is always warm: the temperature is 28 degrees.

Over 3,000 children and about 10,000 adults visit the Olympic Centre constantly. This is where the 1972 Olympic water polo champion Vadim Gulyayev, Olympic champion in diving Vladimir Vasin, 1976 Olympic champion in swimming Marina Koshevaya, twice Paralympic champion and world record holder Olesya Vladykina, the world’s champion Dmitry Volkov and many others trained. Now Anton Chupkov, Olympic medallist, winner of the world’s and European championships in 200 m breaststroke, trains there.

From saunas to the Olympic Centre

The history of the MOWSC building goes back to the 1930s. Swimming pool No. 2 of the Physical Fitness and Sports Committee under the Moscow City Executive Committee opened in the sauna on Mironovskaya Street in December 1934. It was closed in 1941 when the Great Patriotic War broke out and reopened in 1947.

In 1957, after undergoing repairs, it was renamed the Water Sports Palace. It was the USSR’s largest swimming facility. Water sports competitions, the USSR and Moscow championships, and international games were held there. In 1974, the palace received the name it still has today: the Moscow Olympic Water Sports Centre.

Today the largest water sports facility is the place to go for such things as keep fit classes, swimming and water polo training sessions, therapeutic swimming for children and adults plus competitions.