I was amazed by going through the words of Indian Swimming Virdhawal Khade during these tough times of COVID – 19! In one of his interview, he said, `Might have to consider retiring from swimming. No news or communication of any sorts for being able to start swimming again. Wish swimming was treated the same as other sports in India.”

I still remember my days of cherishing seeing Michael Phelps, Ion Thorpe or Alexander Popov swimming at Olympics and putting water on absolute fire! Their character makes them a legendary swimmer, like, being docile, humble, psychologically very strong, I have to do it attitude and always focused on their performance I believe were the chief ingredients of their glorious competing life!

To quote some examples from swimming world are as follows

First, one is from the recent times of swimming history referring to Michael Phelps, the Best Swimmer the world has seen ever! Taken a glimpse from the following article on him,

After rehabilitation, the best of Michael Phelps may lie ahead

The rehabilitation of Michael Phelps: A year ago, the best swimmer in Olympic history was lost. Now, after coming to terms with himself, the best of Michael Phelps may lie ahead. For almost five days in the fall of 2014, the most decorated Olympian in history lay curled in a fetal position in his Baltimore home, crestfallen and fearful, embarrassed at his behavior and uncertain of his future. Police had clocked Phelps’s white 2014 Range Rover at 84 mph in a 45-mph zone, and observed Phelps driving erratically and was intoxicated. pleading guilty to a 2014 drunk-driving charge and was sent to Meadows for 45 days rehab. “I was in a really dark place,” Phelps says. “Not wanting to be alive anymore.”

And then Phelps came back to mark the history in swimming world!

Second, one to quote is from the late 1990’s, the days of Alexander Popov, the Shark of Water being titled rests on him! The one of the best sprinter the world has ever seen. Seeing him was cherishing the masterpiece sprint! Say’s it all about Alex Popov, that how he was stabbed badly and has to undergo emergency surgery, soon 4 weeks after the Athens Olympics and he too returned back to make his mark at the Olympics, starting from European Championships domination!

Here now I would like to raise some questions to Khade;

  1. Do you think that you have been going though such a degree of psychic turmoil?
  2. Do you think that you are a performer like either of them? Or you are anywhere near to the 6th probable of Olympic finalist in your event?
  3. a) A report from the Spanish Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (Higher Council for Scientific Research) summarised what is known about possible transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through swimming pools, In swimming pools, the authors say, “the use of disinfecting agents is widely implemented in order to avoid microbial contamination of the waters” by users. They say that “the residual concentration of the disinfecting agent present in the water should be sufficient for virus inactivation.”

They admit there is “currently no data” on what happens to SARS-CoV-2 in seawater.

So, should be again means the same “Currently no data”.

  1. b) according to Ernest Blatchley III, a professor of environmental and ecological engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. specialises in research on how chlorine in swimming pools reacts with contaminants such as human body fluids, medicines and personal care products.

“There are no data to show how the coronavirus responds to chlorine, but we do know that chlorine effectively inactivates similar viruses,”

Hereby, there is no sufficient data available on the issue! The question is why you want to set up a wrong precedent to the upcoming champions of India and put their life at stake, in these tough times!

Yes you are correct in saying swimming is different than other sports that is why it has its own dynamics and repute!

To upgrade your knowledge, as per sports science that all swimmers must remember that swimming is a motor skill i.e. a skill where only repetitions are memorised with the intensity or velocity to achieve the desired performance and for that if an athlete is not able to swim for certain reason then a swimmer must use simulate activity(s) that maintain the motor skills. one must understand that land conditioning is equally important to swimming in the pool! How much you have been doing all these?! Why you want to highlight your retirement by a threat or information?

Do remember the Spanish Flu of 1918, which killed 500 million people and 1 crore 20 lakh died in India lasted for two years!

Hereby, it is a pride in accepting what GoI is doing is phenomenon, keeping the research articles by medical specialists and pandemic in mind!

(KV Sharma is a former National Coach (22 years) & Prof Sanjeev Sharma is License B holder – DSV Germany Swimming Federation)

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