2012 Olympics: Is Ryan Lochte Serious about Peeing in Pool?

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Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte made a splash when he told Ryan Seacrest and everyone with a TV that he pees in the swimming pool. Afterward, he accepted an invitation from Will Ferrell to do a sketch for Funny or Die.

If you’re anything like the other billion people watching the London Games, you may be asking yourself what do those swimmers do if they really have to go?

Carly Geehr, a former Olympian explained to that for competitive swimmers, urinating in the pool is not a matter of if, but when.

“Nearly 100 percent of elite competitive swimmers pee in the pool. Regularly. Some deny it, some proudly embrace it, but everyone does,” Geehr said.

So do swimmers pee during a race?


“Just about the only time you can get away with peeing during a race is during a breaststroke pullout. You spend enough time gliding that if you really gotta go, you probably could.

Otherwise, you're too tense and too, well, busy to even think about peeing,” she said.

How about pre-race?

“It depends on the meet and to some extent the color of the pool deck. I kid you not. You always try to pee before you swim, but sometimes your body defies logic and finds a way to refill your bladder just to spite you. Adrenaline and nerves wreak havoc on your system, and I knew tons of other swimmers that always, regardless of prior planning, had to pee right before a race,” she said.

What to do if you really have to go?

“Well, it's not uncommon to splash yourself before you climb up on the blocks, so that extra liquid on yourself and the pool deck affords you an interesting opportunity,” she said.

How about warm-ups/practice?

“Totally free reign. As a swimmer, you just have to accept that you’re swimming in pee.”

Geehr said she had a teammate who would sit on the wall and announce “I'm peeing!” … but at least she warned us. I’m sure I’ve swum directly behind people who were just letting it all out.

In regards to Lochte’s announcement about relieving himself in London’s Olympic pool, British Prime Minister David Cameron was not amused, saying, “It’s not OK to pee in the pool.”

Like he’s never smiled and made a warm spot.