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Engineering a Fast Olympic Pool
25 years after the Atlanta Games, Georgia Tech’s pool remains among the world’s fastest
What makes a swimming pool fast? It’s not just the fit, strong, and elite athletes competing at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. The speed of swimming is also created by the structural engineering and materials used at the venue.
In the United States, there’s no greater example than Georgia Tech’s McAuley Aquatic Facility, which hosted the Olympics in Atlanta 25 years ago. The pool continues to be one of the fastest in the world and will host the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s national championships this coming March.
Everything — air flow, depth, and more — are in place with speed in mind.
“There are three primary reasons why the Georgia Tech pool is still among the fastest, even after a quarter century,” said Jud Ready, an adjunct professor in the School of Materials Science and Engineering who teaches a class about the materials and engineering concepts of sports. “Two are at the bottom of the pool and the other is at the sides.”