Helsinki Swimming Stadium
Helsinki Swimming Stadium is an outdoors swimming venue in Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, Finland, located in the Eläintarha
Eläintarha is a large park in central Helsinki, Finland. The name "eläintarha" means "zoo".The park's location acts as a divisor between the districts of Töölö to the west, and Hakaniemi and Kallio to the east. The southern half of the park includes two bays of the Baltic Sea: Töölönlahti to the...

 area to the northeast of the Helsinki Olympic Stadium
Helsinki Olympic Stadium
The Helsinki Olympic Stadium , located in the Töölö district about from the center of the Finnish capital Helsinki, is the largest stadium in the country, nowadays mainly used for hosting sports events and big concerts. The stadium is best known for being the center of activities in the 1952...



The Swimming Stadium was designed by architect Jorma Järvi in the Functionalist
Functionalism (architecture)
Functionalism, in architecture, is the principle that architects should design a building based on the purpose of that building. This statement is less self-evident than it first appears, and is a matter of confusion and controversy within the profession, particularly in regard to modern...

 style prevalent during the 1930s. The swimming pool was built for the 1940 Olympic Games, which were then cancelled due to the Second World War; but then hosted the 1952 Summer Olympics
1952 Summer Olympics
The 1952 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XV Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event held in Helsinki, Finland in 1952. Helsinki had been earlier given the 1940 Summer Olympics, which were cancelled due to World War II...


Because of the war, the construction of the Swimming Stadium took a long time, and it was finally completed in 1947. In wartime, the finished pools were used to store herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

 and root vegetable
Root vegetable
Root vegetables are plant roots used as vegetables. Here "root" means any underground part of a plant.Root vegetables are generally storage organs, enlarged to store energy in the form of carbohydrates. They differ in the concentration and the balance between sugars, starches, and other types of...


According to the International Swimming Federation
International Swimming Federation
Fédération Internationale de Natation is the International Federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee for administering international competition in the aquatic sports...

, the water temperature in the pool needs to be at least 22 °C, nowadays 27 °C. The machinery to heat the outdoor pool was ordered from abroad, and the ship transporting them was sunk immediately after the war broke out.

Current use

The Swimming Stadium is a popular refreshment place for citizens. It is open from the beginning of May to the end of September. It is a popular place, and in summertime it is visited by about 5000 swimmers every day. The Stadium has three pools: a 50 metre exercise swimming pool, a jumping pool and a children's pool, and a small, shallow, round wading pool for small children a little further away. The jumping pool has two 1 metre and two 3 metre high springboard
A springboard or diving board is used for diving and is a board that is itself a spring, i.e. a linear flex-spring, of the cantilever type....

s, and a 1 metre plateau in front of the jumping tower. Use of the jumping tower is controlled and requires lifeguard supervision. The 1 and 3 metre springboards are almost always freely usable by customers. However, for example when swimming teams or clubs come to practice at the Stadium, the 3 metre springboard may be reserved for their use.

The area also has a water slide
Water slide
A water slide is a type of slide designed for warm-weather or indoor recreational use at water parks. Water slides differ in their riding method and therefore size...

, a gym
The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, that mean a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men...

, a basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

 field, a volleyball
Volleyball is a team sport in which two teams of six players are separated by a net. Each team tries to score points by grounding a ball on the other team's court under organized rules.The complete rules are extensive...

 field, a table tennis
Table tennis
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight, hollow ball back and forth using table tennis rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net...

 table and a café
A café , also spelled cafe, in most countries refers to an establishment which focuses on serving coffee, like an American coffeehouse. In the United States, it may refer to an informal restaurant, offering a range of hot meals and made-to-order sandwiches...

. The gym is open all year round.

Outside normal opening times, the Stadium is used a practicing place for other aquatic sports, for example diving
Diving is the sport of jumping or falling into water from a platform or springboard, sometimes while performing acrobatics. Diving is an internationally-recognized sport that is part of the Olympic Games. In addition, unstructured and non-competitive diving is a recreational pastime.Diving is one...

 schools use the jumping pool as practice place.

The Swimming Stadium is also the scene for filming the popular Finnish TV Show Summeri.

In January 2009, the city of Helsinki initiated a discussion of keeping the Helsinki Swimming Stadium heated throughout the entire autumn and winter, in order to make it accessible for outdoor swimming during the entire year, in honour of the 90th anniversary of the Sports Bureau of Helsinki. However, this idea was abandoned as too expensive.

External links

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