Belmont Olympic Pool

When I was younger, I was on a competitive swim team that practiced at 5am every day at the old Belmont Olympic Pool in Long Beach. This was a popular location because it was one of the few long course pools in the area, and with long course season coming around annually many swimmers needed a place to practice. Unfortunately, this facility was closed down due to earthquake safety concerns in 2013 and a temporary above ground pool was built for the meantime while it undergoes renovation. The renovation project is still yet to be completed, but I recently acknowledged the fact that I knew very little about the history of the original Belmont Pool I swam at for a good chunk of my childhood. Originally, Belmont pool was constructed in 1968 and met the 50-meter long requirement of olympic pools. Since it upheld these requirements, the same year it was constructed the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials were hosted here. For those of you who have ever attended a swim meet, you have likely seen timing pads attached to the wall. The point of timing pads is to stop the time as soon as a swimmers hand hits it, eliminating errors from delayed response times with stopwatches. The 1968 Olympic Trial was the first trial that used time pad technology thus, it has forever impacted swimming and Olympic Trials to date. In addition to its contributions to the Olympics, the pool had great contributions within the Long Beach community. Many high school and club swimming championships were held here and several community members made fond memories at the facility. I remember personally attending a championship at Belmont pool back in 2011. The good news, in the mist of the reconstruction, is that the city has agreed to renovate the pool in preparation to host the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games! Yes, the Olympics will be coming to LA and if you plan to stay in the area for some time after graduating you may be able to witness it yourself. Below you can see an image of the old pool which was torn down and the plans for the new pool being constructed. Overall the new project is estimated to cost a total of $103 million.

Old Belmont Pool
Plans for New Belmont Pool

One Comment

  1. AL

    I used to swim at this pool a lot when I was younger as well. I wasn’t in competitive swimming but I would go simply for fun and to enjoy it with my siblings on the weekend. I was devastated when it was taken down but it’s nice to know that there are plans to rebuild it, I didn’t know that it would be replaced. The budget however is immense and makes me question why this project has so much funding when other aspects of Long Beach could definitely use that kind of funding and support. Great article!
    -A. Lightbourn

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