As Ryan Lochte's time at the London 2012 Olympic Games began to wind down this weekend, the American swimmer admitted it is common for Olympians to pee in the pool.
"Of course," Lochte said when the ubiquitous Ryan Seacrest asked a question about the practice Friday during a radio interview, according to TV Guide. "I think there's just something about getting into chlorine water that you just automatically go. ... I didn't during the races, but I sure did in warm-up."
For some fans who are tired of hearing athletes toe the company line while being interviewed, it may be a refreshing bit of honesty and might make Lochte easier to cheer during the Rio 2016 Olympics. For others, though, his admission raises the serious question: "Just how many people do pee in the pool?"
Lochte is finished at these Olympic Games. After capturing the hearts of Americans when he shocked Michael Phelps in the 400-meter individual medley last weekend, Lochte will depart London with two gold medals, two silver medals, a bronze medal -- and a lot less urine. It probably should not be a surprise that swimmers, with their early-morning workouts and intense exercise regimes, use the pool for more than just swimming, but they are not the only ones.
Along with eating meat, one thing modern people probably have in common with caveman and -women is worrying about who peed in the pool: We all want to avoid the dreaded tainted water. Well, researchers who conducted a 2009 study tried to find out exactly how worried we all should be.
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According to Rodale News, almost one of six people admits to peeing in the pool. Polling 1,000 adults, researchers found 17 percent pleaded guilty, while 78 percent accused their fellow swimmers of relieving themselves underwater. Of course, the key word in the report on the study's results is "admits" to peeing in the pool.
Meanwhile, the biggest health risk associated with urinating in the pool appears to center on the all-important chlorine-urine ratio, Rodale indicated. Too much urine could lead to too little chlorine being available to kill any other microorganisms that could be in the water.
Let's take the figures produced by the study to the Olympic pools. Among the eight swimmers who participated in the 400-meter race won by Lochte, it's probably safe to assume that two of the athletes relieved themselves. One might have been Lochte (who admitted his habit in general, but denied it during races in particular) and a disgruntled swimmer who fell behind early in the race. Urinating in the pool could be a competitive advantage -- or the last resort of a sore loser.