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If you've been following the Rio Olympics this past week, you may have noticed that Olympic divers take to a hot tub after their dives, awaiting their scores and looking, oh so relaxed.
What is this Olympic athlete pampering? I don't know of other sport besides diving where the participants can relax in bubbling bliss after their events. Why do Olympic divers get in a hot tub after their dives?
Twitter has caught fire with the question, and trending on Google last week was the query "Why do Olympic divers get in the hot tub?". The people want to know!
The reason why divers jump into a hot tub after a dive is simply to keep the muscles warm and limber, in preparation for their next dive. Indoor pool stadiums filled with spectators can become too warm, so officials lower the water temperature and the air temperature.
So while the pool water is fairly cool (79°F or 26°C), the ambient air temperature near the pool surface is near 72°, and this gives wet divers a chill after their dives.
Unlike swimmers, who may only swim 1 event per day, divers compete in rounds of several dives. Competitive divers typically take a warm shower, followed by a hot tub soak and a toweling off with a tiny towel. (what's up with that tiny towel?)
But not all Olympic divers jump in the hot tub, some opt for a short warm shower, and a long insulated coat between dives. Maybe some divers were purposely avoiding the hot tub in Rio, given the color and clarity of the spa water [below].
Maybe you thought they were rinsing off from their dives in the green water at the Rio Olympic diving pool? After struggles with returning the water to blue after green algae infested the diving pool, Rio 2016 spokesman Mario Andrada said, "We first learned that chemistry is not an exact science". What?
There is another recent diving pool complaint in the news, are you ready for this? That the entire indoor diving pool facility 'smells of far..' [rotten eggs]. That could be a water problem or chemical reaction, off-gassing some sort of sulfide. The training pool, located right next to the diving pool, is blue and clear.
Anyway, the reason why divers take a shower and get in a hot tub after their dives - is to prevent muscle cramping, and maintain the body core temperature, so they can perform at their best! Most have hot tubs at their home training facilities, and it becomes part of their routine!
Enjoy the rest of the Rio 2016 Olympics!
Hot Tub Works