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Ft. Lauderdale Florida

From March 2 - 4, 2023, I swam in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This was the 2nd of four stops of the 2023 USA Swimming TYR Pro Swim Series schedule.

This competition is similar to a world cup; the exact same meet held in four different locations across the United States over four months. The Tennessee Pro group, which I am a part of, travelled here as these meets promise a deep field of competitors and well-run events.

This was not my first time in Ft. Lauderdale, but it was my first-time swimming at this pool. The Ft. Lauderdale Aquatic Center, also known as the International Swimming Hall of Fame Pool, has hosted meets since the 1960s. It has an incredible history as countless Olympians have swum here and numerous World Records have been broken in it. It gets its name as, right across the pool deck is the actual Swimming Hall of Fame Museum that covers the sport’s history for centuries. This pool is a special landmark for the sport, and it holds some of the greatest memories.

In 2018, this pool underwent a massive renovation, costing the city of Ft. Lauderdale over $27 Million. Now, it stands as one of the most modern and technically advanced pools in the country. In this pool they built a completely new filtration system, made it much deeper with new pool linings, installed a new 50-meter training pool, and poured a new deck all the way around. Outside of the pool, brand new seating and stands were built and a completely new diving pool was installed, along with a huge new 27-meter diving platform above it. And they sure did a great job, because there was a lot of fast swimming going on at this meet!

I finished 3rd in the 400m Individual Medley on night two of the competition. It was an important and successful working meet, meaning we were in-season and racing under a heavy training load. This meet was in preparation for my National Team Trials just a month later.

This pool and meet also stands out as an interesting one because the pool sits almost in the middle of the marina in the Riviera Isles. You’re steps away from huge yachts on one side of the pool, and across the street in the other direction is the Las Olas Beach. Swimming outdoors is a lot of fun, but it’s important to remember your sunscreen and tinted googles… or else you won’t be able to see where the flags are when you’re staring into the sun while swimming backstroke!

Southeastern coastal regions in the US are prone to extreme Atlantic weather patterns, and as we’ve seen over the last few decades, storms have been getting increasingly stronger and more frequent. Southern Florida is an area that gets hit with some of the worst hurricanes and floods, so the city released a climate resilience master plan in 2018 to ensure the safety and longevity of the Las Olas boulevard area.

Seawall and retention walls are an essential part in limiting the storm water erosion of the beaches, wildlife habitats, and commercial and residential areas. Seawalls control the size of the incoming storm waves and reroute them with underwater grove patterns that absorb the waves’ energy and lessen the impact of the waves when they reach the coastline. This plan shows a 20-year project to refurbish and remodel the existing seawalls that are already nearing the end of their lifespan and to accommodate larger storm waves that could potentially hit South Florida in the coming years.

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