Update on the Olympic Pool

DSC_0023Back in January I reported to you about the opening of the Olympic pool. Well, I have sooooo enjoyed the past nine months swimming there! The people are great, and I can’t say enough wonderful things about Profe Rafael, who heads up the pool and teaches everyone willing to learn who shows up. He has an incredible work ethic, is an all around nice guy, and he really knows how to teach!

Rafa tells me that the pool now has over 1000 people registered to use it. That is terrific! Despite the lack of state or local funds to finish the project (I told you in January how the bathrooms, showers and bleachers weren’t yet finished), Rafa has managed to squirrel away enough money to get the bathrooms, showers and changing rooms for the women finished! Hooray! They are spacious and functional. There are ladders to get in and out more easily, and during kid swim times they put in platforms so the kids can rest without having to tread water.

Many of the Playa Norte Swim Club members come to the pool when they are not swimming in the ocean, as it’s easier to keep track of distance in the pool, time yourself, and they enjoy Rafa’s teaching. He doesn’t really tell you a whole lot about what to do, he just gives you a lot of different exercises using pull buoys, kick boards, swim paddles, and even flippers/swimfins. Using these items you really begin to feel (rather than think about) how you should be stroking or kicking; it’s quite amazing. There are also lots of swim teams that work out at the pool, primarily training here before major meets. The young energy is a hoot, and there are loads of older swimmers, too. It’s great to have a group of dedicated, fun-loving people to work out with.

The pool hours are pretty amazing, given the fact that there are only two instructors and they are out in the hot sun every day:

  • Mon-Fri, 5am-11am, 4pm-9pm
  • Sat, 5am-1pm

The price is still 500 pesos per month, and you can take classes if you don’t want to just free swim. The pool is on Ejército Mexicano just south of Avenida de los Deportes (the with University Autónoma de Sinaloa and the Aquarium), on the west side. Entrance is under the giant Tecate sign.

I usually swim in the morning, but last week I had early morning appointments a few days, so I ended up going at night. I was amazed at what a family hangout the pool has become! Parents sit around in the cool night air chatting and snacking as they watch their kids in swim classes. It was really wonderful. So, tonight when I went for a swim I took my camera. The donut man has found the location, so you can now easily eat three times the calories you burn swimming. Click on any photo to enlarge it or view a slideshow.

If you haven’t checked out the new pool, be sure to do so. It rocks. And remember, come winter, it’s heated.

Mazatlán’s New Olympic Pool

The largest swimming pools in Mazatlán have been 25 meters long. And they are private: Rex, Montfort… Last month, before Mayor Felton left office, IMDEM (Instituto Municipal de Deporte Mazatlán) inaugurated a new, public, 50 meter Olympic-sized pool. This morning I went to check it out.

The pool is beautiful, heated, and clearly built for lap swimming. There is no zero entry, no lift for special needs, but as of 11 February (updated) there is a ladder, and a second one is due on February 18. The depth of the full length of the pool was very welcome; no shallows to worry about scraping your hands or feet on. Each side has a ledge for standing if you need a rest.

There were 20 or so swimmers at 7:30 this morning, everyone smiling and friendly. It was a very welcoming space, full of people caring for their health.


Rafael Garcia is in charge of the pool. An affable man, he told me he’s instructor, janitor, night watchman…everything right now. He is currently not giving classes, but was highly engaged walking around helping and coaching anyone who wanted advice.

The pool is located on the west side of Ejército Mexicano, just south of UAS (Universidad Autónoma de Sinaloa) and Avenida de los Deportes. The entrance is just north of the giant Tecate sign. Initiation fee is 200 pesos, with a monthly 500 peso fee; much more affordable than private options. Bring two photos (infantil-sized) with you when you register. The pool has no shade. Locker rooms, showers, changing rooms and bathrooms should be open within two weeks. The pool opens at 5am Monday-Saturday. It closes from 11-4 Monday-Friday, reopening 4-8pm. On Saturdays it closes at 1pm. From March plans are for the pool to be open 6am to 10pm. Monday and Tuesday of Carnaval it will have morning hours only.

There is a very large diving pool also, with equipment for boards or platforms of three different heights. These are not yet finished.

Bleachers are on top of the very large pool house, with a huge central hall, offices, and at least two additional good-sized rooms.


The Olympic pool and installations are a terrific new addition to Mazatlán, and I look forward to making the most of its availability.

This is the first post I’m writing and publishing from my cell phone. Let’s hope it works!

UPDATE 15 February: Still no bathrooms or showers, but Rafael tells me that within the month. It seems in the hurry to inaugurate the pool in December, the workers who installed the interior walls perforated the plumbing in the concrete floor. Rather than repair it, Protección Civíl has ordered that all the pipes be drilled out and replaced. Obviously a lengthier job than it would have been to just complete the project… At least the pool itself is sound, and the filtration system works fine, I am told. I know I am very happy swimming here!