The Telegraph reports: “Anne Hidalgo pledges to end a swimming ban for Parisians in place since 1923 by having residents of the French capital bathing in the river after the 2024 Olympic Games she hopes will be held in the city.”
The announcement was made yesterday as the Mayer “…pledged to have resident of the French capital swimming in the Seine river by 2024, in her latest bid to clean up the city.”
“She said it was her dearest wish that the swimming phase of the Games’ triathlon ‘should take place in the Seine’.” more…
A Leicester man; John/Jack Jarvis (pictured above) took first place as he raced in the Seine in the 1900 Paris Olympics, becoming the first ever triple gold medal winner. Jarvis was a Leicester legend, a man calling himself ‘Amateur Swimming Champion of the World,’ who went on to earn 108 international swimming championships to prove it! Where did he train to swim long distance? In the canalised river Soar, in Leicester right by the no swimming signs in Castle Gardens.
Unlike Paris, river water quality in Leicester is already the best you can expect in a city, and its certainly clean enough for swimming, but the Leicester Mayer does not share the passion for river swimming Anne Hidalgoa pledges. Rather swimmers in Leicester are excluded from the river for a number of complex cultural and historic reasons. The long history of British swimming has seen an evolution in attitude towards river swimmers in England. Pride has turned to deep seated prejudice, which is not easily overcome.