A gold medal in the 1,500-meter freestyle is the pinnacle of success for long-distance swimmers. The competition is the longest distance swimmers attempt in a competitive pool and has been dubbed “the mile race” by the aquatic community. Yes, it’s very crazy.
How Many Laps is a 1500 Meter Swim Olympics
Eight women, including Team USA’s Katie Ledecky and Erica Sullivan, have qualified for the 1,500-meter final at the Tokyo Olympics. These ladies will be the first to compete for an Olympic medal in this event.
Despite finishing 15 seconds short of her own world record in the preliminaries, Ledecky will be the top seed in lane four going into the finals. A mile-long swim may be nothing special for these competitors, but it will be for the viewers at home. The distance of 1,500 metres in a swimming pool may make you question how many laps that is.
Given that an Olympic pool is 50 metres in length, swimmers will need to complete 30 laps to cover one mile. For someone who has swum in a long-distance competition, I can say that this is no easy race.
Considering that even Ledecky will require around 15 minutes to finish the race, you can definitely go the restroom, grab a snack or a glass of wine, take the dog out, and maybe even put the laundry in the drier after the first 50 metres and still make it back in time for the final 100.
But between the last two laps, you should definitely watch some TV. When you hear the official’s bell, you know the front-runner swimmer is making their final turn before the finish line. Whoever wins gold will go down in Olympic history books, so don’t miss it if you can help it. Oh, and thank goodness the pool is not the standard 25 yards in length, or this would be a very long process indeed, amounting to 66 laps.