Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ahvenisto Swimming Pool

Yesterday I posted about some past Olympic sites.  Heidi asked about the swimming pool that was used in Helsinki.  I did some digging and found something interesting.  The article (on this point at least) is wrong.  I searched images for the Helsinki Olympics and found a different looking pool.  This site has pictures from the Olympics (scroll down a bit). 
Look at the diving structure.  Three levels, off set.  Now look at the picture from the article:
That's a different platform.  The one has a hill behind and the other doesn't.  And the stands look further away.  If you look at the Wikipedia article on the 1952 Olympic venues, you get here
Which matches the first picture exactly.  In other words, it's still in use and looks great. 

I'm not sure exactly what happened here but it looks like someone took some pictures of Ahvenisto Swimming Pool back in 2008 and said that it was the abandoned Olympic site.  At least four different articles reference it, most likely all based on each other. 
A comment in this one, says "This Lake Ahvenisto was the venue of Modern Pentathlon and athletics swam the swimming part in this pool. As you can see from picture is rather bad condition, and there has been discussion of repairing it, but who's gonna pay the renovation."  So maybe I've been looking in the wrong place!
Back to Wikipedia, it says that the Mod Pent for 1952 was held in a Finnish city called Hameenlinna.  Google maps puts Ahvenisto right outside of Hameenlinna so that could very well be right.  A close zoom on the map here shows what certainly looks like the abandoned pool. 
Instead of a grand sweeping conclusion about how Finland allowed their Olympic sites to decay, I think we can conclude that one piece of a satellite competition is abandoned and going back to nature.  That blunts the impact, at the very least. 


Heidi said...

I don't know why I am fascinated with this pool. If I ever go to Finland I may have to find it.
Here are a few more images.

Jay staab said...

This pool is located at Hämeenlinna in a recreation area called Ahvenisto. It was build for the modern pentathlon, and was unused for over 30 years.

I just found out, that it was renovated, last year, and reopened for public swimming.

So, even if it`s not a lost place, any longer, I`m still fascinated from this pool, and planning to go there.

Cornelius said...

Ahvenisto swimming pool is totally renovated in 2014 and serves as a public pool open for all visitors during summer time.

It's a popular place for locals to spend time in summertime and Olympic history of pentathlon games is well preserved and appreciated.

Here's a link to Ahvenisto Activity Park operates the swimming pool nowadays: www.ahvenisto.fi/en