03/03/2012

Rebecca Adlington Too Scared To Swim

Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington is on the front of The Times saying: "I'm scared of the sea".

At first that seems odd; she's the best swimmer we have in the UK and she doesn't like the sea. But when you stop and think, the long jump gold medallist is probably afraid of the desert.

There's a big difference between an Olympic size swimming pool and the sea. For a start, if you try to do lengths in the sea you're going to be there for a lot longer.

But the strange thing is that Adlington has never swum in the sea. She said: "I go in to my knees or hips and that's all. Why? Ooooh, you don't know what's in there."

I guess she has a point. Given a choice between my local council pool or the sea, one has what looks like human wasted in it, some strange looking creatures in there and might give me a disease, and the other is... hang on, I forgot which way round I was doing this.

But here's what I don't get. If you don't know what's in the sea why would you paddle up to your hips? If you swim all you will make contact with is the water. If you wade in you might stand on one of those fish that stabs you with a spine or you might cut yourself on coral.

I suppose the biggest risk is jellyfish. If you go swimming in the sea you might get stung by a jellyfish, and we all know what you have to do if that happens. You have to pee on yourself to neutralise the venom. Or just come and dive into my local council pool. There's enough urine in that water to sort your jellyfish sting right out.

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