Now that the training options for Sharon van Rouwendaal have been minimized, a Dutch invention helps her to keep fit. During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Van Rouwendaal won the gold medal in the 10 km open water. Until recently, she was preparing for the Tokyo Olympics. Now that the pools are closed, Van Rouwendaal trains in a small set-up pool (in her garden) with an elastic on her wetsuit. Unfortunately, the cold water prevented her from exercising for more than an hour at a time, so she didn’t manage to swim her desired 90 km per week.
Two weeks ago, she placed a SunnyTent over her swimming pool, which brought the water temperature to a wonderful level within a few days. The SunnyTent uses the so-called horticultural greenhouse principle, which means that the water heats up very quickly. The transparent tent gives direct or indirect (in cloudy weather) sunlight plenty of opportunity to heat up the water. The water temperature quickly reaches 25 degrees or warmer. In addition, the Van Rouwendaal swimming pool remains clean, because leaves, blossoms, bird droppings and such like no longer end up in the water.
This invention allows Van Rouwendaal to continue training. At the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Van Rouwendaal wants to become the first swimmer to retain her Olympic open water title.