Fundraiser underway at Bartlett High School pool where Lydia Jacoby trained

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 9:55 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Lydia Jacoby is familiar with the Bartlett High School pool. The 17-year-old from Seward competed there during the Alaska Junior Olympics in June, and trained there when the pandemic closed the pool in her hometown.

Jacoby’s gold medal performance at the Tokyo Olympics is already paying off the pool in Anchorage. It’s the only 50-meter pool in Alaska, a fact several articles and Olympic commentators were quick to point out when the Seward High School athlete took gold in the women’s 100-meter breaststroke this week.

“Folks from Texas, where Lydia’s going to be swimming, have been donating a little bit of money to our GoFundMe,” said James Keen, a board member with Central Area Swimming. “Lydia’s success has absolutely generated some attention for us.”

Keen and others hope for more support on the fundraising website. They have set a goal of $15,000 to help replace the starting blocks in the deep end of the pool.

“The blocks that we have right now have been in place since 1987. They’ve been degrading over time,” Keen said. “They’re certainly not state-of-the-art as far as the swimmers in the Lower 48 are typically swimming from.”

Those hazards, Keen pointed out, create serious safety issues.

“Some kids have been getting hurt on them a little bit,” he said. “Some of the parts have actually started to rust and fall off, and we’ve had to get them welded back on.”

The new starting blocks would be similar to what competitive swimmers in the Lower 48 use. The would include LED lights.

“Swimmers who are hearing impaired, and can’t clearly hear the starting signal, can see the light flash and be on a level playing field with every other swimmer on these blocks,” Keen said.

He put the overall cost of the of the project at $51,000. That’s to pay for the new starting blocks, have them shipped from Europe, and bring in experts to install them. It would take take about three to four months before they could be used.

The fundraiser for the project at the Bartlett pool had raised nearly $7,000 by Friday evening.

Alaska’s News Source makes no representations or warranties of any kind about the authenticity, accuracy, or reliability of any GoFundMe campaign. Any donations you make to such campaigns are strictly at your own risk. If you have any questions related to the authenticity, accuracy, or reliability of a GoFundMe campaign, please contact GoFundMe directly or consult the GoFundMe Guarantee Policy.

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