It is no secret to anyone interested in sports that the First Modern Olympic Games took place in 1896. Few remember, however, that one of the heroes of the swimming competition – Alfred Hajos – designed the LKS swimming pool, where, among other things, diving was trained for years.
At the aforementioned event, the swimmer, who was born Arnold Guttman (but later changed his name), won a gold medal in the 100-meter swim and an unusual – for us – 1200-meter swim (freestyle).
– He is a very interesting character. He learned to swim at the age of 13. His motivation was that his father drowned in the Danube River. He competed in the aforementioned Games at the age of 18 – recalled the director of the Sports Department of the City Hall in Lodz, Marek Kondraciuk.
He recalled an anecdote that when King George I congratulated the said swimmer on his victory at the same time he asked him: “where did you learn to swim so well?”. Hajos replied: “in the water.”
– In 1922, the first president of Lodz of the Second Republic of Poland, Aleksy Rżewski, decided to establish the LKS Sports Park. It was to include a swimming pool, which was built in 1927-31, and before that a stadium was built – Kondraciuk recounted.
He recalled that Rżewski’s work was completed by the next president of Lodz, Marian Cynarski.
– At that time there were no designers in Poland who specialized in swimming pool-type investments. That’s why he reached out because the very well-known in Central Europe, if not the whole world, Hajos – he said.
The aforementioned Hungarian designed, among other things, in addition to the Lodz swimming pool (which no longer exists), a complex of sports pools on Margaret Island of the Danube in Budapest.
During the upcoming Third European Games, the competition in diving will be held at a swimming pool in Rzeszow.