North Texas

Former Olympians Create Pools for Rio and North Texas

A North Texan is helping to make this year’s Olympic water-based events possible with his company’s state-of-the-art pools.

Jon Cleveland personally oversaw the pools used in Omaha last week for the Olympic Qualifiers, and now his company, Myrtha Pools, is putting the final touches on the 12 pools that will be used in the Rio Summer Games.

Myrtha, a company based in Italy but with employees like Cleveland stationed throughout the United States, designed the Olympic pools to eliminate a lot of the issues the slow swimmers down.

As Cleveland put it, “It’s fast.”

Cleveland and his co-workers know a thing or two about speed in the water.

Like many others working for Myrtha, Cleveland is a former Olympian who swam in the 1988, 1992 and 1996 games for Team Canada, even bringing home a bronze medal in ‘92.

After leaving swimming, he took on a career for several years as a broadcaster in London, Ontario Canada before becoming a North Texan and taking the job with Myrtha.

Now, as a regional representative for the company, he’s helping get their top pools to major events like the Olympics and the Qualifiers.

"A lot of those feelings of competing kind of came back,” he said about being at the Qualifiers in Omaha. "It's just a really cool experience. I wish that they had had this technology for the pools that I swam in."

The Olympic pools have another North Texas connection, as well. The design is currently making a splash in the Lewisville ISD as a part of their Eastside Aquatic Center.

The pool has been so well received there that it already helped Lewisville play host to Olympic-level water polo earlier this year, with several other large and national events already scheduled.

"The things that they can do in here is just amazing,” said Aquatics Supervisor Shannon Gillespie.

On Thursday, Cleveland walked the pool deck there with a leader from the Garland ISD where he’ll install another pool like it soon.

Several of the actual Olympic pools will also eventually make their way to homes in American schools, too. About half of the Rio pools, as well as, the Qualifier pools are moveable so they could be installed into existing arenas and stadiums without building an entire new building.

Cleveland said many of the Qualifier pools are already on their way to their new homes including the competition pool which will be set up at a school in North Dakota.

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