An Olympic-size swimming pool, as regulated by the International Swimming Federation (FINA), is 50 meters long. This length was standardized in order to provide a consistent playing field for competitive swimming events, including those held during the Olympic Games.
In addition to its length, an Olympic-size pool must also be 25 meters wide and a minimum of 2 meters deep, although the depth can often be more for synchronized swimming or water polo events. The pool is divided into eight lanes for competitive races, each 2.5 meters wide, with two additional areas each 2.5 meters wide on either side of the pool.
The 50-meter length means that races typically have fewer turns compared to those in shorter pools. This requires swimmers to maintain their speed over a longer distance, which can be more physically challenging. The regulation of pool dimensions ensures that all competitors have an equal chance to showcase their skills, making competitive swimming fair and consistent across all international events.