Freshly inaugurated Olympic-sized swimming pool locked down in Marosvásárhely

Just a few hours after the inauguration event of the long-overdue, Olympic-sized, indoor swimming pool at Marosvásárhely/Târgu Mureș, the facility has been closed for an undisclosed period. The institution’s administration is just one of several unsolved issues.

Marosvásárhely’s Olympic-size swimming pool. Image source: Zoltán Soós’ Facebook page

Marosvásárhely became the scene of an important event this past weekend: Romania’s most modern, indoor, Olympic-sized swimming pool was inaugurated in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Hunor Kelemen, who also serves as president of the Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania (known by its Hungarian acronym, RMDSZ); Attila Cseke minister for development, public works, and administration (RMDSZ); and the mayor of Marosvásárhely, Zoltán Soós, among others.

The whole story begins in the early 1970s when professional swimmers and water polo players, along with their parents, started to build the first Olympic-sized swimming pool with their bare hands.

Unfortunately, the massive hole in the ground was ultimately filled with dirt instead of concrete by the local authorities.

Fast forward to 2008, and then minister of development László Borbély (RMDSZ) submitted the paperwork for establishing the swimming pool, but due to bureaucratic procedures, which delayed completion of the work run by Zsolt Gogolák and his team, the inauguration only took place this year.

Marosvásárhely’s Olympic-size swimming pool. Image source: Zoltán Soós’ Facebook page

The indoor swimming pool features two 50-meter pools with 10 lanes each, in line with the FINA specification for an Olympic-sized pool.

The grand opening date, however, is not yet known, reports Ervin Szucher of Hungarian news portal Krónika.

At this point, the pool is being operated by the local Muresul Sports Club run by Cosmin Pop. The sports club is subordinate to the Ministry of Sports, but the administration rights are yet to be assigned, and the club is competing for them with the Marosvásárhely local administration. Apparently, Minister of Sports Károly Eduárd Novák prefers decentralization, so judging from his earlier comments, the local authority is more likely to gain the right to manage the Olympic-sized swimming pool.

But this is just one part of the problem: There are other issues related to the functioning of the pool. According to Krónika,

the filtering system isn’t working perfectly, as there is still sand slipping through the filters, and the water temperature must meet FINA’s requirements.

The operator of the indoor swimming pool has locked down the facility because it doesn’t have employees to delegate to the building. Since it is an institution run by the government, it has to go through a hiring process, which can be done only with the Sports Ministry’s approval. In other words, the bureaucratic roller-coaster didn’t end with the finalization of the building but will continue until the administration rights competition ends and the winning institution has the budget to operate the facility.

Marosvásárhely’s Olympic-size swimming pool. Image source: Zoltán Soós’ Facebook page

But that’s a question for the future. Until then, Marosvásárhely has a non-functional, ultra-modern, Olympic-sized, indoor swimming pool.

Title image: The long-overdue pool’s gates are closed. Image credit: Székelyhon

Author: István Fekete