Until Fairly Recently, The YMCA Actually Required Swimmers To Be Nude

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Last week, I was eating lunch with a friend and her dad in Manhattan on 23rd Street, directly across from what used to be the McBurney YMCA, when my friend’s dad had a sudden recollection.

Apparently, in 1968, as part of a freshman requirement for the city college he attended, all male students took a swim class at the YMCA. For reasons somewhat unclear to him at the time (and, we joked, probably repressed until now) the Y had a particular rule: If you’re going to swim, you must swim nude.

“Nude-nude?” I asked. “Totally nude,” he said.

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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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