Edmonton woman launches petition after mermaid fins banned at city pools
WATCH ABOVE: What would it be like to be a mermaid? One Edmonton woman is aspiring to do just that. But as Lisa Wolansky tells us, a recent ban at city recreation centres is putting a stop to her dream.
EDMONTON – An Edmonton woman, who aspires to be a professional mermaid, has launched a petition after the City of Edmonton banned mermaid tails from city pools.
Krista Visinski has been swimming competitively since she was 17. Now she trains with her monofin three to four times per week, four hours a day. Monofins are similar to fins used while snorkeling or diving, but both feet go in one fin.
“I’d go to the pool and I’d use my ankle binders with two swim fins until I was able to get my monofin,” said Visinski.
While it’s a great full-body workout, for Visinski it’s more than just exercise; she hopes to make a career out of it.
“Professional mermaiding has been around since the early 1900s … and then the monofin came around and it became a fitness thing. And now it’s gaining more and more popularity,” she explained. “You’d advertise yourself for kid’s parties, public appearances, underwater performing doing tricks and stuff like that.
“It’s kind of every little girl’s dream, right? To be a mermaid.”
That was, until a couple weeks ago. Visinski was training with her monofin at Peter Hemingway pool when she was approached by a lifeguard.
“She said, ‘Hey, you can’t have your ankles bound.’ And I’d been training already for six months with it so I asked her why and she said, ‘It’s new rules coming in, it’s a liability. It’s basically to ensure your safety.'”
Mermaid tails and monofins have been banned at all Edmonton recreation centres due to safety concerns. The tails, made from fabric, hold the legs together while the person swims; they have a fin at the bottom.
“I don’t really agree with it,” said Visinski. “It was a little frustrating because I’ve been doing it for so long that I don’t really have problems swimming with it any more. The movement is so fluid now that even when I don’t have my binder on I still swim like that.”
Visinski started a petition on change.org two days ago in hopes of garnering support to bring monofins and mermaid tails back to city pools. By Saturday afternoon she had collected 126 signatures.
“I’m hoping that the ban gets lifted and some rules get put in place and that way I can train and other kids can enjoy this stuff while still being safe.”
The City of Edmonton says it stands by its decision to ban the tails, but it will review Visinski’s petition.
With files from Lisa Wolansky, Global News.
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