Swimming as a sport is over 10,000 years old. Over the years much has changed and we have lost track of some of our history. So, today I take a break from stroke mechanics and training concepts to have a little fun with the history of swimming, so enjoy these fun facts about swimming you never knew.
- At one time there was a competitive swim event entitled the Plunge and Glide, also called the Plunge for Distance. Competitors dove in and glided as far as they could. This event even appeared in one Olympic games.
- Butterfly and breaststroke were one competitive stroke. Fly arms & breast kick
- At the first modern Olympics attended by Japan, their swimmers did sidestroke in the freestyle events, and as you might imagine, did not fare well.
- The first swim-goggles were actually motorcycle goggles and did not create a waterproof seal, so they leaked heavily.
- Goggles were not legal in the Olympics until 1976.
- For you hard core breaststrokers; the 400 M (440 yards in 1904) was an Olympic event from 1904 to 1920.
- It wasn’t until the 1996 Olympics that men and women swam the same number of events at the Olympics.
- In the United States, the rule requiring women have a skirt on their suit was not removed from the books until the mid 70s in preparation for the 1976 Olympic games.
- As late as the early 70’s doing deep end bobbing was a regular part of training. (Not just for practicing streamlines)
- Crawl, or Australian crawl does not come from where you think. West Africans and Native American were doing a crawl stroke for decades before
- An Elephant can swim up to 20 miles in a day.
- Over 50% of the top competitive swimmers suffer with shoulder pain.
- Benjamin Franklin is credited with the invention of the first swim fins.
Have some other fun facts and swimming trivia? Post them below, I know I’m not the only one who finds these true items fascinating.
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