History of Competitive Swimming

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What is the distance from each end of a long course pool?


What does disqualification indicate in swimming?

A rule violation

What is the definition of a swim off in swimming?

A tie-breaking race

In which event are all four strokes swum by one swimmer?

Individual medley

What is the purpose of goggles in swimming?

To protect the eyes and improve visibility underwater

Study Notes

Early History of Competitive Swimming

  • Competitive swimming originated in Britain in the early 1800s through the National Swimming Society.
  • The Amateur Swimming Association was formed in 1880 in England.

Development of Swimming Strokes

  • Initially, the side stroke and breast stroke were used in competitive swimming.
  • In 1873, John Trudgen introduced the front crawl to Britain, incorporating a scissor or flutter kick.

Evolution of the Freestyle Stroke

  • Improvements to the front crawl resulted in the fastest swimming style, known today as the freestyle stroke.

Olympic Games and Swimming

  • Swimming was introduced in the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.
  • The first Olympic Games featured four swimming contests: 100 m, 100 m for sailors, 500 m, and 1200 m competitions.
  • Alfred Hajos from Hungary won the first gold medal in the history of swimming in the 100 m freestyle and the 1200 m race.

FINA Formation and Backstroke Flags

  • In 1908, the Fédération Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA), the world's first swimming association, was established.
  • Backstroke flags, a line of flags signaling backstroke swimmers when to turn, were introduced.

Test your knowledge of the origins and early developments of competitive swimming, from the introduction of swimming events in the early 1800s to the evolution of different swimming strokes.

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