List Of Swimming Facts
Swimming has essentially been around for as long as people have been. Human beings have always interacted with water whether it be for sport, hunting purposes, transportation purposes and more. Over centuries, swimming has evolved into one of the most watched sports across the entire world.
- According to some archeological studies, swimming was practiced in its earliest form in ancient Greece.
- In ancient Rome and Greece, swimming was taught from a young age as part of the child's education. This shows that even in ancient times, real value was found in swimming.
- Swimming is mentioned in old, famous texts such as, "The Odyssey," and "The Iliad."
- As far as we know, swimming first became a competitive sport in the early 1800s.
- The National Swimming Society of Great Britain was the first organization to ever hold structured swimming competitions.
- Swimming first became popular on a global scale in 1875. This is the year that Great Britain's Matthew Webb decided to swim all the way across the English Channel. This stunt not only made him a celebrity, but also gave people a new perspective on swimming and what is possible through it.
- In 1896, swimming was part of the first ever modern Olympic games. It is actually one of four of the only events from the first Olympics that still takes place today.
- In the first several Olympics, the swimming races would take place in open waters. This changes the dynamic of the entire sport. In that time, the swimmer was far more exposed to the elements, and a number of different variables were in play. Before the races moved to indoor pools, swimmers had to be able to deal with things such as low temperatures and water that was much more difficult to navigate due to tide or waves.
- The most accomplished swimmer in the world is American Olympian, Michael Phelps. Phelps has won 28 medals throughout his time competing in the Olympics, and 23 of those have been Olympic Gold Medals.
- In competitive swimming, there are four different strokes that athletes can choose to compete in. These strokes are the front stroke, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly stroke.
- Races can be done alone or with teammates. Races with other people involved are called relay races.
- A regulation length pool for swimming competitions is either 25 or 50 meters long. A 50 meter pool is considered to be the "Olympic Length."
- Competitive swimmers often start training when they are very young. It is common for swimmers to begin training in elementary school.
- These swimmers can compete in competitions organized by their school, or put on by private organizations. The competition will increase as their experience level does.
- The International Swimming League (ISL) was recently established in 2018. This league is not very popular yet, but aims to hold annual competitions where teams of professional swimmers are able to compete.
- Although there is not a mainstream league that professional swimmers can profit from yet, the highest level swimmers, such as Michael Phelps, have earned a living through brand sponsorships and advertising.
Goggles: Today, high quality goggles are used by every competing professional swimmer. By design, the goggles are used to keep the pool's chlorine or the ocean's salt out of the swimmer's eyes. These things can harm the swimmer's eyes but also hinder their performance. A swimmer does not want to be worried about their eyes stinging when they are in the highest levels of competition. Goggles also provide clarity for the swimmer's when they are underwater. This helps them be more aware of their position in the pool during practice or races.
Swimming Caps: Swimming caps aim to achieve the same goal as shaving your head for swimmers that do not want to commit to the new look. The swimming cap flattens the swimmer's hair down so it is as close to their body as possible. This, and the material the caps are made of, increase the swimmer's ability to be aerodynamic in the water. This leads to faster race times and better performances.
Swim Fins: Swim fins are the large webbed coverings that swimmers wear on their feet while training or less often while competing. Swim fins have many benefits for swimmers but the main one is that it improves the swimmer's technique. This is because the fins take away the need for strength by assisting them in moving forward, so it leaves room for them to focus more on the technique part.
The best swimmers in the world have a very strict training schedule. They often swim around 10 miles every single day.
Swimmers often shave their entire bodies before a competition. Although this may sound silly, it's proven that removing the hairs from all over the swimmer's body actually makes them more aerodynamic. This helps them glide through the water smoothly and quickly, and can give them a slight competitive advantage.
More than half of Americans cannot swim! Swimming does not necessarily come naturally to people, and many times is learned during one's childhood. If people do not receive swimming lessons in their young age, it is dramatically less likely that they will ever learn to swim.
The first ever swimming goggles were invented for pearl divers and were made out of polished tortoise shells. Today, there is a huge market for high performance swimming gear, and it is so interesting to think of its humble beginnings.
Some swimmers can hold their breath for an extraordinary amount of time. This is due to the fact that they are constantly conditioning their lungs in the pool. Swimmers can move more efficiently through the water when they only have to come up for air at strategically beneficial times.
Swimmers dehydrate easily. It's easy to forget to drink water after hours of swimming in a pool, and sometimes, forgetful swimmers are harmed by this! While swimming, you are exerting a lot of energy! Many of your muscles are all working together, and your cardiovascular system is being pushed to its limits. You are actually sweating, therefore losing water, quite a lot, but it's easy not to notice while in the pool.
Some swimmers decide to step away from conventional competition and instead use their skills to push and define what is humanly possible. There are long distance, endurance swimmers who have sought to push themselves and do what no one else has done before.
Martin Strel was the first reported man to swim the entire length of the Amazon river. This ended up being over 3,200 miles. The swim lasted 66 days, with Strel swimming for around 10 hours everyday. Not only is this distance remarkable, but Strel also had to deal with the dangers that the river brought. There were strong currents, and possibly dangerous wildlife along the way that made Strel's journey even more risky.
Record Open Water Swim
Croatian man, Veljko Rogošić, holds the record for the longest open water swim done without flippers. This is extra impressive because it means that the swimmer had to rely solely on his own strength and was unable to even use the flippers to make his journey easier. Rogošić swam 140 miles from Grado to Riccione on the coast of northern Italy. This lasted over 50 hours. (The Active Times, 2016)
Longest Swim Ever
The title of longest swim ever belongs to Ben Lecomte. Lecomte swam from Tokyo to San Francisco. This covered a distance of over 5,500 miles. Lecomte reportedly trained specifically for this expedition for 3 entire years before he tried it. This swim lasted 6 whole months, and Lecomte spent at least 8 hours of every day actively swimming.