You dive into the pool with a splash. The cool water embraces your body. You kick your feet and move your arms as you make your way back to the surface. As you break through the water, you take a deep breath…
This is all part of swimming.
Let’s explore the sport of competitive swimming further.
The History of Swimming
History shows us that swimming has been around for a long time. Rock paintings depicting people swimming are dated to be about 10,000 years-old. They were discovered in “The Cave of Swimmers” in southwestern Egypt.
The first competitive swimming in Britain started in 1830. The stroke mostly used was the breaststroke. Swimming was also part of the first modern Olympics held in 1896 in Athens.
Let’s Dive Into Swimming Fact – In 1908, the world swimming association, Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), was formed.
What You Need to Swim
To begin swimming, you will need these items;
- Swimming pool or lake
- Swim goggles (optional)
- Swimming cap (optional)
- Flotation device (optional)
Let’s Dive Into Swimming Fact – Swimmers can sweat just as much in the water as other athletes do on land.
Let’s Dive Into Swimming
Today, competitive swimming is a huge sport.
To swim competitively, on a team, you will need to know the four main strokes (or movements). These include;
- The Backstroke: consists of using an alternating motion of the arms with a flutter kick while on your back. On turns, swimmers may rotate to the stomach, and perform a flip turn. Some part of the swimmer must also touch the wall and you must finish on your back.
- The Breaststroke: requires simultaneous movements of the arms on the same horizontal plane. The hands are pressed out from in front of the breast in a heart-shaped pattern. They are then recovered under or on the surface of the water. The kick is a simultaneous somewhat circular motion similar to the action of a frog. On turns and at the finish, the swimmer must touch the wall with both hands simultaneously (above or below the water surface).
- The Butterfly Stroke: features a simultaneous recovery of the arms over the water combined with an undulating dolphin kick. In the kick, the swimmer must keep both legs together. You cannot flutter, scissors or use the breaststroke kick. Both hands must touch the wall simultaneously on the turns and the finish.
- The Freestyle: may swim any stroke. The stroke most commonly used is sometimes called the crawl, which is characterized by the alternate stroking of the arms over the surface of the water and an alternating (up-and-down) flutter kick.
Let’s Dive Into Swimming Fact – In 2015, at the age of 10, Alzain Tareq became the world’s youngest competitive swimmer in a World Championships.
What do you think of competitive swimming? Tell us if you enjoy swimming just for fun or if you’re on a swim team!
Be sure to join us again next week when we will explore another Let’s Play feature.