Here are some swimming fun facts, compiled by Swimmers World magazine.
- The oldest swimming stroke is the breaststroke, which dates back to the 1st century B.C. It’s also the slowest stroke swum at the Olympics.
- Over half of the top swimmers in the world experience shoulder pain.
- Swimmers sweat just as much as other athletes.
- The Bikini got its name from Bikini Atoll – a nuclear test site in the South Pacific.
- Elephants can swim up to 20 miles a day using their trunks to breathe.
- In Egypt, ancient drawings of swimming date back to 2500 AD.
- The first cruise ship with a swimming pool was the Titanic.
- The first man to swim the English Channel was Captain Matthew Webb in 1875.
- In 1926, Gertrude Ederle was the first woman to swim the English Channel and did it quicker than the fastest male.
- Swimming became an Olympic event in 1896. The odds of swimming in the Olympics are slim to none. Only 50 swimmers make Team USA.
- The world record for breath-holding is 22 minutes, currently held by Stig Severinsen.
- The tumble turn was invented by American swim coach Tex Armstrong who trained Adolph Keifer for the 1936 Olympics.
- Swimming works out all the body’s main muscles.
- A 2014 American Red Cross survey revealed half of Americans cannot swim.
- Benjamin Franklin invented swimming fins.
- Kangaroos, tigers, sloths and elephants are all excellent swimmers.
- Synchronized swimming was first featured in the Olympics in 1984.
- In the 1300s the first swimming goggles were made from tortoise shells. The first rubber goggles were made in the 1930s.
- ‘Piscine’ the French word for swimming pool, comes from the Latin word meaning “fishpond.”
- An Olympic size swimming pool can hold 700,000–850,000 gallons of water.
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