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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