Swimming has been around for a long time. From prehistoric times people learned to imitate the movements of animals to hunt, gather and even swim. Some documents show that swimming dates back to the Stone Age through paintings 7,000 years ago. Literary documents date from about 2000 BC.
Humans have known how to swim thousands of years ago, but it was not until the 1800s that swimming developed into competitive sports. Today, swimming is the third most followed sport at the Olympic Games.
From around 1800, swimming competitions were held in Europe, mostly swimming frogs. Swimming became a sport during the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, in 1902 Richard Cavill introduced the style of swimming slopes to the Western world. In 1908, Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) was established. Butterfly swimming was developed in the 1930s and was initially considered a variation of frog swimming, until it was adopted as a separate swimming style in 1952.
Conquer the English Channel
In 1875, Matthew Webb aroused the public passion for swimming when he became the first person to swim across the English Channel. At that time, it took him 21 hours to finish blocking the road with only one type of frog swimming. 31 years later, another character also succeeded in swimming through this strait.
Swimming debuted at the Olympics
At the first modern Olympics in 1896, male athletes competed in four events and all competed in the open waters of the Mediterranean Sea. 4 years later, at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, all swimming events competed on the Seine.
The formation and development of free swimming
In the early years, frog swimming was the only type of swimming that was used in competitions. In 1902, Australian swimmer Richard Cavill was the first to do this type of swimming with his legs up and down alternating with his hands over his head. This type of swim is called the Australian style of crawl and is the foundation for the later free style.