HISTORY OF SWIMMING

The history of swimming goes way back to that of prehistoric times. Books written from 2000 to 1500 BC including the Bible have references to swimming. It was mostly used in these times as a means of cleansing. Any form of competitive swimming wasn’t formed until the 1800’s in Europe. It was included in the first Olympics in 1896 in Athens, Greece. It was noted that Ancient Egypt had cave drawings of humans swimming in the nearby sea. They often depicted a form of the breaststroke as the first type of swimming or something they used to call the front crawl. Ancient Egyptian, Grecian and Roman palaces were often equipped with swimming pools or baths. Often reserved for the elite that used them as relaxation pools and cleaning tubs. It is noted by historians that swimming was also often used in battle. The Greeks were often regarded as solid swimmers and at the Battle of Salamis after a number of both Greek and Persian boats were destroyed it was said that all of the Persians drowned due to their inability to swim while the Greek prevailed. The history of swimming is much easier to understand than other sports. Without any equipment to speak of an individual can take to the waters. Obviously those countries that had the most access to water were the first to adapt to swimming. History did not have the spreading of the sport as many other sports had encountered because it was basically already available. Either you adopted swimming as a means of life or you just chose not to swim. The evolution of swimming history expanded during the middle ages. A number of individuals took it upon themselves to write books about swimming. They were often focused on the ability to not drown rather than a perfect backstroke as you would imagine. Life saving concepts and techniques began to form throughout the next few hundred years and around the 18th and 19th century the sport began to evolve into more of a competition than just life safety. Swimming Associations and Clubs popped up all over the world. Some of the first in swimming history were in China, Sweden and Germany. Schools began to believe that swimming was a natural part of any life education. Therefore, they began to teach swimming in schools not just as a life safety course but as an extracurricular activity. Schools and Universities began to adopt these practices and set up clubs and swim teams. Competitions began to arise around the mid 1800’s. England was the first to modernize the sport and incorporate an indoor swimming pool with a swim team. They began to formulate new swimming styles including the sidestroke. Shortly after this, variations of the freestyle began to form and credit can’t really be given to one person as so many were responsible for developing this technique. The Olympic Games of 1896 in Athens was the first real platform for the sport. There only men competed in a number of events. Throughout the 1900’s the sport evolved and saw a number of stars arise. Johnny Weissmuller, the original Tarzan completed his ten year career by never losing a race and winning five Olympic medals. Science and technology began to play a part in the sport throughout the 1900’s as well. When scientist and coaches began studying swimmers and there underwater techniques to improve times. The swimsuits began to change as well as any form of resistance was under scrutiny from all competitors. Goggles, swim caps and different variations of training have all evolved as well. The US has seen its share of great Olympians going back to Mark Spitz who won seven gold medals in the 1972 Olympics. The sport has evolved to a very competitive and fun sport for anyone. That has always been the great appeal that anyone can swim and we have been for the past 3000 years…So goes the history of swimming.

Accredited Meet is a competition where there is a full complement of officials and all the rules of swimming will be applied. Automatic (Electronic) Timing (AOE) electrical equipment designed to measure the elapsed time between the start and finish of a race in each lane.

I. Heat Declared Winner means that there will be no final and the winner of the event is determined by times alone when all the heats have been swum. Backstroke flags a line of flags (not bunting!) suspended above the pool 5 metres from each pool end. Kickboard . Each swimmer swims one stroke.backstroke . Converted Time a time calculated using tables to compensate for a change of pool length.each pointing to 30 seconds apart & used to assist swimmers and coach to . Deveron. Leg: the part of a relay that is swum by a single team member. Negative split: a pacing tactic where the swimmer performs the second half of a race faster than the first half. organisation or individual may enter. Competitive skills . Officials are volunteers who help to ensure that the rules of swimming are adhered to in swimming events and time trials. Event a race or series of races in a given stroke and distance. Order backstroke – breaststroke .normally a constantly running single arm (displaying time progression in seconds) clock with different coloured ends . Even Pace is a swim that is swum at the same pace for each section . 1st.e.breaststroke . Huntly. 3rd & 4th 50's of a 200m swim swum with equal times. (Compare to IM) NEASCA is the North East Amateur Swimming Clubs Association comprising 6 clubs – Broch Seals. Officials will usually wear white. until after the next race has started.M.a flat rectangular (usually) piece of foam used when kicking in training. Used to help backstroke swimmers judge when to turn. Lane numbers: lanes are numbered from right to left as the swimmer stands facing the course. Consideration Time is a time for an event set by the meet organiser that swimmers must be faster than in order to enter. One Start Rule is a rule applied almost everywhere now and it means that a swimmer is automatically disqualified if they fall or dive into the water before the starting signal Over the top Starts this means that the swimmer should stay in the water after finishing their race.the area where the swimmers meet ahead of their race Medley relay is an event where all four competitive strokes are swum in one event with four swimmers swimming in turns. streamlining. ASFGB (Amateur Swimming Federation of Great Britain): the governing body of swimming across the whole of Great Britain. Some graded meets may have both high end and low end caps. LEN (League European Natation) is the governing body of swimming in Europe. Order: butterfly . A time swum in a 25m pool can be converted into an equivalent time for a 50m pool and vice versa. Disqualification (DQ) indicates the swimmer has broken a swimming rule. turns. Licensed Meet is a competition that has been approved by the SASA. Final any single race that determines final places and times in an event. Heat the division of an event in which there are too many swimmers to compete at one time. Pace Clock . Peterhead and Ythan. (Individual Medley) is an event where all four competitive strokes are swum in one event by one swimmer. Garioch.g. Graded Meet . Open competition: a competition in which any affiliated club.ASA (Amateur Swimming Association): the governing body of swimming in England. Long Course means in a 50 metre pool. Only times from licensed and accredited meets can be used to enter most North District competitions. Marshalling Area . North District is the part of SASA that we belong to covering the North of Scotland and the islands. start and finish speeds . Entry form/disk the page(s) or computer disk upon which the team's entries for a particular meet are submitted to the meet host or designated committee. holding on to the lane rope.starts. FINA (Federation Internationale Natation Amateur): the world's governing body of swimming.butterfly – frontcrawl. 2nd.frontcrawl.At a Graded Meet a time cap is applied and only those swimmers below the cap are allowed to compete.all components of racing.

Placing (order of finish): determined by either the automatic timing system when available or by the meet officials when manual timing is used. Recorder the official who records the results at a meet. When the swimmer finishes and hits the touchpad. They are most common in children between 6 and 18 months and usually not present after 5 years of age. Stroke judge the official who inspects competitors to determine that the stroke being used is legal. usually during pull sets. and changes in postural tone. Stonehaven. Touchpad . It may be confused with a seizure disorder. Pacing an important procedure for distributing energy resources in a particular race to achieve the best overall performance..a piece of foam that goes between your legs and helps you float whilst swimming without kicking during training. 5 or 10 seconds apart & used by swimmers for pacing or noting their swim times for particular swim sets. Streamlining the method of aligning the body so as to reduce resistance in the water. Programme (Start sheet) is a complete listing of all swimmers entered in the events at a competition. Upper Deeside. it records the time. Mark Spitz . Starting block / Plinth: a raised platform from which competitors dive at the start of freestyle. i. Qualifying / Consideration time (QT) the time a swimmer must perform to enter a particular meet or gain selection to a certain squad. Split time the time(s) recorded within individual sections of a race. Westhill & District. Starter the official who starts the race. Referee the highest ranking official in overall charge of an accredited meet.send swimmers off for each repeat swim in a swim set .a board at the end of the pool that acts as a stopwatch. Swim off an additional race used to determine the finalists in the event of a tie in the heats. SASA National Championships: senior and age group competitions for all swimmers who make the qualifying standard to determine the best swimmers in Scotland. senior and age group. Breath holding spells occur in approximately 5% of the population with equal distribution between males and females. Garioch. breaststroke and individual medley races. Pullbouy . butterfly. heats and finals. Speeding Ticket is what a swimmer receives for swimming too fast at a graded meet. SAS (South Aberdeenshire Swimming) is a composite team made up of the 5 competitive clubs in South Aberdeenshire – Banchory Beavers. Turn Judge is the official who ensures that all turns are completed correctly in a race. A positive family history can be elicited in 25% of cases. Timed finals / Heat Declared Winner: competition in which only heats are swum with final Breath Holding Breath holding spells are the occurrence of episodic apnea in children. Timekeeper is an official who operates a stopwatch to record a swimmer’s time.flat pieces of plastic worn on the hands. SASA (Scottish Amateur Swimming Association) the governing body of swimming in Scotland. Personal Best (PB) This is the fastest time that a swimmer has recorded for a particular event.g. Session: any portion of a meet distinctly separated from other portions by time or type. possibly associated with loss of consciousness. Paddles . They are unusual before 6 months of age.e. Short Course is in 25 metre pool.e.

In his post retirement age. In that time this was the second medals in an Olympic tournament just after awarded by the Swimming World Magazine of the Year twice.Spitz is the greatest swimmer in the history of swimming. till today. His best was 1988 in Seoul where he bagged 7 gold. Johnny Weissmuller Johnny_Weissmuller is another talented swimmer in the swimming history. He is a member of International Swimming Hall of Fame. He acted in the 12 movies of Tarzan series and could create an individual place in the Hollywood. By the ten. this legendary swimmer started to practice swimming at Arden Hills Swim Club in California. has same achievement in a single Olympic Games. His uniqueness was seen in . He was as the Male Swimmer international swimmer in the swimming history winning 11 including 8 gold. The reality was different as he could win just two gold medals and a silver and bronze medal. His talent is rare in the world. “The Sony and Cher Comedy Hour” and “The Dean Martin Show”. He is also an inductee of Swimming Hall of Fame. he dominated the swimming world participating in the two Olympics Games and bagging 6 Olympic medals in which 5 were gold. Matthew ("Matt") Nicholas Biondi Biondi is another great Olympic medals Games. This multi skilled legend is also very famous for playing the role of Tarzan in the movie titled ‘Tarzan’. None of the Olympians. he became the fourth highest medalist in the Olympic history and jointly the highest in Men’s Swimming. At the age of nine. where he made history winning 7 gold medals with new world records in each. he attended in some TV show including “The Tonight Show”. It was then in 1972 Munich Olympic Games. He took retirement at the age of 22 surprisingly. he came in to the focus while he held 17 national age-group and one world record. one of the successful movies ever released in Hollywood. He extended his feat in the water polo too and won the bronze medal with USA water polo team in 1924 Paris Olympic. He attended his first Olympic Games in 1968 having been expected to win at least 6 gold medals as he was the holder of ten world records by then. With his 11 Olympic medals. In his swimming career. Appearing in three Olympics his skill and potential in swimming. he could prove Olympic performance medals including 5 example of winning 5 Mark Spitz.

he also got many success in World Championship. For his artistic contribution in theHollywood movies. he got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Besides Olympic. he proved his talent and let the world realize that another great is coming. Krisztina Egerszegi This Hungarian great Olympian was a famous swimmer mid 1990s. Phelps dominates in other swimming competitions like World Championship. He has already been compared with the legends of middle-distance swimmers. she could win 3 medals including 2 gold in her first appearance in the Olympic Games. but he had to come back without any medal. Ian James Thorpe Nicknamed ‘Thorpedo’ he is one of the most popular swimmers in the present world. However. He has been World Swimmer of the Year for four times. Michael Fred Phelps II Phelps is another passionate American swimmer in the present world. This Australian is stepping down the way of being in the same row of the greatest swimmers. Her number of Olympic gold medal is 8 which deserve her to be included in the list of one of the great Olympians. Jenny could win 12 medals participating in four Olympics Games. In 1999. Pan Pacific Championship and Commonwealth Games. she became the World Swimmer of the Year by the Swimming World Magazine. Besides Tarzan. Participating in three Olympics Games. He has showed his talent and skill to be accepted as a legend in the swimming history. In that competition she failed to qualify in the 50 m Freestyle and finished second in the 100 m Freestyle though she was the then world record holder of these two events.Tarzan where he showed his famous Tarzan Yell. In spite of such failure to meet the expectations around her. He holds 4 world records now. Jennifer ("Jenny") Elisabeth Thompson Jenny Thompson is a great swimmer in the world swimming. His best events are Freestyle and Individual Medley. Johnny Weissmuller also acted in several movies and got fame in the Hollywood. Thorpe holds two world records in 200 m and 400 m Freestyle events. He first appeared in the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000 at the age of 15. in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. He ended the competition with 8 medals including 6 gold. she could continue winning medals in the following Olympic Games and in other international competitions. After taking retirement from Swimming he became the founder chairman of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. He became the youngest world record holder in 2000 at the age of 15 years and 9 months while he broke the world record in 200 m Butterfly. she from the late 1980s to the bagged 7 medals in which . Thorpe bagged nine medals including five gold. Having participated in two Olympic Games. Pan pacific Championship etc. Though she could not meet with the expectations created after she won her first international gold medal in the Pan American Games at the age of 14.

In her only Olympic games appearance in 1972 in Munich she won 5 medals including 3 gold. This German swimmer appeared in one Olympic Games in 1988 and she could prove the tale that great people does not need two chances to show their greatness. These swimmers also deserve to be in the same line with the swimmers included above. In her later life she became a Shane Gould Shane is another great Australian swimmer in the world swimming. Later.5 were gold. She was one Olympic Torch bearers at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in 2000. At that time she was just 15 years old. Australian great swimmer is mostly famous for her in the Freestyle event. It is still a mystery that in spite of having a great skill and potential. In that competition she became a part of the history of the women’s swimming winning the three Olympic gold medals with world record in each for the first time in women’s swimming. The number of award she got in her short career can be another world record (though I am not sure). She became the Australian of the Year in 1965 and award of Order of the British Empire in 1967. She is the first women to finish within one minute in the 100m events. she retired at the age of 16. Order of the British Empire and Olympic Order adorned her award cage. This Backstroke queen still holds the world record for 200m Backstroke. In that tournament. At present she is an inductee of International Swimming Hall of Fame. within her short appearance in the swimming pool. In her three Games appearances. She became the Best Sportswoman in the World in 1971 and Australian of the Year in 1972. Dawn Lorraine Fraser This successes swimming Olympic including 5 got the of the Sydney politician. Some of such great swimmers are as follows:Janet Elizabeth Evans. Tracy . Kristin Otto Kristin is the famous swimmer in the swimming world. James Paul ("Jim") Montgomery. Her greatness in swimming was proved in the way of her winning all of the Freestyle events from 100m to 1500m with new world record in each. she could win 8 Olympic medals gold. Swimming World Magazine named her the Female World Swimmer of the Year for thrice. she won 6 gold medals. Jeffrey ("Jeff") Norman Rouse. However. Iain Murray Rose. She won 4 gold medals in Backstroke event in Olympic Games. she could able to show her ability to be one of the greatest in the history of swimming. There is some other great swimmers in the history of Swimming.

First Class rank requirements start you on your way to becoming a good swimmer. It is the fastest stroke but can consume considerable energy. to tow the victim to safety. Review the following stroke descriptions to refresh your memory. you can ask your coach for help with the noncompetitive strokes. Fu Mingxia etc. Power is improved if the lower arm is bent and swept across the chest rather than rotated in a vertical arc. or your local parks department. The feet should not slap the surface of the water. Duke Kahanamoku. but sometimes a rescuer must swim a float to an active victim. but you will probably need formal instruction to master them. you know that a rescuer often does not need to enter the water to save someone from drowning. Then rotate the ankles outward . An excellent way to prepare for the Lifesaving merit badge is to first earn the Swimming merit badge. the breaststroke conserves energy and is appropriate for long distances. breaststroke. The head is turned to the side to inhale and rotated down to exhale. You also may take swimming courses from the Red Cross. if needed. Your arms power you while you take a breath and prepare the legs for the next whip kick. the distance shouldn't be a problem. but you need additional skills to begin training for the Lifesaving merit badge. The sidestroke and elementary backstroke are normally used to tow objects. sidestroke. 12 LIFESAVING 13 LIFESAVING Breaststroke Elementary Backstroke Coordination is the key to the breaststroke. Note that lifesaving procedures will require you to modify the strokes to carry equipment. Start the whip kick by slowly lowering the heels beneath the knees. and elementary backstroke. Done slowly with a glide. The stroke is most efficient if the head remains supported by the water. You need to master the front crawl. The front crawl and breaststroke are generally used as approach strokes and to push objects. You should contact a counselor for the Lifesaving badge only after you are confident that you can perform the prerequisite 400-yard swim with ease. Front Crawl The front crawl combines a relaxed flutter kick with a rotary arm motion and rhythmic breathing. Alfréd Hajós.Danyon Joseph Loader. stamina is probably not as critical as good form. Such cases require strong swimming skills. At this stage. and. Your swimming skills need not be perfect. if you are a member of a swim team. You also will need to know the rotary kick for holding a vertical position and surface dives to recover submerged objects. get someone to review your strokes with you.Ann Caulkins. Your legs power you forward as your arms move to a glide position with your head down. Janet Elizabeth Evans. These are introduced in your Boy Scout Handbook and reviewed here. Reaching or throwing rescue devices usually work. Ambrose ("Rowdy") Gaines IV. but you should know the basic strokes before you tackle lifesaving. if you can't quite make the distance. More detailed descriptions and illustrations are in your Boy Scout Handbook and the Swimming merit badge pamphlet. That is. Do not assume that your Lifesaving merit badge counselor will teach you swimming and lifesaving at the same time. to avoid obstructions. if you know how to do the strokes property. The backstroke begins with arms at your sides and legs together. YMCA. to keep an eye on the victim. or swim out and tow an unconscious person to safety. Basic Swimming Skills From your work toward Second Class rank. The kick should generate enough power to push you through the water without using your arms.

the rescuer needs to keep track of the victim's location and avoid obstacles or other swimmers. Instead. The top leg is then extended forward and the bottom leg back. The rescuer also can propel a bodyboard. when making a swimming rescue using a rescue tube. The arms are brought slowly up along the chest and extended outward at shoulder level. that is. The breaststroke also is used in lifesaving with the head out of the water. you will waste energy and breath that are needed for victim recovery. Swimming downward for any distance is hard because your body is lighter than water and will float upward. The knees separate and follow the feet out do not lead out with the knees. or pushed forward with one or both hands. or eggbeater. each leg moves separately in the rotary kick. you may choose to swim facedown and look up every few strokes. continuous circular motion.of the knees and return them to the start position in a rapid. tucked under the arms. Power is generated when the legs are snapped back to a trailing position. 14 LIFESAVING 15 LIFESAVING Stroke Use and Modification for Lifesaving Rotary Kick The crawl is used as an approach stroke to cover distance rapidly when the rescue aid can be trailed behind the swimmer-for example. the crawl is normally done with the head out of the water. It is important that you as rescuer pace yourself to prevent exhaustion. Rotate one leg and then the other in a circular pattern. you will need to stay in one position without a float and with your head up.) . practice the surface stroke because forward vision is difficult. Try it first supported by a float or sculling with your hands. Surface Dives The sidestroke is another option for an approach stroke used to take a rescue aid to a victim. The rotary kick is done from a sitting position with the knees apart. you'll need to tread water. the swimmer can push a float such as an inner tube or air mattress ahead of him. Sidestroke The sidestroke uses a scissors kick in which the heels are first tucked behind the body. kick. For lifesaving. tance. The motion is similar to that of the whip kick used for the breaststroke and the backstroke. It is a more versatile approach stroke than the crawl. and you should practice it that way. if you must swim a long disAt times during training for lifesaving. They are used to push water toward the feet while the legs are making the circular ''whipping'' action. The elementary backstroke is a restful stroke suitable for long distances. The sidestroke is slightly more awkward than the breaststroke for seeing where you are going. leaving the other free for stroking. Breathing is natural because the head remains out of the water. or air mattress while lying on the device and using his arms in a breaststroke fashion. such as sculling with your hands and using a combination of kicks. Another option is to use the rotary. The lower arm pulls water past the chest while the upper arm pushes from the chin toward the feet. You have probably already developed your own style of treading water. Kick only fast enough to keep your head above water. A long glide is an essential element of the stroke. Although that takes more energy and makes the stroke more difficult. Rescue equipment may be trailed behind. However. If you try to swim straight down. try it without using your arms. As you get the feel of it. surfboard. The stroke uses a glide to conserve energy. The swimmer may tow the rescue aid with one hand. A good swimmer should be able to do the sidestroke on both sides. Raising the head and bending at the waist are common mistakes that distort the body position. If wind and water are calm. (The backstroke is not normally used as an approach Some drowning victims must be recovered from below the surface of the water. then use his arms for stroking while catching up.

then both the sidestroke and the backstroke are useful for towing a conscious victim grasping a float. After presenting the victim an aid. if you've used a buoyant aid. Some swimmers will use the regular scissors on one side and the inverted scissors dives described in this section until you can easily reach bottom in 8 feet of water. even if the person is in sight. The dive is easier to do if you begin while moving forward with a breaststroke. scoop downward with your arms as you bend at the waist and lift your legs into the air. As you finish an arm pull. then the pressure will be equal on both sides of your eardrum and you won't feel any difference. you must return to the surface if the pain in your ears becomes intense. Breathing too deeply for too long can lead to hyperuentilation. For now. Try to lift your body as far out of the water as possible. especially if suffering from a cold. you'll choose a stroke for the return to safety. your eardrum might rupture. I you can use the breaststroke to push the victim to shore. In the inverted scissors kick. Take only one or two deep breaths before you dive. The object is to point your entire body toward the bottom with your legs above the surface. your hands will be to the side and your legs straight back. one option is to let the victim kick toward shore while you swim alongside. Again. Without stopping. If the victim needs help. At the surface. it may be easier to tow some aids rather than push them. After hyperventilation. Push down with your arms while using a scissors kick to push upward.In waves. it is possible for you to run out of oxygen and black out underwater. Then extend your arms in front of your head. Headfirst Surface Dive You can use the headfirst surface dive when the water is deep and clear. If you ignore the pain. The sidestroke enables you to swim alongside the victim while keeping the person in full view. begin in a vertical position with your arms extended outward. you may do a tow using the sidestroke or the backstroke. 16 LIFESAVING 17 LIFESAVING Feetfirst Surface Dive Use the feetfirst surface dive whenever you can't clearly see what is beneath you. depending on your preference. if the float is large enough that the victim and the rescuer can hold to opposite sides. Straighten your legs and push up with your hands as you start toward the bottom. then You probably have noticed a slight pain in your ears when you swim near the bottom of a deep pool. If you are trying to recover a victim in deep water. Do not lift your arms too quickly. Your body uses the amount of carbon dioxide in your blood to trigger the desire to breathe. You can use either a regular scissors kick or an inverted scissors kick. The weight of your body out of the water will then drive you downward. cannot equalize at all. others. The increased pressure of the water against your eardrums causes the discomfort. the top leg goes back rather than forward. you will find it useful to practice the sidestroke with the lower hand held at the side and the backstroke using just the kick. Some people equalize automatically. before carbon dioxide levels rise enough to warn that you need more air. Then there would be two people to rescue instead of one. That could cause you to lose your sense of direction and possibly to black out. If air is free to travel from your lungs to your inner ear. they should push against the water rather than break the surface. on the other. The feeling may have disappeared if you swallowed or wiggled your jaw. Such situations will be discussed in more detail in later sections. the weight of your legs above the water drives you . if you've used a no buoyant aid or the victim is unconscious.

Keep your arms extended to protect your head as you dive.downward. . It is a ''tuck'' if you bring your legs toward your body while you bend downward and then straighten them into the air. The headfirst surface dive also is known as a ''pike'' if you keep your legs straight the entire time.