History of Swimming

  • Period: 9000 BCE to 4000 BCE

    Cave of Swimmers

    10,000 year old paintings of swimmers were found in Egypt. These paintings are the oldest paintings of swimmers. This shows when swimming probably started. Link text
  • Period: 500 to Dec 31, 1500


    Swimming was 1 of 7 "agilities" of knights. This changed the sport because guys wanted to be like knights and that sparked an interest in swimming. Link text
  • Beggining of Competitive Swimming

    The beginning of competitive swimming began in 1830 in Britain and used mostly the breaststroke. This is important because swimming as a sport today is competitive and this was the start. It changed swimming from just being fun and athletic to being a real competitive sport. Link text
  • Women in Swimming

    The worlds first women's swimming championship was in 1892 in Scotland. This changed swimming by allowing women to swim. Link text
  • Olympic Swimming

    The first swimming gold medal was won by Alfred Hajos in 1896. This changed swimming from just being competitive to being on the same level of competitiveness as other competitive sports already in the Olympics. Link text
  • Women in Olympic Swimming

    Women were allowed to swim in the Olympics in 1912. This is important because it showed it was a gender neutral sport. Link text
  • Swimming Lanes

    At the 1924 Paris Olympics, lane dividers made of cork as well and painted lines were used for the first time. This changed the sport by aiding with orientation. Link text
  • Starting Blocks

    In the 1936 Summer Olympics starting blocks were first used to begin the race.
  • Flip Turns

    The Games of 1956 in Melbourne introduced flip turns to quickly change directions at the end of lanes. Later flip turns started being used for backstrokes as well. This changed the game by making it easier and quicker to change directions at the end of the lanes.\ Link text
  • Backstroke Goes Underwater

    In 1988 backstroke swimmers proved that they could swim faster by doing underwater backstrokes than on the surface. This is important because it was decided that in order to make it fair they would be forced to surface at or before the 10 meter mark forcing a rule change. Link text