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All about Swimming [ History, Rules, … ]

Swimming is a sport that consists of swimming and aims to travel a certain distance in the least possible time and may have to use a specific swimming style.

History of Swimming

Swimming activity has been around for thousands of years. There are engravings that show people in the middle of the water supposed to swim, taking as date 7000 AC

In ancient Greece, swimming has become a prerequisite for becoming a soldier so that they can improve their fitness.

Over the years, several cultures have given some relevance to swimming activity, but none have made it very popular. In the seventeenth century, the Japanese began to take swimming lessons at school compulsory.

It was only in the nineteenth century that the West really began to give some value to this activity, and over the years new styles of swimming emerged until it finally became a regulated export.

Swimming is an Olympic modality since the first Games of the modern era and since then the export has evolved greatly and has had different champions and records achieved.

One of the most notorious swimmers ever won dozens of medals recently, from 2004 to Beijing in 2008 and already with some decline in 2012, but nevertheless strong, Michael Phelps dominated swimming in the most varied styles, imposing several records and becoming the athlete with the most medals of the Olympic Games since its existence, and this record is far greater than the athlete who previously held it.


Swimming Styles

As has been said, over time numerous swimming styles have emerged, thus making the export diversify and increase its popularity. In competition, 4 styles are used, they are:


This is considered the oldest style there is. It consists of the athlete being with the chest facing down and makes a movement where he pushes the two arms forward at the same time and then opens them, simultaneously doing the same with the legs. The easiest way to understand it is to imagine open and close scissors.

The distances covered are:

  • 50 meters
  • 100 meters
  • 200 meters

brute swimming


In the Crawl, the swimmer is facedown and makes a circular movement with the arms, alternating the left with the right, almost like two propellers. The legs also make a synchronized up / down movement alternately.

Curiously, this style has no associated evidence, but in the freestyle where it is allowed to make the race with any style, the crawl is used by everyone because it is with which you can achieve higher speeds.

The distances covered are:

  • 50 meters
  • 100 meters
  • 200 meters
  • 400 meters
  • 800 meters
  • 1500 meters



This style has everything equal to that of the crawl in movements of arms and legs, having only the peculiarity of being done of back (the sweep facing upwards).

The distances covered are:

  • 50 meters
  • 100 meters
  • 200 meters

swimming back


Here the athlete is boosted by using both arms simultaneously, almost like the movement of being diving. The feet stand together and make a simultaneous up-and-down movement, similar to a dolphin’s fin.

The distances covered are:

  • 50 meters
  • 100 meters
  • 200 meters

There are also tests called “proofs of styles” which can be done individually or by stamps, in which all styles are used every x meters and in a predefined order.

butterfly swim

Swimming Pool

The pools can measure 2 different lengths: 25 meters (short pool) or 50 meters (Olympic pool). The only thing that changes between them is just the length.

The pool should have 2 meters deep and is divided by lanes along its entire length, there being a distance between them of 2,5 meters thus representing the designated track for each swimmer.

The side margins should be 50 centimeters between the wall and the nearest streak.

It must also have a starting block for each of the swimmers, having its platform at least 50 centimeters from the water level (up to the maximum of 70 centimeters) and its slope can not exceed 10 degrees.

These platforms are a square with 50 centimeters of side and have non-slip material for the swimmer to have a match without problems.

swimming pool

Referees or Staff

The umpire team established by the International Swimming Federation is a bit extensive as we will see now:

  • Referee: Responsible for developing the race and have the final say on any decision. There are 2, one for men and one for women.
  • Judge of Departure: This is what signals the game with an electronic signal. Here also exist 2, one for each genre,
  • Judges of Swim: These are 4 per race, 2 on each side of the pool and will accompany the swimmers by the pool to check if these are to swim properly the style, without errors or flaws.
  • Judges of the Revolution: There are 16 per race, each one near one end of the swimmer’s lane (there are 8 tracks) to see if this one turns well.
  • Scorer: This is in a special room to take care of the results that show in the electronic markers and the indications of the judges.
  • False exit rope judge: Responsible for the rope that is located 15 meters from the edge of the pool and that marks the place where the swimmer already has to be at the top of the water. If any of them do not meet this requirement at the start then the rope falls into the water and is started again.


Other Forms of Swimming

There are other forms of swimming without being the “pure” that is composed of these things that we talked about earlier.

For example, there is open water swimming that is done in the open sea and also has the same objective but with much greater distances (several kilometers, sometimes making the connection between two islands).

And there are other more different types like Diving, Synchronized swimming, water jumping, among others …

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