There is a type of swimming for everyone: from recreational laps to competitive swimming; from the calm of the public pool to the chaos of the open water. Whether you're an experienced swimmer looking for the most in-depth information on swimming techniques and swim news, or are a novice wanting to improve your stroke, the Web has a site for you.
The British-born sport of swimming became competitive in the mid-1800s and was part of the first modern Olympics, where just three swimmers competed. Nowadays there are hundreds of swim competitions throughout the year. These sites illustrate swimming's rise in prominence and growth as a sport.
- Many of the sites in the "governing bodies" and "news" sections of this guide have history pages that are worth checking out.
- Searching for individual swimmers is a great way to learn the history of the sport.
gives course notes on the history of swimming, beginning in 2000 BCE. It includes information about the Olympics and other competitions, open-water swimming, and the role of swimming in popular culture.
The International Swimming Hall of Fame
is dedicated to the history and recognition of famous swimmers and athletes involved in related water sports. The "Honorees/Awards" page provides photos and bios of inductees, with some providing links to their personal Web sites. There is a virtual tour of the Hall, but it doesn't provide much detail of the exhibits. It can only be fully appreciated at the Ft. Lauderdale-based museum itself, where there is a great deal of information for potential visitors.
presents a history of swimming in the modern Olympics, including the bizarre competitions of the first two Games.
allows you to search for Olympic medal winners by year, country, name, and medal. Be sure to enter "swimming" under sports and events.
The Dover Museum
presents a history of swimming across the English Channel, based on the museum's own exhibit.
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