Competitive swimming did not start until the early 1800s. It began in Europe and became part of the Olympic Games in 1896. In 1908, the world swimming association Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) was founded, and since then swimming has steadily increased in popularity.
To see how much more you know about swimming, here’s a quiz. See if you belong in the water or if you should just stay on dry land.
Score: 9-10, you’re a fish; 7-8, you’re practically a gold medalist; 5-6, you can at least swim a lap; 3-4, you might be able to tell the butterfly from the breaststroke; and 1-2, you are definitely a land lover.
True or False:
- Olympic swim events are held in a 50 meter pool.
- The butterfly is swum face down with both arms moving simultaneously.
- A swimmer’s mile is equivalent to 1650 yards.
- Swimming goggles are best used when you’re at least ten to twenty feet under water.
- The swimwear manufacturer named Speedo was originally a hosiery manufacturer.
- Swimming caps don’t keep your hair dry at all, but they do keep water out of your ears.
- A lap is from end of one of the pool to the other end and so in a 25 yard pool it is 25 yards.
- The four competitive strokes at the Olympic Games are the backstroke, breaststroke, front crawl, and freestyle.
- Mark Spitz won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich and set four new world records in the seven events.
- The hardest stroke to swim is likely the breaststroke because it requires strong leg and arm muscles to even stay afloat.
- True. Olympic swim events are held in a 50 meter pool, and they are also held at the Summer Olympic Games.
- True. The butterfly also uses a kick that was developed separately and is sometimes called the “dolphin kick.”
- True. In meters, a swimmer’s mile would be equal to 1500 meters.
- False. The pressure from deep water makes goggles unusable. Goggles are best used in just a few feet of water.
- True. Speedo was originally called McRae Hoisery Manufacturer then MacRae Knitting Mills and then Speedo. The name Speedo was adopted in 1928 after the company created and manufactured the Racerback, a piece of swimwear designed to provide swimmers with improved flexibility and movement.
- False. Swimming caps are designed to keep your hair fairly dry and they can keep water out of your ears but only if you wear ear plugs with them.
- False. A lap is from one end of the pool to the other end and back. So, in a 25 yard pool, a lap equals 50 yards.
- False. The four competitive strokes are the backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle. Freestyle and the front crawl are the same thing.
- False. Spitz did win seven gold medals, but he also set seven new worlds records, and his record of seven gold medals was not surpassed until 2008 when swimmer Michael Phelps won eight gold medals at the Beijing Summer Olympics.
- False. Most swimmers would agree the hardest stroke is the butterfly stroke, particularly when you’re tired, because it requires strength and rhythm. However, most swimmers would also agree the breaststroke is probably the most difficult stroke to learn because minor flaws become major flaws, it requires a lot of energy to perform, and it’s technically demanding.