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history of swimming essay

The History of Swimming & How it’s Evolved

  • Post author: Shane Webb
  • Post published: February 28, 2022
  • Post category: Uncategorized
  • Post comments: 2 Comments

The History of Swimming & How it’s Evolved

Swimming is an interesting sporting activity that dates back a very long time. It may not be something that’s on the school curriculum, but it’s a very interesting topic to read about in your free time. So let’s take a look at the history of swimming!

Where Did Swimming Originate?  

There is evidence, particularly archaeological evidence which suggests that what we deem as modern swimming has been practised from as early as 2500BCe in Egypt and thereafter in Assyrian, Roman and Greek civilisations. Swimming was often a part of martial training in the Greek and Roman civilisations in order to help with strength and overall fitness. 

During the time period of the ancient Greeks, there were records of occasional swimming races occurring. 

During the 1 st Century BCE, Gaius Maecenas a Roman diplomat and counsellor to the Roman emperor Augustus built the first known heated swimming pool. 

As for swimming in Europe and the UK, it wasn’t really practised until around the late 17 th century for Europe and around 1830 in the UK. 

The question is why did it take so long for it to be practised in Europe? Well, according to Britannica , the lack of swimming in Europe during the Middle Ages is explained by some authorities as having been caused by a fear that swimming spread infections and caused epidemics. May have feared that COVID-19 was transmissible in the water, but you can read our article here about what the WHO said about COVID-19 and swimming.


Firstly, wearing a swimsuit did not exist historically. It was difficult for women to find something to wear for swimming. The Victorian bathing suits were a burden for women; slowing them down and uncomfortable making them a big burden. 

history of swimming essay

As time passed and the Olympic games were first introduced, swimsuits were made more streamlined and a lot lighter in weight because the swimsuits at the time were slowing swimmers down significantly. Swimsuits now are skin-tight allowing better body fluidity and movement which allows swimmers to reach high speeds. 


history of swimming essay

The first known goggles that were used for swimming were invented in Persia in the 14 th Century. Believe it or not, they were made from polished tortoise shells. They were quite popular for around 2 centuries in the Middle East. 

Wooden goggles were later used by Polynesian divers. The goggles used trapped air to maintain visibility underwater. However, they were only really useful when in a downwards position, otherwise the trapped air would escape and water would fill the goggles. 

During the 1950s, open water swimmers used rubber goggles with lenses. The goggles were large and uncomfortable, but they did the job of keeping the water out.

Now we have different styled goggles that come in all sorts of colours and designs; some of them look really cool! Goggles have evolved so much over the years. Who knows what they’ll be like in the future.


Swimming techniques have evolved a lot over the years, but the breaststroke technique has changed quite considerably over the years. Mark Foster explains the modern swimming techniques and how to do them here

During the 1950s, the breaststroke was the only swimming stroke that actually required a style and technique. The leg action had originated from copying the leg movement of frogs in the water.

A study in 1928 showed that performing the recovery part of the breaststroke was faster over the surface of the water in comparison to underneath the water.

history of swimming essay

During the 1930s, swimmers used this technique in swimming competitions. They started with a breaststroke kick and arm movement which is now known as the butterfly. In 1952, the combined stroke was split into what we now know as the butterfly and the breaststroke. The split occurred because the combination of the two techniques violated the original rules created.

A further rule was created in the 60s where swimmers’ arms were not allowed past their hips, apart from the first stroke when they jump into the pool, the turns and the pullout.

Head Underwater

A further enhancement was made in 1987 where swimmers were no longer required to keep their heads above the water. This meant that swimmers must break the surface of the water after each stroke cycle, then put their head back in the water which makes the swimmer more streamlined, making them swim faster.

history of swimming essay

The Dolphin Kick

In 2004 and 2005, a rule was implemented where swimmers were allowed to do one dolphin kick at the start of the race and off of each wall in the pullout.

Ten years later, the dolphin kick rule was changed which allowed swimmers to use the dolphin kick at any point before the breaststroke kick.

The evolution of swimming is fascinating and it’s amazing how much swimming has progressed over the years! Do you know any swimming facts? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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The history of Olympic swimming

Discover the history of Olympic swimming, from its early days as a military training technique to a showpiece Olympic event.

Michael Phelps swimming alongside James Guy at Rio 2016 Olympics

While humans have likely been swimming ever since they dipped their toe in the water, it’s believed that swimming as a practice dates back as early as 2500 BC.

The Ancient Egyptians were said to swim in the Nile for pleasure, while the Greeks and Romans used it as a means of training prospective soldiers.

But how did it become an Olympic staple? Let’s dive into the history of Olympic swimming .

Origins of the sport

A black and white photo of female athletes lining up on the starting blocks before an Olympic swimming race in 1948

Swimming started its sporting journey in the mid-19th century, when the world’s first swimming organisation was formed in London in 1837.

Inevitably, things soon became competitive and, in 1846, the first swimming championship was held in Australia. The race became an annual event, and it was an early indicator for the future success of competitive swimming.

Swimming has been part of the Olympic schedule since the very first modern Olympic Games in 1896. It’s one of only four disciplines to have been retained, appearing in every summer Olympics since – the others being athletics, artistic gymnastics and fencing.

Birth of Olympic swimming

In the early years, Olympic swimming events were male-only. Women’s events were introduced at the 1912 Games in Stockholm – although women initially only competed in two events, the 100m freestyle and 4×100m freestyle relay.

Experimental beginnings brought some rather unique events to those early Games. At the inaugural modern Olympics in Athens, swimming events included the 100m freestyle for sailors , which only members of the Greek navy could compete in.

Until the London 1908 Games, Olympic swimming events took place in open water. This left the swimmers at the mercy of the elements, contending with the weather and waves.

After being exposed to temperatures of 13°C in the Mediterranean (a modern Olympic pool is around 25-28°C) during the 1,200m freestyle race – in which he won gold – Alfréd Hajós said: “My will to live completely overcame my desire to win”, illustrating the precarious nature of the early swimming events.

Showing just how varied the Games have been throughout history, Hajós would later compete at the 1924 Paris Olympics in the art competition, when he and fellow countryman Dezső Lauber won silver in the sporting architecture category.

The modern era and rise of superstar athletes

Male swimmers dive off the starting blocks to compete in an Olympic race in Athens 2004.

The post-World War II era brought better technology, facilities and improved training techniques , resulting in significantly quicker times compared to the early, wave-fighting competitions.

Originally, female and male swimmers wore body suits, which increased resistance and slowed them down. As the sport progressed, swimwear become more hydrodynamic. Suits began to be made from materials such as Lycra, which reduced drag and, as a result, reduced lap times.

Competitive pools also saw great change during this period, which led to the move from outdoor to indoor tournaments. The introduction of drainage in Olympic swimming pools, marked lanes in 1924, and guidelines for pool depths all contributed to a better overall standard of competition in the years that followed.

The rise of the superstar athlete

An underwater action shot of female swimmers, side-by-side competing in an Olympic race at Rio 2016

This exciting era of development paved the way for superstar swimmers, the first of which was the USA’s Mark Spitz . Winning seven gold medals at the Munich Games in 1972, he became a household name on the back of his astonishing achievements.

Brilliant solo performances continued at Seoul 1988, when East Germany’s Kristin Otto became the first woman to bag six gold medals in a single Games, setting a new standard for aspiring Olympic swimmers.

These accomplishments have been bettered only by one man, Michael Phelps . Vowing to break his countryman Spitz’s record, he eclipsed it by one in Beijing 2008. Phelps claimed a grand total of eight golds – 36 years after Spitz’s era-defining performances in Munich – and later became the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 28 medals over four Games.

Sights on Tokyo and beyond

As time has progressed, more events – and swimming techniques – have been added to the Olympic swimming programme. At the 1956 Melbourne Games, the butterfly stroke made its debut. In 1968 in Mexico City, there was an almighty leap – the biggest jump in new events between Games – when the number of swimming events grew from eight to 14 for women, and 10 to 15 for men.

Tokyo 2020 will mark the start of a new era for the Games. For the first time, men’s and women’s events will be identical in number, distance and discipline. At Rio 2016, there were 32 events – in Tokyo, this will grow to 35, with 18 events for both men and women. The 35th event, though, is revolutionary.

Tokyo 2020 will be include the mixed 4×100m medley relay. In this new gender-mixed race, both men and women will compete together in the same teams. And in Tokyo in particular, we’ll see them fighting to become the inaugural winners of this new race.

Discover a wealth of Olympic swimming action with exclusive videos and features on the Olympic Channel.

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You may like. - Free Essays, Term Papers & Book Notes

  • / Miscellaneous

History of Swimming

By: Tasha   •  Essay  •  767 Words  •  January 15, 2009  •  2,003 Views

Essay title: History of Swimming

Swimming was invented

before recorded history. Humans discovered how to swim

by accident. A person probably fell into the water and

struggled to shore using a dog-paddle stroke. There was an

Egyptian hieroglyph for swimming dating from 2500 BC.

The ancient Greeks and Romans made swimming an

important part of their military training programs. There

have been known swimming contests that were organized

in Japan as early as the 1st century BC. During the Middle

Ages in Europe, swimming declined in popularity. People

felt that the water was contaminated and a source of

disease. Not everyone feared the water, however, Louis

XI reportedly swam daily in the Seine. During the early

19th century, swimming enjoyed a revival, especially in

England, Lord Byron swam the Dardanelles river, to prove

that the mythological hero Leander could have done it.

Organized competitive swimming began in England in the

1840s. In 1844 the British were surprised when two

American Indians demonstrated the efficiency of a method

of swimming similar to the modern crawl. The British still

swam with the head above the water, a holdover from the

days when people believed that the water was

contaminated. An overhand stroke was introduced into

England in 1873 by J. Arthur Trudgen, who had seen

South American Indians using this method to swim really

fast. When the flutter kick was introduced, the modern

"Australian crawl" was born, and this stroke has since

become the most common and most important swimming

stroke. FITNESS COMPONENTS To swim well u need

to know how to coordinate your arms and legs to get you

through the water. At first you will probably need to have

lessons. Also to swim u need agility and just gravity.

Swimming also requires balance and quickness in some

cases. Not much is needed to know if you want to swim.

Swimming improves heart and lung efficiency, enhances

muscle strength and endurance, improves flexibility, and

reduces stress. It's easy on the joints, and uses more

muscles than most other forms of exercise. Although

swimming burns a great deal of calories, recreational

swimmers tend to lose less weight than would be expected

from other types of aerobic activity. Scientists say that cold

water removes heat from the body, stimulating appetite to

keep the body warm. Exposure to cold water may

encourage the body to maintain fat stores for insulation. To

lose weight by swimming, its necessary to cut down on the

calories you eat, and to swim fast enough and long enough.

Swimming can burn more than 660 calories an hour when

performed correctly and causes less injuries to joints and

muscles than aerobics or jogging. It takes only three hours

a week of strenuous swimming to

  • MLA 7  

(2009, 01). History of Swimming. . Retrieved 01, 2009, from

"History of Swimming" . 01 2009. 2009. 01 2009 <>.

"History of Swimming." ., 01 2009. Web. 01 2009. <>.

"History of Swimming." 01, 2009. Accessed 01, 2009.

Swimming World

From Past to Present: The Evolution and History Of Olympic Swimming


By Kaylie Williams, Swimming World College Intern.

Swimming continues to be a cornerstone event of the Olympic Games. But have you ever stopped to think about how the sport has evolved to the cutting-edge competition we witness today? Who was the first nation to introduce competitive swimming? Who held the first Olympic Games? How did Olympic swimming evolve to its current state? Keep reading to find out!

Early Origins


Photo Courtesy: Flickr

Swimming had its origins in Egypt as a leisure sport around 2500 BCE. According to , archeological evidence has shown that ancient Greeks and Romans later used the practice to train soldiers for war to eventually become “part of elementary education for males.” They are also believed to have built the first swimming pools, distinctly different from their baths.

Evidence of a few races taking place in Japan around the 1st Century, BCE has also been uncovered. Not surprisingly, ancient Pacific Island natives are believed to have taught their children how to swim around the same time or even before they learned how to walk.

From Leisure to Competition


Photo Courtesy: Michael Gross/International Swimming Hall of Fame

Although swimming’s origins were rooted in leisure, the sport quickly evolved into a competition even before the first Olympic Games in 1896. In 1837, the first swimming organization was created in London and became known as England’s National Swimming Society. The name would later be changed to the Swimming Association of Great Britain in 1874.

During the 19th century, Australia—hungry for competition—began to hold regular championship races. In 1846, Australia held the first swimming championships. This was the first chance for different national teams to compete against each other and would dictate the future of competitive swimming . In the following years, various nations would host their own championship meets; the United States got their chance in 1877.

The First Olympic Games


Photo Courtesy: Shane Gould and Shirley Babashoff/International Swimming Hall of Fame

The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. According to the , swimming is “one of only four disciplines to have been retained, appearing in every summer Olympics since [the first Olympic Games] – the others being athletics, artistic gymnastics and fencing.” The first Olympics introduced some strange races into the lineup, as it was purely an experimental event to begin with. For example, the 100m free for sailors was strictly for members of the Greek Navy, and all of the races were held in open water.

Until 1912, only male swimmers were allowed to compete in the Olympics. It was not until the Stockholm Olympics that women were able to compete , and even when they were finally allowed in the water, they were only given two events in which to compete—the 100 free and 400 free relay.

Post World War Ⅱ to Modern Day


Photo Courtesy: John Naber/ International Swimming Hall of Fame

The era following World War Ⅱ was a bustling time for innovation and production. All of the economic growth from the war brought great technological advancement to the United States, which translated to the swimming world in the form of lane lines and indoor competition pools. Advanced training techniques and facilities such as hydrodynamic swimsuits and better drainage systems in the pools allowed athletes to swim much faster than those of the past. By 1924, marked lanes and guidelines for pool depths leveled the playing field and allowed for a more fair competition.

The 1950s and 1960s were full of advancement within the swimming world as new strokes and events made their debut over the following years. The butterfly stroke was first raced in 1956 at the Melbourne Olympics, and in 1968, the number of events jumped from eight to 14 for women and 10 to 15 for men.

The 1970s and 1980s saw the rise of superhuman swimmers such as Mark Spitz , Matt Biondi , Michael Gross and Kristen Otto . Their achievements are remembered and honored as they serve to motivate the top athletes of today, such as Katie Ledecky and, of course, Michael Phelps . Phelps is currently the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, collecting a healthy 28 medals and is known for breaking Spitz’s record of seven consecutive first place finishes at one Olympic Game. Ledecky is well on her way to becoming one of the most decorated female swimmers in Olympic history with five Olympic gold medals, 14 world championship gold medals and six world records under her belt.

Swimming has come a long way since its early beginnings. Our present and future successes in competition can only be attributed to the struggles of past athletes. The rough years of early competition spurred innovation and advancement of training techniques and facilities that allow us to compete at the level we do today. For that, we should be grateful and work to appreciate and remember the proud history of swimming.

– All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff.


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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Swimming — An Overview of the Origin of Swimming


An Overview of The Origin of Swimming

  • Categories: Swimming

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Words: 888 |

Published: Sep 18, 2018

Words: 888 | Pages: 2 | 5 min read

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history of swimming essay

Last updated: Jan 29, 2024

History of Swimming

history of swimming

Swimming is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable sports in the world, particularly from its inclusion in the Summer Olympics , which occur every four years. Athletes like Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky consistently excite crowds and win medals, but many may wonder: when exactly did swimming start as a sport? Read on to learn all about the origins of swimming, from its beginnings in ancient times to the development of the modern sport.

Table of Contents

When did swimming originate, who invented swimming, when was swimming established, when did swimming become popular, most popular countries for swimming, swimming history key facts and timeline.

Swimming has been an activity practiced throughout history, from the first humans until the modern day.  Thousands of years ago, swimming had very practical purposes, such as finding food to avoid starvation, traveling from place to place, and bathing. 

Swimming was also a recreational and exercise activity throughout the ancient world. In fact, some of the first records of organized swimming trace the activity back to Ancient Egypt and the year 2500 BC. Swimming pools were used in Ancient Greece around 800 BC for bathing and exercise, and in Ancient Rome, around 100 BC, bathhouses and swimming pools were communal gathering places. However, despite these recreational practices, the modern sport of swimming, as it exists today, didn’t begin until the 1800s.

Modern athletic swimming is believed to have started in Great Britain, where the National Swimming Society was formed in 1837.  The society held races in indoor swimming pools around Britain. Australia also deserves some mention, as they held some of the first swimming championships in the mid-1840s.

In 1896, the first-ever modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece. Swimming was featured as one of the sports at these Olympics and has remained an Olympic sport ever since.  At the time of the first modern Olympics, there were only four swimming events: two 100-meter events, a 500-meter event, and a 1200-meter event.  

One of the 1896 100-meter events was only for sailors in the Greek Navy and was first won by Greek sailor Ioannis Malokinis. The other winners of the first events were Alfréd Hajós (Hungary) and Austria’s Paul Neumann, with Hajós winning both the 100-meter and 1200-meter events.

No one person can be said to have “invented” swimming, as swimming itself started with the very first humans and is a natural activity that has been practiced for many centuries.  As a sport, the National Swimming Society gets a lot of credit for being the “inventors” of modern swimming.  They held competitions in Britain in the early 19th century, which eventually led to the development of the modern sport we see today, both in the Olympics and in local or school swimming competitions. 

In 1873, John Trudgen invented a new swimming stroke named the front crawl.   The front crawl eventually became what is known as the freestyle  today. The freestyle is now the fastest and most common stroke, so many people consider Trudgen to be a perennial figure in swimming, as he created one of the most basic and common techniques in the modern sport. 

Swimming was established at different times in different countries. In Great Britain, swimming was first established in 1837. Their first swimming organization had six indoor pools, each with diving boards.

In Australia, swimming originated in 1846. Australia held swimming championships and held subsequent competitions each year after. In the United States, swimming wasn’t established until 1888.

The FINA, or the Fédération Internationale de Natation Amateur, was formed in 1908. This was the first-ever global swimming association. They laid out rules , regulations, and competitions for years to come and also governed the sport of diving and other aquatic sports.

When Did Swimming Become Popular

It w as during the 1800s that swimming became popular.  In this century, many modern-day sports were just starting up, and swimming is no different. There were a variety of competitions and championships held right away, which created interest in the world of swimming leading up to the first modern Olympics. In 1896, the first modern Olympics took place, and swimming was a big success. This significantly increased the global popularity of swimming. The breaststroke was added for the 1904 Olympics.

While swimming is popular all around the world, there are a few countries where it is particularly popular, including:

  • United States
  • The Netherlands
  • 2500 BC:  The first organized swimming occurs in Ancient Egypt.
  • 800 BC:  The Ancient Greeks use swimming pools for bathing and exercise.
  • 100 BC:  The Ancient Romans use swimming pools and bathhouses for communal recreation.
  • 1830s:  Swimming competitions begin to be held in Britain.
  • 1837:  The National Swimming Society is formed in Britain.
  • 1846:  Australia holds its first championships.
  • 1873:  Invention of the front crawl by John Trudgen.
  • 1888:  The Amateur Athletic Union is founded in the United States of America.
  • 1896:  The first modern Olympics occurs, with swimming as an included discipline.
  • 1900:  The backstroke is added as an event at the Olympics.
  • 1908:  The Fédération Internationale de Natation Amateur (FINA) is founded.
  • 1912: Women’s swimming events are added to the Olympics.
  • 1924:  Swimming becomes an official NCAA sport.
  • 1956:  The butterfly stroke is first introduced to the Olympics.
  • 1970: Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (CIAW) sanctions women's swimming.
  • 1976:   Goggles begin to be used for Olympic swimming competitions.
  • 1981:  Women’s swimming becomes an official NCAA sport.
  • 2008:  Michael Phelps wins eight Olympic gold medals in swimming over the course of a single Olympic Games , a record-setting achievement.

When was swimming invented?

Swimming as a sport was invented in the early 1800s , by the future members of the British National Swimming Society. As early as the 1930s, swimming competitions were held in Great Britain, and the National Swimming Society was established in 1837. Humans have swum for transportation, hunting , and recreation for millenia.

What swimming events are in the Olympic Games?

At the Olympics, there are 35 swimming events, 17 for men and 17 for women, as well as one mixed event.  The single-sex events are: 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, and 1500-meter freestyle; 100 and 200-meter backstroke; 100 and 200-meter breaststroke; 100 and 200-meter butterfly; 200 and 400-meter medley; 4 x 100-meter and 4 x 200-meter freestyle relay; and a 10 kilometer open water event. The solitary mixed swimming event is a 4 x 100-meter medley relay. 

What athlete has won the most Olympic medals in swimming?

Michael Phelps has won the most Olympic medals in swimming, with a total of 28. Of those medals, 23 are gold, which is a record for most gold medals in swimming. Eight of the gold medals were won at Beijing in 2008, Phelps’ most successful Olympics. Phelps also holds three silver medals and two bronze medals. In addition to being a gifted athlete, Phelps had phenomenal longevity, earning multiple gold medals in four consecutive Summer Games between 2004 and 2016.

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Student Essays


8 Unique Essays on Swimming – History, Importance, Benefits [ 2024 ]

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Swimming is one of the best all-around exercises. It provides cardiovascular exercise, strength training and muscle toning, flexibility, range of motion and coordination. The fact that swimming can be done anywhere makes it a great workout option for people on the go or who may have injuries that limit their ability to do outdoor activities outside of the pool.

List of Topics

Read the following short and long essay swimming, value and importance of swimming essay for children and students. These are quite beneficial quite for school exams preparation.

Essay on Swimming | Importance, Benefits of Swimming for Students

Swimming is an exercise in the water that involves the use of one’s body to move through said medium. It can be used as a type of relaxation or warm-up or, more commonly, done with specific goals in mind for physical fitness purposes.

Swimming allows people to achieve physical fitness goals, such as weight loss or gaining strength in specific areas. It can also be used as a break from high-impact exercises for those with joint troubles. Swimming serves various functions for different people, but can be used as a form of meditation or stress-relief by many swimmers. As one swims, breathing techniques can help reduce anxiety and increase focus while also providing invaluable aerobic exercise to improve the cardiovascular system.

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Benefits of Swimming 

Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can be done no matter one’s current fitness ability or age. Because of this, it is beneficial for those who may have injuries and need rehabilitation as well as those looking to keep fit and young. Following are 5 major benefits of swimming:

  • One of the greatest benefits of swimming is that it can be done by nearly everyone. Because there are no high-impact motions involved, those who are recovering from joint injuries or age-related problems such as arthritis can participate in swimming without exacerbating these conditions. This makes it a good workout option for seniors and rehabilitation purposes for younger populations.
  • Swimming can be done at any fitness level, making it an exercise accessible to nearly everyone. This is because there are many ways to swim – one can choose whether they want to use their arms or legs more, for example, or simply stick with a style that works best for them. For those who are not physically fit, swimming is a low-risk workout option, allowing them to slowly improve their health and fitness level.
  • Because water offers resistance, swimming strengthens the muscles one uses when they are in the pool. Many swimmers also do weight training outside of the pool to build muscle mass and increase strength even further. As muscles are built, fat is burned, providing even more incentive for people to get in the pool.
  • Swimming is a cardio exercise that can help improve cardiovascular health and overall endurance while also strengthening muscles needed for other activities where high-impact motions may be involved, such as running or jumping sports. Regular aerobic exercise, such as swimming, has been shown to reduce the risk of disease by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol levels and body fat. This makes swimming beneficial for those with medical conditions that are worsened by these factors, such as heart disease or obesity.
  • Finally, swimming is a low-impact workout that can be done by nearly everyone, making it beneficial for those with joint issues or other medical conditions that restrict their ability to do high-impact exercises. Since swimming reduces the risk of injury later in life while still providing many other benefits, people may want to consider adding this activity into their lifestyle if they want to improve their overall wellness and decrease the risk of developing medical conditions in the future.

Swimming is good for Children

The importance of learning to swim early in life cannot be understated. Beyond the health benefits, swimming builds confidence and a love for an activity that is great exercise with lifelong benefits.  As a parent, there are many things you can do to help ensure your children enjoy a positive experience while also making sure they stay safe in and around the water.

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Swimming is a beneficial form of exercise for all ages and populations. It can be done by people at any level of fitness. Swimming can be done with or without equipment and is a low-impact workout that can help those who are rehabilitating injuries or who may have medical conditions worsened by high impact exercises like running or jumping sports.

History of Swimming Essay:

Swimming is an ancient activity that has been enjoyed by humans since prehistoric times. It is believed that swimming originated as a survival mechanism, with early humans learning how to swim in order to cross waterways for hunting and gathering purposes.

The first recorded evidence of swimming dates back to 4000 BC, with stone age cave paintings depicting people swimming. In ancient Egypt, swimming was also used for religious purposes as seen in hieroglyphics and paintings depicting people swimming in the Nile River.

During the Greek and Roman empires, swimming became a popular recreational activity. The Greeks even built various public swimming pools known as “palaestras” which were used for both exercise and military training.

In medieval times, however, swimming lost its popularity due to religious restrictions and the belief that immersing oneself in water could lead to illness. It wasn’t until the 19th century when swimming made a comeback as an organized sport, with the creation of swimming clubs and competitions.

In 1875, swimming became an official Olympic sport at the first modern Olympics in Athens, Greece. Since then, it has become one of the most popular Olympic events, with various styles and distances being added to the competition over time.

Today, swimming is not only a competitive sport but also a recreational activity enjoyed by people of all ages. It offers numerous health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and stress relief.

Furthermore, advancements in technology have allowed for the development of specialized swimwear and equipment, making swimming even more accessible and enjoyable for both amateurs and professionals alike.

In conclusion, the history of swimming is a long and fascinating one, with various cultural, practical, and recreational aspects shaping its evolution over time. From ancient survival technique to modern-day sport and leisure activity, swimming has stood the test of time and continues to be an integral part of human life.

So, whether you’re an Olympic athlete or a casual swimmer, the water is waiting for you to dive in and experience the joys of swimming. So let’s keep enjoying this wonderful activity that connects us with our ancient roots and brings people together in a fun and healthy way. Happy swimming!

Happy Swimming !

Benefits of Swimming Essay:

Swimming is a popular water sport that has gained immense popularity over the years. It involves moving through water by using limbs or special devices such as flippers and snorkels. Swimming can be done for recreational purposes, competitive sports, or even as a form of exercise. In this essay, we will discuss some of the benefits that swimming offers.

Firstly, swimming is a low-impact exercise that is easy on the joints and muscles. Unlike other forms of physical activity, such as running or weightlifting, swimming does not put stress on the body. This makes it an ideal form of exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels, including those with injuries or conditions that restrict their movements.

Secondly, swimming is a great cardiovascular workout. It involves using large muscle groups in the arms, legs, and core to propel the body through water. This increases the heart rate, which in turn improves blood circulation and strengthens the heart muscles. Regular swimming can also reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.

Next, swimming is a great way to build strength and endurance. The resistance offered by water is much greater than that of air, which means that the body has to work harder to move through it. This resistance helps in building muscle strength and improving overall endurance. Moreover, since swimming involves using multiple muscle groups at once, it provides a full-body workout.

Apart from physical benefits, swimming also offers mental health benefits. It is a great stress-reliever and can help in reducing anxiety and depression. The rhythmic movements and focus on breathing while swimming can also have a calming effect on the mind. Additionally, being in water can create a sense of weightlessness, which can be therapeutic for those with joint pain or chronic illnesses.

In conclusion, swimming is not just a fun activity but also offers numerous health benefits. It is a low-impact exercise that is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels. Regular swimming can improve cardiovascular health, build strength and endurance, and have a positive impact on mental well-being. So next time you hit the pool, remember that you are not just having fun but also improving your overall health. So, start swimming today and dive into a healthier lifestyle!

Swimming Speech Ideas:

  • The Benefits of Swimming: Swimming is a great form of exercise that offers numerous physical and mental health benefits. It is a low-impact activity that can help improve cardiovascular health, build muscle strength, and reduce stress levels.
  • Types of Swimming Strokes: There are four main types of swimming strokes – freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. Each stroke targets different muscle groups and can be used for different purposes, such as speed or endurance.
  • Swimming Techniques: To become a better swimmer, it’s important to learn proper swimming techniques. This includes breathing patterns, body position, and arm and leg movements. Improving technique can not only help with performance but also prevent injuries.
  • Overcoming Fear of Swimming: Many people are afraid of swimming, whether it’s due to a traumatic experience or simply not being comfortable in the water. Overcoming this fear can be a challenge, but with patience and practice, anyone can learn to enjoy swimming.
  • Swimming for All Ages: Swimming is an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to seniors. It’s a great way for families to bond and for seniors to stay active and maintain their mobility.
  • Swimming as a Competitive Sport: For those who are more serious about swimming, it can be pursued as a competitive sport. There are various levels of competition, from local meets to the Olympic Games, providing opportunities for athletes to showcase their skills and compete against others.
  • Swimming Safety: As with any water activity, safety is of the utmost importance when swimming. Proper supervision, knowing how to swim in different bodies of water, and understanding rip currents are all crucial for staying safe while swimming.
  • Swimming as Rehabilitation: Due to its low-impact nature, swimming can be a great form of rehabilitation for people recovering from injuries or with certain physical limitations. It can help improve range of motion and strengthen muscles without putting too much strain on the body.
  • Swimming as a Social Activity: Swimming can also be a fun social activity, whether it’s taking a water aerobics class or joining a swim team. It allows for connecting with others who share similar interests while staying active and healthy.
  • Discovering the World Through Swimming: Finally, swimming can offer unique opportunities to explore different parts of the world. From snorkeling in tropical waters to participating in open water races, there are many ways to experience new cultures and environments through swimming. So why not dive into this versatile activity and reap its numerous benefits? Happy swimming!

Essay on Swimming Pool:

Swimming pools are artificial water bodies that are designed for recreational purposes. They provide a safe and controlled environment for people to swim, relax and have fun. Swimming is not only a popular sport but also a great way to stay fit and healthy. It has numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being.

One of the major advantages of swimming is that it is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on joints and muscles. This makes it a suitable form of workout for people with injuries, chronic pain or mobility issues. It also helps in improving cardiovascular health by increasing heart rate and improving blood circulation.

Moreover, swimming is a great stress-reliever as it releases endorphins, also known as ‘happy hormones’, which can improve mood and reduce anxiety. It is also a great way to socialize and spend quality time with friends and family, making it a popular choice for get-togethers and parties.

From an early age, children should be encouraged to learn how to swim as it not only teaches them a valuable life skill but also builds their confidence and discipline. Swimming can also serve as a form of therapy for children with special needs, helping them to improve their motor skills and coordination.

In conclusion, swimming pools have a significant impact on our physical, mental and social well-being. They provide a fun and refreshing way to stay active and healthy while also promoting relaxation and social interaction

Essay on Swimming Competition:

Swimming is a popular sport that has been around for centuries. It involves propelling oneself through water using the arms and legs, while trying to cover a certain distance in the shortest amount of time possible. Over the years, swimming competitions have become increasingly popular, with professional swimmers competing at national and international levels.

History of Swimming Competitions

The history of swimming competitions dates back to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks. They used swimming as a form of exercise and entertainment, with races being held in natural bodies of water like rivers and lakes.

In the 19th century, competitive swimming gained popularity in Europe, with the first recorded competition taking place in England in 1837. The sport continued to evolve, with various organizations being formed to govern and organize swimming competitions.

Types of Swimming Competitions

Today, there are several types of swimming competitions that cater to different skill levels and styles. The most common ones include freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and individual medley races. There are also relay races where teams compete against each other.

Swimming competitions can take place in indoor or outdoor pools, and distances vary from 50 meters to several kilometers. The most prestigious competitions include the Olympic Games, World Championships, and Commonwealth Games.

Rules and Regulations

Swimming competitions follow strict rules and regulations to ensure fair competition. Some of the rules include starting with a dive, touching the wall at the end of each lap, and staying within designated lanes. Any violation of these rules can result in disqualification.

Training for Swimming Competitions

To compete at a high level in swimming, athletes must undergo rigorous training regimes that include daily swim sessions, strength and endurance training, and proper nutrition. The goal is to build strength, speed, and stamina while perfecting the techniques required for each stroke.

Benefits of Swimming Competitions

Participating in swimming competitions has various benefits, both physically and mentally. It improves cardiovascular health, builds muscle strength, and increases flexibility. It also teaches discipline, resilience, and teamwork.

In conclusion, swimming competitions have a rich history and continue to be a popular sport around the world. They offer an exciting platform for athletes to challenge themselves and compete against others while promoting physical and mental well-being. Whether you are a professional swimmer or simply enjoy swimming as a hobby, there is something for everyone in the world of competitive swimming. So next time you have the chance, dive right in and experience the thrill of a swimming competition firsthand!

Essay on Swimming for Class 2:

Swimming is a popular water sport and recreational activity that has been enjoyed by people for centuries. It involves moving through water using the arms and legs while floating on the surface or underwater. Swimming is not just a fun activity, but also an important life skill that everyone should learn.

There are various types of swimming styles such as freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. Each style has its own unique technique, but the basic concept remains the same – move through water using coordinated arm and leg movements. Swimming can be enjoyed in pools, lakes, rivers, or oceans depending on one’s preference and skill level.

Swimming has numerous physical and mental benefits. It is a great form of exercise that engages multiple muscle groups and improves cardiovascular health. Regular swimming can also help in maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Moreover, it is a low-impact activity that puts minimal stress on joints, making it suitable for people of all ages.

Apart from physical benefits, swimming also has positive effects on mental well-being. It is a relaxing activity that helps in reducing stress and anxiety. The feeling of weightlessness in water can be therapeutic, especially for individuals with chronic pain or injuries. Swimming also promotes social interaction and teamwork, making it a great way to bond with family and friends.

Swimming is not only a recreational activity but also an important life-saving skill. Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death worldwide, and knowing how to swim can significantly reduce the risk. It is crucial for children and adults to learn basic swimming techniques and water safety rules in case of emergencies.

In conclusion, swimming is a fun and beneficial activity that offers physical, mental, and social benefits. It is also an essential life skill that everyone should learn. Therefore, parents should encourage their children to enroll in swimming lessons at an early age, and adults should also make an effort to improve their swimming abilities. So, let’s dive in and enjoy the wonderful world of swimming!

Narrative Essay about Swimming:

Swimming has always been a part of my life since I was a young child. My parents enrolled me in swimming lessons at the local community pool when I was just six years old, and from that moment on, it became my favorite activity.

I remember feeling nervous as I stepped onto the diving board for the first time. The water looked so deep and never-ending, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of fear. But once I jumped in and felt the cool water against my skin, all my worries disappeared. From that moment on, I was hooked.

As I grew older, swimming became more than just a fun activity for me. It became an outlet for stress and anxiety. Whenever I had a bad day or needed to clear my head, I would head to the pool and swim laps. The rhythmic motion of my strokes and the feeling of weightlessness in the water always brought me a sense of calm.

In high school, I joined the swim team and discovered a whole new level of competitiveness within myself. I pushed myself to become faster and stronger in the water, and it paid off as I broke multiple school records and even qualified for state championships.

Even now, as an adult, I still find solace in the water. Swimming has become a form of meditation for me, allowing me to disconnect from the chaos of everyday life and focus solely on my breathing and movements.

I am grateful for the opportunities that swimming has provided me and will always cherish the memories and lessons it has taught me. It is more than just a hobby – it is a part of who I am.

The sport of swimming has also taught me important life skills such as discipline, perseverance, and teamwork. The countless hours spent training in the pool have taught me the value of hard work and dedication. And being a part of a swim team has shown me how to work together with others towards a common goal.

Moreover, swimming has also introduced me to some of my closest friends. The bond formed during early morning practices and grueling swim meets is like no other. We have cheered each other on through victories and supported each other through defeats.

But perhaps the greatest lesson that swimming has taught me is the importance of perseverance. There have been times when I wanted to give up, when the water seemed too cold or the laps seemed never-ending. But I pushed through and came out stronger on the other side.

Swimming may just seem like a simple act of moving through water, but for me, it is so much more than that. It has shaped me into the person I am today, and I will always be grateful for its impact on my life. So, I encourage everyone to dive in and discover the joys of swimming – you never know what it may bring to your life.

Q: Why is swimming important in our life essay?

A: An essay on why swimming is important in our life would discuss the physical, mental, and social benefits of swimming, as well as its practical uses, such as safety and survival skills.

Q: What is a short paragraph about swimming?

A: Swimming is a versatile and enjoyable activity that provides exercise and relaxation. Whether in a pool or open water, it offers a refreshing and liberating experience.

Q: What is swimming in your own words?

A: Swimming, in my own words, is the skill and art of moving through water using various strokes and techniques, offering both therapeutic and competitive opportunities.

Q: Why do people love swimming?

A: People love swimming for the weightlessness it provides in water, the opportunity for exercise and relaxation, the social aspect of swimming with friends or in a team, and the cooling relief it offers on hot days.

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History Of Swimming Essay (479 words)

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SwimmingSwimming is the act of moving through the water by using the arms, legs, and body in motions called strokes. The most common strokes are the crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and sidestroke. Some scientists believe that human beings are born with an instinctive ability to use their arms and legs to stay afloat.

That instinct, however, disappears within a few months after birth. Later in life many children and adults learn to swim in order to be safe around the water, to have fun, and to participate in competition. Most people learn to swim by imitating others, most often their parents, brothers, sisters, and friends. Most youngsters in also take lessons at swim clubs, community centers, schools, and recreational facilities. In addition, the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) and the American Red Cross sponsor programs that teach children about water safety.

Instructors teach students skills that will make them safe, efficient, and confident swimmers. Beginners first put their heads in the water and blow bubbles by exhaling. Gradually, students progress to floating, treading water, and ultimately, learning the techniques of the major strokes. Individuals should not swim in conditions that their ability and experience will not allow them to handle. For inexperienced recreational swimmers, many safety hazards exist, even in a pool.

These hazards include misjudging a dive and hitting one’s head on the bottom, holding one’s breath too long, becoming exhausted, and experiencing sudden cramps while too far from shore or other swimmers. The history of swimming dates back thousands of years. One of the earliest representations of swimming is an ancient Egyptian wall relief that shows soldiers of Pharaoh Ramses II. Swimming was very important in ancient Greece and Rome, especially as a form of training for warriors.

In Japan, competitions were held as early as the 1st century BC. In Europe, swimming was less popular during the Middle Ages, swimming didnt pick up until the 19th century. In the late 19th century amateur swimming clubs began conducting competitions in the United States and Britain. In the United States, colleges and universities such as Yale University, Indiana University, and the University of Southern California played an important role in spreading interest in swimming as a competitive sport.

In 1875 Matthew Webb of Great Britain became the first person to swim across the English Channel. Webb swam between Dover, England, and the coast of France near Calais, where the channel is more than 20 mi in width. By 1896 swimming had become well established. It was one of the sports at the first modern Olympic Games, held that year in Athens, Greece. Despite the popularity of swimming as a whole, the use of performance-enhancing drugs has cast a shadow over some of the individual accomplishments in the sport.

Some athletes were even secretly given drugs, without their knowledge, their coaches. Many of these athletes later suffered major health problems.Words/ Pages : 514 / 24

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Copyright 2007 Santa Clara Swim Club

George Haines was three times Head Coach of the United States Olympic swimming team, and served on the support staff of four other Olympic squads. He was Head Coach of the United States team to the World Championships in West Berlin,1978, a team considered the most successful in United States Swimming history in terms of medals won.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- Obituary

George Frederick Haines Competitor, Educator, Coach, Patriot March 9, 1924--May 1, 2006

A Modest, Self-Effacing and Beloved Mentor

George Haines was one of history's great swimming coaches, and one of the most charismatic, inspiring and beloved mentors to tread a pool deck. His chief attributes were a vast knowledge of the sport, a shrewd strategic sense, and an ability to motivate and produce both male and female champions. The handsome George Haines will always be remembered as a striking and genial man of unusual presence and ability, the type of person who stood out in any group, and above all, as a coach who cared. A man of high principles and strong moral fibre, Haines liked people, and people liked him too. It was not surprising that he attracted swimmers from every point of the compass. Not only did he draw them in, but he made many of them great. Among his colleagues Haines was a popular, entertaining and beguiling raconteur with a wonderful sense of humor. To hear him talk about "impact people" was something to remember. Not for him were self-aggrandizement, pontificating, or the customary technical buzz-words. Without drawing attention to himself, George Haines spoke with the natural quiet authority of a great intuitive coach who had done it all. Haines' stories, told in the flat, flinty tones of his native mid-West, were tinged with wry humor and a sharp eye for human foibles. Haines talked about other great coaches, great swimmers, their achievements, and the lessons he learned from them, yet he never personally sought the limelight, remaining modest and self-effacing about his own swimmers' successes, always giving his teams full credit for their achievements. Throughout a 50-year career, Haines took the pressures of top-level coaching in his stride, remaining relaxed, outgoing, good-natured, and free of hang-ups. While Haines kept firm discipline in his teams, he never lost his sense of humor. His swimmers too were relaxed and confident, just like their charismatic coach. The team T-shirt sported one of the cleverest slogans ever seen at a swimming meet. It said a lot in two words: "By George!" It also meant "best in the world." It was commonplace to see a Santa Clara swimmer step to the starting block, look over at George, and give a wink. George would smile and wink back. Then the race would start, and yet another "By George" product was on the way to a championship medal, or perhaps another world record. Haines Founded a Dynasty George Haines was born to coach. His career took off in December, 1950, when he founded the Santa Clara Swim Club, a team destined to achieve a spectacular record, winning 44 US Senior National tiltles. The Santa Clara Swim Club first competed in meets in the summer of 1951. The team started with only 13 swimmers, but ended the summer season with 54 age group swimmers. Santa Clara's first major title came when winning the 1957 Women's Short Course National Championships at Hollywood High School. Thus was born the George Haines Dynasty, and from here the young coaching maestro took his club to a plethora of national titles. Within the next three years, the Santa Clara Swim Club had impacted the world scene with such stars as Chris von Saltza, Lynne Burke, Anne Warner, Steve Clark, Donna de Varona, George Harrison and Paul Hait, all of whom made the 1960 Olympic Team to the Rome Olympics. The addition of Don Schollander and Mark Spitz during the 1960's further strengthened the men's team while Claudia Kolb headed the powerful girls' team. Pokey Watson, a fast improving Donna de Varona, Sharon Finneran, and Terri Stickles and many others gave Santa Clara great depth. Never before was such an array of great stars assembled in one club. What Makes George Tick? In 1966, at a national championship meet in Lincoln, Nebraska, I quizzed Don Schollander, former Olympic champion, and one of Haines' greatest proteges, on the subject of his coach's psychological approach. His response was: "George Haines, in my opinion, is the best all-round coach, at least in the United States. George does somerthing that all the other coaches don't do nearly as well--that is a sort of father-companion to his swimmers. He knows each swimmer so well - it's almost a natural thing - that he can work with them individually as well as in his large team as a whole. This knowing each individual so well is, I think, Haines' forte in being able to work with them." At the same meet, I asked Donna de Varona, another of Haines' Olympic champions, 'What makes George tick?". She replied: "Despite his large squad he knew how to handle the individual swimmer. His training sessions were fun and we never did the same workout twice. He knew when to make us swim hard and when to swim easily." It was during these "easy" swimming periods that Haines would perform his spontaneous pool-side high-jinks, such as an accomplished soft shoe shuffle, or his favorite trick of chair-flipping, in which he tossed a chair into space on the tip of his toe, then caught it again on his foot and lowered it back to the floor. On other occasions he suddenly demonstrated his own athletic ability by hurdling over a line of small deck chairs. His workouts were always fun, whether he was challenging or entertaining the team. The Santa Clara Swim Club With over 240 swimmers on the roster, ranging from 5-6 years old through to a senior group with the oldest swimmers about 22-23 years old, George Haines was one of the pioneers of the large super-club. Together with two assistant coaches, Haines would take teams of about 40 swimmers to national championships. Haines always acknowledged the work of the club's active Parents' Association, saying they did "a fantastic job" over the years in raising money in support of team travel and the club's general operation. Organizational Gifts Haines was highly skilled in organizing practices, training 55-60 swimmers in the 50 meters Santa Clara pool, using circle formation training to make best use of space. His swimmers trained using mostly 50's, 100's, 200's, and 400's repeat swims over even distances, so that the swimmers could start from opposite ends of the pool, using the newly-developed circle training method. Huge training clocks were placed at both ends of the pool enabling his swimmers to time everything they did, and even to time the total workout. In this way Haines ensured that his swimmers knew exactly what they were doing, whether they were swimming, kicking or pulling. Quality Training Produced Quality Swimmers While George Haines believed in providing a strong background of early season endurance training, he was one of the first coaches to concentrate on training swimmers for the pace of the race. Most of his training was done with quality-type swimming where he gave the swimmers a slightly longer rest, and asked for better times, saying that "we train most of the time in a slight state of fatique because if you don't, you are never going to build up a resistance to fatique and oxygen debt." Haines said that, two or three weeks before the nationals, swimmers should do "a lot more fast swims starting from a dive, at or near the pace they were aiming for in the championship." Early Influences During his successful career, George Haines witnessed over 50 years of modern swimming history, and was often an important part of it. The Haines saga started in Huntington, in northeast central Indiana, where George was born on March 9, 1924, the son of George Fremont Haines and Frances Mae Mow. George Haines was a direct descendent of pioneer settlers, Richard and Margaret Haines of Anyhoe of ye Hill, North Hampshire, England, who set sail with their children on the ship "Amity" from Downs, England and arrived in America in 1682, where they settled in Burlington, New Jersey. George Haines is survived by his brothers Richard, Schuyler and Edward, all of Indiana, and a sister, Eva Ervin of Arizona. Haines is predeceased by a brother, William, and sisters, Clara Bir, and Esther Patten. "A Beautiful Redhead, Strong and Sure!" On July 20, 1945 in Oakland, California, George Haines married June Elizabeth Carter, a lady whom George described through the years as "a beautiful redhead, strong and sure!". Their partnership was to last 61 years. They had four daughters: Kerry Derr (Walter), Janice Canfield (Robert), Jody Baer, Paula Baldwin (Randy) and one son, George Kyle Haines. They had nine grandchildren and one great grandchild. Mrs. Kerry Derr, Haines' eldest daughter said "Mom is a beautiful California native. She was his 'rock' throughout his life, and was at his side daily in the four years after he suffered a stroke. She remains a wife and mother to emulate. "They were a handsome couple. She met my Dad during World War II, at a USO gathering in Oakland where he was stationed with the Coast Guard in Alameda, Treasure Island. She has copper red hair, and as she left the USO building my Dad approached her and called her "Red" and she turned around and smacked him in the arm and asked; "Who are you calling Red?". She is an independent woman who, like Dad, has a strong set of convictions. With her, giving up was not an option. She helped him stay the course. She took care of the house, raised five kids and handled their finances." A Sporting Family George and June Haines encouragd their children to participate in sport: Kerry Haines Derr was a member of the National Championship teams during 1961-1964, and a member of the gold medal 400 free relay team with Terri Stickles, Pokey Watson and Donna de Varona. She represented the US on a 30 day long trip to Japan in 1961 with Donna deVarona, Dick Roth and Tom Jamison, competing in various venues around Japan. Janice Haines Canfield competed in tennis in high school and at UCLA. Joanne (Jody) Haines Baer competed in gymnastics in high school and at college at Long Beach State. Following in her father's footsteps, she had a coaching career in gymnastics for many years. Paula Haines Baldwin was an all-city tennis player in high school. Kyle Haines wrestled and competed in track in high school, running the 200. After retiring, George Haines played senior softball several times a week, and coached, managed and played third base on the 65 year olds' team that won the Senior Softball World Series in West Palm Beach. He was an avid golfer in retirement, playing three times a week into his 70's , and had just started coaching his then 12 year old twin grandsons, Brent and Clint Baer, to play golf when he became incapacitated. The Influence of Coach Glen Hummer Records at the Huntington YMCA show that a Haines has been a member of the "Y" since 1932, and this is where George and his brothers became interested in swimming under the spell of coach Glenn Hummer, coach-mentor at the local YMCA,who was also the high school biology teacher. In the 1940s, George Haines was a member of the Huntington YMCA swim team that Hummer coached to two YMCA National Championships. Glen Hummer was to become the major factor in developing the young George Haines' interest in competitive swimming, and in the shaping of his character. Hummer's friendship and guidance continued as he assumed a mentor role for George when he began his competitive coaching career in the 1950's. Even before he became a swimming coach, Haines learned the value of a good early distance background, because Glen Hummer first trained him to be a 1500 swimmer. (Haines was later to become the conference champion in the 50 freestyle at San Jose State College in California, a big drop from swimming the 1500!) When Hummer died, Haines said.: "He was a great, great man, His techniques were ahead of the time. I felt his loss as if an arm had been cut off." War Service In World War II, George Haines enlisted in the US Coast Guard on December 12, 1942, at the age of 18. For two years, Haines taught swimming survival skills at the Crystal Plunge pool in San Francisco to Marines and Merchant Marines going overseas. He later served on the USS Casper which sailed out under the Golden Gate Bridge exactly when World War II ended, hearing shouts from the wharf-side crowds that the war was over! He received his honorable discharge on February 12, 1946. Demobilized from the Coast Guard, Haines attended college on the GI bill, graduating from San Jose State University in 1950 with a Bachelor's Degree and a teaching certificate. He later earned an additional certificate in Administration. A Natural Coach Dr. Charles Walker, Haines' swimming coach at San Jose State University, was a big influence in Haines' choice of swimming coaching as a career. He advised Haines to accept a teaching post at Santa Clara High School in 1950, where he was to teach physical education, and coach football and swimming for the next 24 years. It did not take the school authorities long to see that the young George Haines' coaching skills were not limited to the swimming pool, and they asked him to coach their light weight football teams. During the 1950's and 1960's, his football teams remained undefeated for seven years. "The Greatest of the Great" When the high school completed its pools in 1951, George Haines started his first swim team with nine members. Before long, his high school boys' swim team became the team to beat, both locally and nationally. At one time, his high school swimmers owned the national record in every event. The Santa Clara Swim Club grew out of the original nine high school swimmers to become one of the most prominent and successful teams in the United States and the World. Santa Clara became the swimming mecca and the Santa Clara Invitational Meet one of the most important meets on the annual calender. The Santa Clara Pool was recently renamed The George F. Haines Swmming Pool, and a statue of the famous mentor serves to remind all swimmers and visitors that here is the Place were one of the Greatest of the Great worked his magic. Note: GEORGE HAINES WILL BE TRULY MISSED BY FAMILY, FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES. THERE WILL NO SERVICES BUT DONATIONS CAN BE MADE TO THE HUNTINGTON INDIANA YMCA WHERE IT ALL STARTED FOR GEORGE. HUNTINGTON INDIANA YMCA 607 WARREN STREET HUNTINGTON, INDIANA 46750 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ TRIBUTES TO GEORGE HAINES Bob Duenkel, Executive Director International Swimming Hall of Fame: "George Haines represented the coaching fraternity at its best. He was revered as a brilliant coach and a major 20th century.force in the progress of American and World swimming. His influence continues today through his former swimmers who became professional coaches. "George Haines helped start America's age group swimming by developing one of history's most successful grass -roots programs at Santa Clara, a program that was to produce more Olympic champions than any other team. Moreover, almost all his swimmers were 'home-grown'. A Hall of Famer himself, he coached more swimmers who were inducted into the Hall of Fame than any other coach. "George helped promote all the aquatic disciplines and, in particular, recommended water polo as a training and competitive supplement for his swimmers." John Leonard, Executive Director, The American Swimming Coaches' Association: "George Haines, to many, is the greatest American Swimming Coach. His deck presence in practice and competition was inspiration enough, his voice came like a command from heaven, in both meeting rooms and natatoriums. Photos of George on the deck coaching his athletes at Santa Clara, published in Life Magazine, then the most popular publication in America, inspired a generation of young people to become swimming coaches. There was no one else like him. There never will be again. George, we love you and we will miss you, and your voice will be in our minds every day we step on deck." Peter Daland, United States Olympic Coach, Former Head Coach The University of Southern California: "George Haines was a good friend, a great leader and the best coach in all categories: age group boys and girls, senior men and women. His teams dominated the World and USA scene for nearly twenty years helping California to produce 50% of the best swimmers on earth in the sixties." "Under his guidance Santa Clara Swim Club became the best and most famous club in the world. This seven time Olympic coach had countless Olympic champions and world record holders. His is a name that we will never forget. We will long remember his words of friendship and wisdom. Thanks, George, for what you gave to our sport and its people." Don Gambril, United States Olympic Coach, Former Head Coach, University of Alabama: "George Haines was at the top of United States swim coaches in the 20th Century. It was my pleasure to be a part of five Olympic Staffs with George who was a member of seven. The level of respect and confidence he inspired among the swimmers was obvious, and a large factor in our teams' domination of World Swimming in that era. My thoughts on George could fill a book." Chris von Saltza Olmstead (George Haines' First Olympic Champion): "George had the capacity to transform lives. If you met him half way, you came away greatly enriched in all manner of living, even if you never reached Olympic heights under his tutelage. George has become part of me, and even now, he is in my heart encouraging me to go on, to embrace each day, and to keep a smile on my face." Claudia Kolb Thomas: "I cannot separate my thoughts about George from my everyday life. For over 40 years now he has been a part of who I am. His dying will not change that. I cannot tell you how many times, when faced with a decision about something large or small, I have thought about George and what he would do or think. He, along with my mom and dad, have been the most powerful influences in my life and, have helped shape the person I am. Some people have all the luck, and I am one of those, for having had the best parents anyone could have and then having George in my life. The gift of belief in me is the most powerful gift he could have given to me. I was successful because he told me I could be. True, I worked hard, but it never felt like work and I always knew we were doing it together. Having worked with young people ever since I retired from swimming, I see daily the desire and need for them to have someone who inspires them to believe in themselves and to work hard to make something worthwhile of themselves. George did that for me and I will never be able to thank him enough for that." Pokey Watson Richardson: "George Haines was a man loved by all of his swimmers, a man who was a second father figure to many of us, a gentleman who truely impacted the lives of those he touched in a positive and forever life altering way." "George was a man who gave his swimmers the gift of belief and imagination; anything and everything was possible in George Haines world and he showed us how to unlock the key to so many wonderful and powerful doors." "His legacy will live on in the many thousands of swimmers who are better people today because of how George chose to live his life." Stephen E. Clark: "George Haines certainly knew swimming - both technique and training methods - and had to be one of the greatest coaches of his era, if not the greatest of all. I was with him on the Santa Clara Swim Club as my primary coach for about 12 years (from age 9 until 21), and I still marvel that, unlike many other coaches, he seemed to pick up his swimming knowledge intuitively or almost by osmosis - he just knew what worked. "Maybe more importantly, however, was his amazing ability to understand and help swimmers of all types and ages -- somehow it was his basic personality. He had almost a unique way about him which made each swimmer feel like he (George) was that swimmer' s personal and almost exclusive coach, despite George having many other swimmers, including teammate competitors, to look after. When I was competing with other sprinters on the Santa Clara Swim Club over the years (like Don Schollander or Gary Ilman or Ed Townsend) - both in training and in competitions - I just always knew that he genuinely wanted me to do my personal best, just like he wanted my teammate competitors to do their best. That was good enough for me." Dick Roth: "George Haines coached as I would like to live. He listened completely, understood deeply, and gave to his swimmers unstintingly. When I swam for him (in the 1960's) our closest competition, likely as not, was in the next lane in workout. Somehow, he was able to make us believe that we couldn't be beaten. Years later, when asked how he could make two competitors know that they were equally the best in the world, without lying, he replied, 'Easy, I only saw the best each of you could be.' "Forty years later, I still carry George's profound affirmation of me in my heart, available whenever I need it. Thank you, George. I wish there were more like you. The world would be a better place." Richard Jochums, Head Coach Santa Clara Swim Club: "George Haines was the best coach ever! George didn't write a lot of papers, didn't write books, didn't give great seminars, he just went out each day and coached." "George always listened to everyone with knowledge and took the best from these folks, meaning his program was always cutting edge and scientifically sound. But it was more than that, George took what he heard and decided what was right and then made it work by communicating what he was doing to his swimmers and getting them to buy into what he was selling. George did this selling better than anyone ever." "It was said of George that many of his swimmers didn't improve after they left him for college. Well, the fact is that George just communicated in such and open and honest manner that, when his swimmers went on to college, far too often they ran into coaches who weren't as open and honest, with the result that they just didn't buy into the college program. It's tough to follow greatness!" "I get to walk his deck and I consider that an honor all by itself. George set the model I try to follow: that all kids count and winning is really about making yourself the best you can be. A huge majority of those who swam for George believed he cared for them and the truth is that he did. Each was better for having learned to make the sacrifices that allowed for each to realize their potential. It doesn't get better than that. The man just coached for the participants. He is the best ever!" Phil Moriarty, Former Head Coach, The Yale University Swimming Team: "For a long time, one thought that keeps coming to mind is, I would have never been recognized as a swimming coach had George not taught his swimmers so well.and passed them on to me The fact that he was willing to put them into my care was the ultimate compliment. In that sense he was THE YALE COACH. May he go to heaven where he belongs in quiet peace.". Jay Fitzgerald, Successor to George Haines as Head Coach of the Santa Clara Swim Club": "When George retired we organized a grand farewell party bringing back several Santa Clara Swimmers to say thank you to George and it was a great night for everyone, George even said 'kid you did good', and that made my night. "Later George and I would talk from time to time and he always came to see the Santa Clara International meet. I asked George, who was playing Senior Softball, how his game was going and he said, 'kid I hit a triple yesterday but could only turn it into a double, my legs just will not go as fast as before.'" "George always had a warm smile and easy manner and he was one of the best athlete/coaches you ever saw, he had a commanding and dashing presence on deck, like a General. George was just grace and class, and he was the man who helped to guide young coaches and to challenge us to be better and help our swimmers first. George was always there for me and for anyone who ever had a question. George was unique and I am honored that I knew him and shared in his friendship." Stan Tinkham, 1956 U.S. Olympic Swimming Coach: "George Haines was the greatest influence in World and U.S. swimming and a role model for all." Forbes and Ursula Carlile, Australian Coaching Legends: "George was the most successful Olympic coach ever. He had been a swimmer, and he knew swimming. George was a no-nonsense coach. He oozed honesty and fair-play as he dealt with swimmers, parents and the Santa Clara Club. George knew what he wanted, was direct and uncompromising. George was a man who knew how to deal with people, with straightforwardness, respect and integrity." --------------------------------------------------------------------------- HISTORY AND COACHING CAREER of GEORGE F. HAINES Swimming Coach of the 20th Century (BORN - March 9th, 1924 in Huntington, Indiana. Swam for the Huntington YMCA under Coach Glen S. Hummer from the age of 9 through 21. A member of two National YMCA Championship Teams under Mr. Hummer. SERVICE - U.S. Coast Guard 1942-46. Taught survival training 1943-1945. COLLEGE - San Jose State - Graduated in Spring of 1950. Swam for three years. COACHING CAREER 1950-1974 SANTA CLARA HIGH SCHOOL Won 20 SCVAL League Championships. Won 215 straight dual meets. A record W-284 L-4 Won 16 North Coast Championships. The Santa Clara High School Swimming Team (boys) held every National High School record in every stroke and distance including relays in the late 1960's and early 1970's. George Haines produced 300 High School All Americans who set over 200 National High School Records. In the late l960's Swimming World Magazine said that the Santa Clara High School Swimming Team was capable of placing in the top five)at the NCAA Championships i OLYMPIANS DEVELOPED AT SANTA CLARA HIGH SCHOOL Don Schollander, Joe Bottom, Mike Bottom, Wayne Anderson, Donna de Varona,Terri Stickles, Claudia Kolb, Judy Reeder Mark Spitz and Mitch Ivey OLYMPIANS A total of 53 Swimmers coached by George Haines swam in the Olympic Games 1960 through l988. --------------------------------------------------------------------------

SANTA CLARA SWIM CLUB OLYMPIC HISTORY 1960 OLYMPIC GAMES, ROME, ITALY George F. Haines, Head Coach, Women's Team CHRIS von SALTZA - 3 Gold Medals: 400 Freestyle, 400 Medley Relay, 400 Freestyle Relay. 1 Silver in 100 Freestyle. World Record and Olympic records in all the Gold medal wins.. LYNNE BURKE - 2 Gold Medals: IOO Backstroke and 400 Medley Relay. World record leading off in 100 Backstroke in the 400 Medley Relay. ANNE WARNER - 1 Gold in 400 Medley Relay. PAUL HAIT - 1 Gold Medal, Men's 400 medley relay, swimming the breaststroke leg. World and Olympic Record. 8th 200 Breaststroke. STEVE CLARK - Alternate on all Relays. GEORGE HARRISON - 1 Gold, 800 Freestyle Relay. DONNA deVARONA - Alternate on all Relays. Swam in heats. 1964 OLYMPIC GAMES, TOKYO, JAPAN George F. Haines - Assistant Men's Coach DON SCHOLLANDER - 4 Gold Medals:-400 Freestyle,100 Freestyle , 400 Freestyle Relay, 800 Freestyle Relay. All World and Olympic records. WAYNE ANDERSON - 7th 200 Breaststroke. STEVE CLARK - 3 Gold Medals: 800 Freestyle Relay, 400 Medley Relay, 400 Freestyle Relay.. All World and Olympic records World record leading off in 400 Freestyle Relay. GARY ILMAN - 2 Gold Medals: 400 Freestyle Relay, 800 Freestyle Relay . Both World and Olympic records. DICK ROTH - 1 Gold Medal ,400 Individual Medley, World and Olympic record. ED TOWNSEND - Alternate on all Freestyle Relays, Swam in heats 800 Freestyle Relay, 1st.. MIKE WALL - Alternate on all Freestyle Relays. Swam in heats 800 Freestyle Relay, 1st.. DONNA deVARONA - 2 Gold Medals:400 Individual Medley, 400 Freestyle Relay. 5th.100 Butterfly SHARON FINNERAN - 1 Silver Medal . 400 Individual Medley. CLAUDIA KOLB - 1 Silver Medal 200 Breaststroke. First American woman to win a medal in Olympic breaststroke event. JUDY REEDER - Alternate 400 Medley Relay. TERRI STICKLES - 1 Bronze Medal, 400 Freestyle. POKEY WATSON - 1 Gold Medal, 400 Freestyle Relay.. World and Olympic record. 1968 OLYMPIC TEAM, MEXICO CITY, MEXICO GEORGE F. HAINES HEAD COACH MEN'S TEAM BRENT BERK - 8th 400 Freestyle GREG BUCKINGHAM - 1 Silver Medal 200 Individual Medley, 4th 400 Medley.Relay. BRIAN JOB - 1 Bronze Medal , 200 Breaststroke. MITCH IVEY - 1 Silver Medal 200 Backstroke. RAY RIVERO - Alternate. DON SCHOLLANDER - 1 Gold Medal, 800 Freestyle Relay.,1 Silver Medal, 200 Freestyle. MARK SPITZ - 2 Gold Medals: 800 Freestyle Relay, 400 Freestyle Relay, 1 Silver Medal 100 Butterfly, 1 Bronze Medal 100 Freestyle, 8th 200 Butterfly. MIKE WALL - Alternate in Relays. LINDA GUSTAVSON - 1 Bronze Medal 100 Freestyle, - 1 Silver Medal 400 Freestyle, 1 Gold Medal 400 Freestyle Relay. JAN HENNE - 2 Gold Medals: 100 Freestyle, 400 Freestyle Relay. 1 Silver Medal 200 Freestyle, 1 Bronze Medal 200 Individual Medley. CATHY JAMISON - 5 th 200 Breaststroke. SUSAN JONES - Swam in 100 Breaststroke CLAUDIA KOLB - 2 Gold Medals: 200 Individual Medley. 400 Individual MedleyI Both World and Olympic records. JANE SWAGGERTY - 1 Bronze Medal 100 Backstroke LYNNE VIDALI - 1 Silver Medal 400 Individual Medley. POKEY WATSON - 1 Gold Medal- 200 Backstroke .World and Olympic record 1972 OLYMPIC GAMES MUNICH, GERMANY GEORGE F. HAINES, ASSISTANT WOMEN'S COACH JOHN HENCKEN - 1 Gold Medal 200 Breaststroke - World and Olympic Records, 1 Bronze Medal 100 Breaststroke. BRIAN JOB - 9th 200 Breaststroke. MARK SPITZ - 7 Gold Medals: 100 Freestyle, 200 Freestyle, 100 Butterfly, 200 Butterfly, 400 Freestyle Relay, 400 Medley Relay, 800 Freestyle Relay. MITCH IVEY - 1 Bronze Medal 200 Backstroke, 4th I00 Backstroke. TOM BRUCE - 1 Silver Medal 100 Breaststroke, 1 Gold Medal 400 Medley Relay. KEENA ROTHHAMMER - 1 Gold Medal 800 Freestyle, 1 Bronze Medal 200 Freestyle, 6th 400 Freestyle. KAREN MOE - 1 Gold Medal 200 Butterfly, Olympic and World Record, 4th 100 Backstroke. LYNN VIDALI - 1 Bronze Medal 200 Individual Medley, 7th 400 Individual Medley. JENNIFER BARTZ - 4th 200 Individual Medley, 4th 400 Individual Medley. JENNY WYLIE - 5th 400 Freestyle. 1976 OLYMPIC GAMES MONTREAL, CANADA GEORGE F. HAINES - ASSISTANT MEN'S COACH JOHN HENCKEN -2 Gold Medals 100 Breaststroke, 400 Medley Relay, 1 Silver Medal 200 Breaststroke. JOE BOTTOM -1Silver Medal 100 Butterfly, 6th 100 Freestyle. TAUNA VAN DEWEGHE - Swam in 100 Backstroke. KAREN MOE - 4th 200 Butterfly. 1980 0LYMPIC TEAM MOSCOW (Boycotted) George F. Haines was selected the Head Coach of both the Men's and Women's Olympic teams to go to Moscow in 1980. However, President Carter chose to boycott the Moscow Olympics. (This US Olympic Team was considered the best team ever selected to represent the USA. This was to be the first time a USA team was to consist of men and women in one team with one head coach of the combined team.) Swimmers coached by George Haines selected to the 1980 Team. Mike Bottom - Swam for coach Haines at Santa Clara High and the Santa Clara Swim Club John Hencken - Swam on the 1972 and 1976 Olympic teams as well. Libby Kinkead - Swam for Coach Haines with the Fox Catcher Swim Club. Other members of the 1980 team who swam for Coach Haines at the Santa Clara Swim Club: Pokey Watson and Linda Burton selected as Assistant Managers of the 1980 team. 1984 OLYMPIC TEAM LOS ANGELES GEORGE F HAINES ASSISTANT COACH CHRIS CAVANAUGH -1 Gold Medal 400 Freestyle Relay. SUSAN RAPP -1 Silver Medal 200 Breaststroke. 1988 OLYMPIC GAMES SEOUL, KOREA SUSAN RAPP - 200 Breaststroke. 1974-1978 UCLA Head Men's Swim Coach 1979 Foxcatcher Swim Club 1980-81 De Anza Swim Club 1982-1988 Stanford University Head Womens' Swim Coach. 1988 George Haines retired from coaching. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- GEORGE F. HAINES LIFETIME HONORS AWARDS 2000 George Haines voted The Swimming Coach of the Century by USA Swimming 2001 George Haines inducted to the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame 2002 George Haines was inducted into the Stanford University Sports Hall of Fame 1974. GEORGE HAINES WAS ENSHRINED IN THE INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME, FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA George Haines was named American Swimming Coaches Association's Coach of the Year in 1964, 1966, 1967 and 1972. THE FOLLOWING SWIMMERS COACHED BY HAINES WERE ALSO ENSHRINED IN THE INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME: WOMEN CHRIS VON SALTZA - LYNNE BURKE -DONNA de VARONA -SHARON FINNERAN- CLAUDIA KOLB - POKEY WATSON - JAN HENNE - KENNA ROTHHAMMER - KAREN MOE - SUSAN RAPP MEN STEVE CLARK - RICHARD ROTH -DONALD SCHOLLANDER - MARK SPITZ - JOHN HENCKEN. A TOTAL OF 15 SANTA CLARA SWIM CLUB SWIMMERS, COACHED BY GEORGE HAINES, ARE ENSHRINED IN THE INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME. IN ADDITION, JOE BOTTOM HAS BEEN NOMINATED FOR THE HALL OF FAME Olympic Medal Distribution for swimmers coached by George Haines Year GOLD SILVER BRONZE 1960 8 1 1964 13 2 1 1968 9 7 5 1972 11 1 4 1976 2 2 1980 (BOYCOTT) 1984 1 1 TOTALS 44 GOLD 14 SILVER 10 BRONZE GEORGE HAINES' TRACK RECORD In a remarkable career Gerorge Haines was an Olympic Coach on many occasions. 1960 US Women's Coach 1964 US Mens' Assistant Coach 1968 US Men's Head Coach 1972 & 1976 US Women's Assistant Coach In 1980 Haines was appointed Head Coach for both Men and Women, but the US did not compete in the Moscow Olympics. George Haines was named The American Swimming Coaches Association's Coach of the Year in 1964, 1966, 1967 and 1972. Only Mark Schubert (5) and Richard Quick (4) have equaled or surpassed Coach Haines' number of awards. Between the years 1957 to 1974, his Santa Clara Swim Club won a remarkable total of 43 national titles; developed 55 Olympians who won 44 Olympic Gold medals, 14 Silver medals, and 10 bronze medals. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- copyright Cecil Colwin and "Swimnews" 2006. Printed with permission.

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The Story of My First Swimming Experience

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