By this time of the “almost spring” months, we’ve had just enough beautifully perfect days – warm temps, sunny skies – to make us feel VERY hopeful that wintery weather is gone for good (or, at least, for several months). Sadly, it’s also right about this time in these “almost spring” months that some sort of “less than spring like” weather (ie, snow) tends to occur…driving us back inside and away from our beloved outdoor pools and back to daydreaming about the balmy days soon to be.
With that in mind, we thought we’d share some “fun facts” about swimming that we’ve seen floating around…to help keep you occupied until the warm weather actually arrives!
- Did you know that elephants can swim up to 20 miles per day? They breathe through their trunks! Also…kangaroos are fantastic swimmers…who knew, right?
- The very first cruise ship with a pool…was the Titanic.
- Swimming officially became an Olympic event in 1896. However, it wasn’t until 1912 that women were allowed to participate.
- Synchronized swimming wasn’t introduced into the Olympics until 1984.
- There are just under 70,000 people in the United States alone that don’t know how to swim.
- The most popular swim stroke is the “front crawl”; the oldest stroke is the “breaststroke”.
- The very first man to swim the English Channel was Matthew Webb, and he did so in 1875. The first woman to swim the English Channel was Gertrude Ederle, and that occurred in 1926…and she completed the feat faster than the male record holder at that time!
- Drawings of swimming dating back to 2,500 AD have been found in Egypt…clearly, it’s been a popular activity for quite some time!
- Swimming is a great work out for ALL of the main muscle groups in the body.
- Also…over 50% of competitive swimmers have chronic shoulder pain.
- So, about those swimming fins…they were invented by none other than Benjamin Franklin.
- However, Ben Franklin wasn’t the first to invent swimming goggles…those were originally crafted in the 1300’s…and were made from tortoise shells. It wasn’t until the 1930’s that rubber goggles came onto the scene.
- An Olympic sized swimming pool holds anywhere from 700,000 to 850,000 gallons of water. In contrast, our planet houses roughly 330 MILLION CUBIC MILES of seawater that covers just over 70% of the Earth’s surface.
So, there ya have it! Hopefully these fun facts about the wonderful world of swimming will help “get you through” until you can uncover those backyard pools and jump on in!