Elephants can swim as many as 20 miles a day — they use their trunks as natural snorkels!
Niagara Falls has enough water to fill up all the swimming pools in the United States in less than three days!
The bikini swimsuit was named after a U.S. nuclear testing site in the South Pacific called Bikini Atoll.
65% of people in the U.S. don’t know how to swim.
In butterfly stroke and breaststroke, competitive swimmers need to touch the pool with both hands simultaneously when they finish. Swimmers touch the pool with only one hand when they finish in freestyle and backstroke swimming events.
An hour of vigorous swimming will burn up to 650 calories. It burns off more calories than walking or biking.
Swimming strengthens the heart and lungs.
Swimming works out all of the body’s major muscles.
Swimming helps reduce stress.
Water’s buoyancy make swimming the ideal exercise for physical therapy and rehabilitation or for anyone seeking a low-impact exercise.
Swimming is a great cardiovascular exercise because you are moving against the water’s resistance, which is over ten times that of the air.
Over 50% of world-class swimmers suffer from shoulder pain.
More than 50 years later, the home or residential swimming pool is ubiquitous and even the smallest world nations enjoy a thriving swimming pool industry (e.g. New Zealand pop. 4,116,900 [Source NZ Census 7 March 2006] - with 65,000 home swimming pools and 125,000 hot tub pools).
The slowest Olympic swim stroke is the breaststroke.
The fastest and most efficient swim stroke is the crawl/ freestyle.
The turbopump on the Space Shuttle's main engine is powerful enough to drain an average-sized swimming pool in 25 seconds.
Most swimmers at the highest levels of competition train from four to five hours per day and five to seven days per week. They will typically swim about six to twelve miles per day along with weight training and flexibility training.
The Olympics are swum in a 50 meter pool or long course pool. Pools used by the NCAA and high school swimming programs can be 25 yards to 25 meters. These pools are called short course pools.
An Olympic size pool depending on its size (50 meters X 25 yards or meters) can hold from 700,000 to 850,000 gallons of water.
Swim fins were invented by Benjamin Franklin.
Swimming became an amateur sport in the late part of the nineteenth century.
Swimming first became an Olympic event in 1896.
Swimming in the Olympics started as a men’s event only but women were able to participate starting in 1912.
The Deep Eddy Swimming Pool, built in 1915, is the oldest known concrete swimming pool and was built in Texas.
After World War I and the departure of "Long John" style swimming costumes, interest in competitive swimming grew. Standards improved and training became essential.
The first woman to swim the English Channel is Gertrude Ederle, who was actually just a teenager at that time in 1926.
Home swimming pools became popular in the USA after World War II and the publicity given to swimming sports by Hollywood films like Esther Williams' Million Dollar Mermaid made a home pool a desirable status symbol.
Actress Esther Williams popularized synchronized swimming when she starred in movies known as “aqua musicals” produced by MGM in the forties and fifties. Aqua musicals were about synchronized swimming.
In 1956, the US National Swimming Pool Institute was founded. It was later renamed to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, and now develops pool construction standards and provides training to pool builders and service technicians.
President Gerald Ford had the outdoor swimming pool built at the White House in 1975. In 1976, a pool house was added — with a secret, underground passage that lets the First Family and their guests to get from the White House to the pool without going outside.
Synchronized swimming first appeared in the Olympics during the 1984 games.
Records and Firsts
The first recorded swimming races were held in Japan in 36 B.C.
The first man to cross the English Channel swimming from England to France is Englishman Captain Matthew Webb in 1875.
The first swimming pool to go to sea on an ocean liner was installed on the White Star Line's Adriatic in 1907.
In the USA, the Racquet Club of Philadelphia clubhouse (1907) boasts one of the world's first modern above-ground swimming pools.
The oldest known concrete swimming pool — the Deep Eddy Swimming Pool — was built in Texas in 1915.
The Titanic was the first ocean liner to have a swimming pool and a gym.
Mark Spitz was the first Olympic swimmer to win seven gold medals in a single Olympiad in the 1972 games.
The largest swimming pool ever built was reputedly created in Moscow after the Palace of Soviets remained uncompleted. The foundations were converted into an open air swimming pool after the process of de-Stalinisation after the fall of communism, Christ the Saviour Cathedral was re-built (it had originally been on the site) between 1995 and 2000.
In the 21st century, there seem to be many contenders for "the largest swimming pool on earth", reputedly at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh; at Club Med Camarina, Sicily; Sunlite Pool, Coney Island, Cincinnati; and Garden City, Kansas with their 220 foot by 330 foot pool (67m x 100m) that holds 26,000,000 gallons (100 million litres) of water. A recent construction in Tokyo, Japan may top them all.
The longest swimming pool is the Orthlieb Pool in Casablanca, Morocco. It is 480 meters (1,574 feet) long and 75 meters (246 feet) wide. It is filled with sea water and covers 8.9 acres (3.60 Ha).
The recreational diving center Nemo 33 near Brussels, Belgium is home to the world's deepest swimming pool. The pool has two large flat-bottomed areas at depth levels of 5m (16 ft) and 10m (32 ft), and a large circular pit descending to a depth of 33m (108 ft).
The Fleishhacker Pool was the largest swimming pool in the United States. Opened on 23 April 1925, it measured 300 m by 45 m (1,000 ft by 150 ft) and was so large that the lifeguards required kayaks for patrol. It closed in 1971 due to low patronage.
According to the Guinness World Records the largest swimming pool in the world is San Alfonso del Mar Seawater pool in Algarrobo, Chile. It is 1,013 m (3,324 ft) long and has an area of 8 ha (19.77 acre), it was completed in December 2006.
The first filtration system for a swimming pool was introduced in 1910.
The first photo finish for a swimming competition was done in 1939.
The first swimmer to break the two minute barrier in the 200 meters was Don Schollander.