Swimming Summer #CGSwimming Tweets HISTORY OF THE SPORT Great Britain is considered the first modern country to have developed the sport of swimming. Modern swimming competitions began in 1837 in several London pools that had already existed. In 1896, swimming was recognized at the modern Olympic Games in Athens. The events were only for men and they consisted of the 100 and 1500 m freestyle in open water. Women were allowed to swim in the 1912 Olympic Games, competing in freestyle events. Stroke development began over the next decades, refining the freestyle and breaststroke. In 1934, David Ambruster discovered a way to make the breaststroke arm recovery more efficient. A double arm, out of water “butterfly” technique was used to gain more speed but required more conditioning and training. The following year, the dolphin fishtail kick was developed by Jack Sieg, of the University of Iowa. Swimmers were not allowed to use the dolphin kick along with the out of water recovery until 1952 when the butterfly became an official swimming stroke. The final four strokes that have been developed and refined over the past century are; butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. Swimming at the Olympic Games has grown into 32 swimming races; 16 for men and 16 for women.