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Swimming has been known of since prehistoric times with some of the earliest recordings of swimming dating back to Stone Age paintings from around 7,000 years ago. There are written references to swimming dating from as long ago as 2000BC. Swimming references can even be found in great literary works including the Gilgamesh, the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Bible, Beowulf, and other sagas.
Competitive swimming as we know it today started in the United States around 1800, mostly using breaststroke. Americans used swimming competitions to settle frontier differences, such as those relating to property rights. John Arthur Trudgen introduced the trudgen stroke to Western swimming competitions in 1873, after copying the front crawl he had observed being used by Native Americans. The British had a dislike of splashing so Trudgen employed a scissor kick instead of the front crawl's flutter kick.
Swimming first appeared in the Olympics at the Athens Games of 1896 and in 1902 Richmond Cavill introduced the front crawl to the Western world. Butterfly was developed in the 1930s and was at first a variation of breaststroke, until it was accepted as a separate style in 1952.
Swimming is a great, low impact form of exercise and accessible
to all. Below you will find a list of swimming resources including
local indoor and outdoor pools, some of which will offer swimming
lessons and aquarobics classes. There are also links to the British
Swimming website and details about 'wild swimming' within the
United Kingdom which is easier to find than you might have thought.
There are wild swimming locations on the Thames not far from