The Strangest Olympic Sport

This summer’s Olympic and Paralympic games got us thinking so, we decided to do a little research on watersports history and you will be amazed at what we discovered…

The first modern Olympics were held gloriously and very successfully in 1896 in Athens at the Panathenaic stadium.  Although there were no more than 250 competing athletes, it was the largest athletic gathering ever held.

One of the strangest sports ever was …swimming underwater!! According to the regulations, the athletes had to dive hard into the water and move as far away as they could from the platform without moving their arms or legs!  After 60 seconds, the athletes would remain still, floating on the water, while the judges measured the distance each had covered.  The underwater swimming competition was only held during the 1904 Olympics in Saint Louis and it was – sadly – banned afterwards 🙁

The modern Olympic sports are 36, 10 of which involve water.  These include swimming in pools and at open sea, synchronized swimming, diving, canoe-cayaking (sprint and slalom), triathlon (which requires the athletes to swim 1.500m in the sea), modern pentathlon (which requires the athletes to swim 200 meters in the pool), rowing, sailing and water polo.

Therefore, out of everything that we discovered and shared with you here, we can only come to one conclusion.  Swim cause …it’s good for you!

P.S.: Dear UIPM, please include underwater swimming in the Olympic Games again and let the winner be the athlete that covers the longest distance with just one breath 🙂

 

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