It’s the sport we all know and love. Dedicating hours of our days, sleepless nights, and countless disposable razers at championship meets. You make think you know a lot about the sport of swimming, but here are 25 interesting facts you probably don’t know.
1- Olympic sized pools have enough water to take 9,400 baths.
Olympic pools contain 660,000 gallons of water and baths contain 70.
2- Over half the people in the U.S can’t swim.
Sixty-five percent to be more exact.
3- Florida is the only state with laws on who can teach swimming.
None of the 49 other states require swim instructors or lifeguards to be certified like Florida does.
4- Breaststroke is the oldest stroke.
It was created along with competitive swimming around 1830 in Britain.
5- Swimming uses every major muscle in the body.
Including but not limited to core abdominal, lower back, shoulder, forearm, upper back, glutes, hamstring, and hip flexor muscles. Who says swimming isn’t hard?
6- The average swimmer in high school swims one million strokes in a single season.
This number increases exponentially for year-round swimmers and those who swim doubles.
7- Some open water swimmers poop in the water.
We know you were wondering.
8- The Titanic was the first cruise ship with a swimming pool.
9- Over half of all swimmers develop shoulder problems.
This is normally because of a cross-over stroke in freestyle.
10- The first goggles were made from tortoise shells in the 1300’s.
Rubber goggles weren’t created until the 1930’s.
11- Swimming burns more calories than running or biking.
Biking burns around 483 an hour, and running burns 557. Swimming at a faster rate can burn up to 784 calories in a single hour.
12- The youngest world champion was 14.
Ian Thorpe won the 400m men’s freestyle at age 14.
13- Benjamin Franklin invented swimming fins.
Now we can thank him for lightbulbs AND painful sets.
14- Swimming became an Olympic sport in 1896.
Except women couldn’t compete until 1912.
15- Swimming is the most popular recreational activity for children 7-17 in the U.S.
16- Marco Polo is the most popular swimming pool game.
17- Swimming dates back to 2500 BCE.
It was found in ancient Egyptian drawings.
18- The most popular way to jump in a pool is to cannonball.
19- Only 38% of pools have diving boards.
20- The white house has a swimming pool.
It was built in 1975 by President Ford.
21- Nearly 100% of elite competitive swimmers pee in the pool.
For non-competitive swimmers, this percent goes down to 17.
22- California has the most swimming pools.
It contains over 3,000,000.
23- The average person swims in a pool six times a year.
Meanwhile some competitive swimmers swim 365 days a year.
24- The world’s largest pool can be found in Chile.
At the San Alfonso del Mar resort, the pool is 1,013 meters long and up to 35 meters deep.
25- Elephants swim an average of 20 miles a day.
Michael Phelps used to swim an average of 8 miles during his 6 hours a day.
Written by Taylor Thomson