Human beings have been swimming since the earliest times of their own development – firstly looking for food and shelter, and later for geographical, religious, cultural, financial and other reasons.
Historical sources point out Egypt, Babylon and Assyria as countries in which swimming was vastly spread in about 3400 B.C. In Tibet, Luxor and Memphis during the rule of Tutmost I, artificial pools were built.
The left picture dates back to 1000 years B.C. and represents a competition between swimmers. Scientists have determined it to be a mural painting from Ancient Greece. The right one is an Egyptian papyrus from 3000 B.C.
Swimming reaches its peak in Ancient Greece. In Greece swimming was part of the military training as well as of general physical education. In the past the swimming ability was honoured as much as reading or writing. Athens gave the opportunity to swim both to young men and women. All the swimming competitions were held at the Isthmian Games which were dedicated to the God of the sea – Poseidon.
On the next picture you can see an ancient Greek coin which tells the legend of Leander and Hero.
Physical education in the Roman Empire was part of family life. Later swimming became obligatory before every battle. Julius Caesar himself swam amazingly well. He even organized special swimming courses for soldiers’ training. With the widespread new Christian religion the influence not only of swimming but of physical education as a whole sharply decreased. Christianity approved only of body’s torture and soul’s ascending. Swimming was in standstill until the time of the Middle Ages. At that time, swimming was included in the seven knight’s virtues. From 15th to 17th c. people turned their attention to reality outside and the interest in swimming highly increased. In the end of 18th c. a lot of books and manuals were published.
The first international competitions ever held were in Budapest in 1889 and swimmers of several European countries attended.
At that time, competitions were in pools. Swimming became an Olympic sport in 1896. The winner in 100m in the first Olympic Games was the Hungarian Layoush Hayoush. In the 70-ies of 20th century swimming became very popular.
In 1908 the International Federation in Swimming (Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur) was founded. This year FINA celebrates 100 years since its establishment. When FINA was founded in 1908, there were just eight National Federations responsible for its formation: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary and Sweden. A century later, there are 194 National Federations with FINA Membership on every continent. Each Member shall acknowledge in its national rules that FINA is the only recognised body in the world which internationally governs the five aquatic disciplines – Swimming, Open Water Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Synchronized Swimming.
Lausanne, Switzerland has been the home base of the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) since its first permanent office was established in 1986, although the Federation itself was founded in London on July 19, 1908. Now, at its current headquarters in Lausanne, under the direction of an Executive Director, a multinational, multilingual staff manages the Federations’ core operations with regard to each FINA discipline, marketing and communication plans, anti-doping programmes and development policies.
Today swimming is a leading sport not only in the Olympic Games (34 disciplines – second place after athletics) but a major part of our lives.
The technical rules of swimming are designed to provide fair and equitable conditions of competition and to promote uniformity in the sport. Each swimming stroke has specific rules designed to ensure that no swimmer gets an unfair competitive advantage over another swimmer.
Trained officials observe the swimmers during each event to ensure compliance with these technical rules. If a swimmer commits an infraction of the rules that is observed by an offical, a disqualification (DQ) will result. This means that the swimmer will not receive an official time and will not be eligible for an award in that event.
A disqualification may result from actions such as not getting to the starting blocks on time, false starting, performing strokes in an illegal manner, or unsportsmanlike conduct.
DQs are also a result of technical rules violations. They include but are not limited to:
Freestyle : Walking on the bottom, pulling on the lane rope, not touching the wall on a turn, or not completing the distance.
Backstroke : Pulling or kicking into the wall once a swimmer has turned passed the vertical onto the breast. Turning onto the breast before touching the wall with the hand at the finish of the race.
Breaststroke : An illegal kick such as flutter (freestyle), dolphin (butterfly), or scissors (side stroke); not on the breast; alternating movements of the arms; taking two arm strokes or two leg kicks while the head is under water; touching with only one hand at the turns or finish.
Butterfly : Alternating movements of the arms or legs; pushing the arms forward under instead of over the water surface (underwater recovery); a breaststroke style of kick; touching with only one hand at the turns or finish.
In all swimming events, the individual or team with the fastest time wins.
Events: 50m, 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m, 1,500m.
The 800m event is only for women, while the 1,500m is only for men. Freestyle is the quickest and most popular swimming style. Technically, freestyle competitors may use whatever style they think best (except the medley style, in which athletes must use all four styles). A common cause for disqualification is when the competitor, while swimming, touches the neighbouring lane or obstructs another competitor.
Events: 100m, 200m
Backstroke resembles freestyle swimming as far as the alternating movements of arms and legs. When starting, competitors take their place in the swimming pool facing the pool’s wall and holding the starting points’ handholds with both hands. A common cause for disqualification is crossing the 15 m line during the glide at the start or at the turn.
This is a fairly complex swimming style, calling for perfect coordination of arm and leg movements. In direct contrast to freestyle and backstroke, hand and legs must move simultaneously. If the swimmer gets out of synch, he or she will be considered by the judges as swimming freestyle and be disqualified. Another common cause of disqualification is if a competitor touches the wall with just one hand during the turn.
Butterfly Events: 100m, 200m
Butterfly is the most spectacular swimming style. The athlete’s body moves in such a way that resembles the movements of a dolphin. Their legs move simultaneously, while the whole body is used to propel the athlete forward. A common cause for disqualification is if the competitor touches the wall with one hand during the turn, or moves their legs contrary to the regulations.
In medley individual events, the swimmer competes in every swimming style, at equal distances. This event combines technique, speed, and endurance. The sequence followed is: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle.
Four swimmers from the same team compete in relays, using all four swimming styles, the sequence being: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. Relay changeovers are valid when the feet of the outgoing swimmer detach from the board at least 3/100 seconds after the fingers of the incoming swimmer touch the wall. If the outgoing swimmer moves too early, their team is disqualified.
Tanq Bogomilova is a Bulgarian swimmer . She was born on 30 th of June , 1964 . 1988. At the moment she is managing director of the Bulgarian Federation of Swimming Sports. Her teacher was Vasil Stoqnov , who has four world records. She is our only Olympic champion in swimming . Tanq won a gold medal in 100 m breast - stroke at the Olympics in Suel. Due to that achievement she was declared as a sportswoman of the year, 1988.
The Bulgarian swimmer Peter Stoichev won the start for the World Cup of swimming marathon which was 19 km long. The time of the winner is 2 h , 44 min , 30 sec , he overtake his rival Anton Sanachev (Russia) with 8 sec. With that victory Stoichev remains on third place in the classification for the World Cup.
Mihail Plamenov Aleksandrov is a Bulgarian swimmer who took part in the Olympics games in 2004 and he is national record-holder in several disciplines. In the moment is a student in the University in Evanston, Illinois, USA. In 2007 he won two bronze medals on the European Swimming Championship in Hungary in the disciplines 100 and 200 breast-strokes. In the semi-final serial of 100m he made national record- 58.52 seconds. His achievement on 200m – 2:06:91 is also a national record.
Ekaterina Avramova is a Bulgarian swimmer, too. She was the 1st on the Balkaniada in Athens in 2007. The discipline was 50m