The freestyle swimming stroke was thought to haveoriginated in Australia which is partially true.The stroke used to be called the “Australian Crawl”because competitive swimmers from Australia werewinning events with this stroke.It is said the freestyle was originally from the pacificislands possibly the Solomon’s
There is a story which is probably true about a boy fromthe Solomon Islands who went to work in Australia inthe 1800’s.He used to swim in one of the local pools using thisstroke and someone pointed out that it looked like hewas crawling.A swim coach took the basics of this stroke and refinedit to what is the freestyle of today.The Australians were winning races with this stroke andthe world took notice.
The first modern Olympic Games in 1896 had only fourswimming events, three of them freestyle.Two of these events were the 100 meters and 1500 metersfreestyle races that were held in the open water.In 1922, Johnny Weissmuller was the first person to breakthe one minute mark in the 100 meter freestyle swimmingit in 51 seconds, it was called the Australian crawl backthen.
He held this record for over 17 years.He also won five Olympic medals and 36 nationalchampionships and never lost a race in his career of tenyears.He later went on to play Tarzan in a series of movies,always shown swimming in a small body of water orfighting an alligator underwater.
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