Let’s get wet!

Swimming

kids swimming

I remember the first time I plunged into a swimming pool. I was probably 8 or 9 years old, and I was well aware of how overweight I was. I feared that if I were to go inside the clear, blue, funny-smelling water, I would definitely die in it. And I thought that being chubby would drag me down to the bottom faster.

My best friend was already inside the swimming pool, urging me to come in. She told me that she would keep me safe, and would not let anything happen to me. Reassured, I dipped my toe into the pool. The cold water stung at me, and I removed my toe from the water. I could see my best friend getting impatient. I took a deep breath, silenced all the thoughts and fears rushing through my head, and jumped in.

It was, to say the least, surprisingly refreshing. As my feet landed at the bottom of the pool, I instinctively propelled myself back up to the surface. At the top, I gasped for air and my hands quickly searched for something to hold on to. My best friend took my hand and laughed at me.

Over time, as my confidence grew and my anxiety melted away, my best friend taught me the basics of swimming.

There is, of course, more to swimming than just playing around in the pool.swimming fun

Since swimming is a day-to-day skill, it comes as no surprise that it dates back to the Stone Age. According to cave paintings, the primitive man used to swim in order to cross rivers and lakes. Swimming has even been mentioned in Greek mythology. However, swimming was not recognized as an organized sport until the 19th century.

The very first indoor swimming pool became open to the public in 1828 in England. Then, in 1837, the National Swimming Society started organizing swimming competitions. Back then, the swimmers generally used the breaststroke (or something similar to it) to swim. In 1844, two Native Americans participated in one of the swimming competitions and introduced a new style of swimming to the English crowd. An English swimmer named Sir John Arthur Trudgen took note of the Native Americans’ unique swimming style and developed it into what we know today as the trudgen or the racing stroke – regarded as one of the most powerful strokes to use today.

Swimming was first introduced in the Olympic Games in 1896 in Athens. The Olympic events were freestyle in the beginning, until the backstroke was added in 1900. In 1912, women’s swimming was added to the Games.

During the 1940s, breaststroke swimmers found out that they were able to speed up if they bring both arms over their heads. This was immediately prohibited in breaststroke swimming, but this practice created the butterfly stroke (which would later be included in the Olympic Games in 1956). Today, four major strokes are mainly used in competitive swimming – freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly.

The rules of competitive swimming are pretty simple and straightforward. In the Olympics, the pool must measure 50 meters long, 25 meters wide, and 2 meters deep. The pool is divided into ten lanes labelled zero to nine or one to ten; the first and the last lanes are usually left empty in the semi-finals and finals. Each lane must be 2.5 meters wide. There are electronic timer pads positioned underwater to record the swimmers’ times.

There are a number of officials that preside over Olympic swimming. There is one referee to manage the entire procedure. There are four stroke judges to look for abnormalities in the strokes used by the swimmers. There are two race-start officials, two lead-turn officials, and two turn inspectors to make sure each swimmer touches the wall and turns correctly.

© Sport the library/Tom Putt Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games Swimming Day 3,  October 21st. Action shot of Daniel Bell (AUS) in the pool (butterfly) showing reflections.
© Sport the library/Tom Putt Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games Swimming Day 3, October 21st. Action shot of Daniel Bell (AUS) in the pool (butterfly) showing reflections.

Competitive swimmers normally equip themselves with goggles, swimming caps, and swimsuits. However, certain types of swimsuits are banned from the Olympics. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, some swimmers wore polyurethane and neoprene suits that helped them win the races and even broke records. These suits were found to repel water and helped bodies stay afloat. Now, only suits made mainly from woven fabric were allowed. Men’s suits were only allowed to reach from the waist to the knees; women’s suits could extend from the chest to the knees.

According to FINA (Fédération internationale de natation) – the governing body of swimming, diving, water polo, synchronized swimming, and open water swimming – competitive swimmers are prohibited from certain actions. They are not allowed to pull on the lane line to drive themselves forward. They cannot walk along the bottom of the pool while the race is in progress. Any floatation or propulsion devices are disallowed, therefore swim fins, webbed gloves, or hand paddles cannot be used. Of course, swimmers must finish in the same lane in which they began.

You can’t think of Olympic swimming without thinking of Michael Phelps. This 30-year-old American has won a total of 22 medals, 18 of which are gold. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, he obtained 8 gold medals, thus breaking the record of the most first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games. His many feats and achievements both inside and outside the Olympics has earned him the Swimming World magazine’s Swimmer of the Year Award seven times, the American Swimmer of the Year Award nine times, and the FINA Swimmer of the Year Award. Sports Illustrated magazine even named him the Sportsman of the Year in 2008.

Like Michael Phelps, Australian Ian Thorpe is another well-known swimmer from the Olympics. So far, he has won 5 Olympic gold medals, and was the most successful athlete in the 2000 Summer Olympics (having won three gold and two silver medals). He was the first person to win Swimming World’s Swimmer of the Year award four times, and was Australian Swimmer of the Year for four years. He was also presented with Medal of the Order of Australia for service to sport in 2001.

Mark Spitz – also known as ‘Mark the Shark’ – is considered the greatest swimmer in history. He has 9 Olympic gold medals. In the 1972 Munich Olympics (where he won 7 gold medals), he broke world records in all seven events he participated in. During his career as a competitive swimmer, he set 35 new world records. Swimming World named him Swimmer of the Year three times.

Eight-time Olympic gold medallist Jennifer Elisabeth Thompson is another decorated Olympic athlete. She has a total of twelve medals which she won in 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 Olympics. In 1993 and 1998, she was named USA Swimming’s Swimmer of the Year, Swimming World’s Female World Swimmer of the Year in 1998, Women’s Sports Foundation’s Athlete of the Year in 2000, and the Female American Swimmer of the Year in 1993, 1998 and 1999. Sports Illustrated ranked her as the 62nd Greatest Female Athlete of All Time in 1999.

The first woman to win six gold medals at a single Olympic games is Kristin Otto from Germany, which she did in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. She also managed to set world records in the 50m freestyle, 100m freestyle, 100m backstroke, and 100m butterfly events. Swimming World named awarded her Female World Swimmer of the Year three times.

Swimming may not look like a tough sport, but athletes who do compete in it need to be in physically fit condition. Swimming not only trains one’s cardiovascular fitness, but also one’s strength. Believe me, wading in water takes up a lot of power.

 

Welcome to a VIP Fan Experience!

VIP FAN EXPERIENCE

Sports is an integral part of our life. After a long tiring day at office a good or football or tennis is exactly whats needed to keep ourselves fresh. As a fan when we support our favorite team or favorite sportsperson we get attached to them and become a part of their journey. Here i will like to share about the experience that a VIP fan goes through while supporting his favorite team.

FOOTBALL (SOCCER)

MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- 1st Lt. Richard Cullen plays goal keeper with the the Seattle Sounders, a Colorado Springs Premier Development Soccer League. Stationed here as acommunications officer, his assignmeent keeps him hopping at both the wing headquarters and at Seattle Memorial Stadium.
MCCHORD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — 1st Lt. Richard Cullen plays goal keeper with the the Seattle Sounders, a Colorado Springs Premier Development Soccer League. Stationed here as communications officer, his assignment keeps him hopping at both the wing headquarters and at Seattle Memorial Stadium.

Depending on where you are from, one may say that Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in the world. Almost all the country has their own football team and are desperate to qualify for the world cup. Big clubs like Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona have fans in every corner of the world. Now when you start supporting a club you get mentally attached to the club. You think about the club all day and feel like you belong there. Slowly and steadily you became an absolute die hard fan. You became a part of their journey, the ups and downs, supporting the club through thick and thin and when finally after years of struggle when they won the trophy, Ah! that feeling, tears of joy rolling down your cheeks.

AMERICAN FOOTBALL

Vip fan experience football

American football is hugely popular in the US. it originated here in the US and has lots of fans. It is played in the professional level,college level as well as school level. It is a physical contact game and considered to be extremely risky . The National Football League has the highest attendance of any leagues in the world and the Championship game , The Super Bowl is one of the most watched club sporting events in the world. Every 4 years a World Cup is held. Fans are extremely passionate about this sport.

TENNIS

vip fan experience tennis

Tennis is also a hugely popular game. Tennis is an individual game and big players like Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic has huge number of fans. Being an individual sport you feel much more attached to the player. You support him or her through the tough tines and celebrate the success with them. I will like to share about a tennis match I witnessed live. Being a big Federer fan I managed to somehow get tickets to the Wimbledon Final 2008 between Federer and Nadal .At that point of time Federer was by far the best player and was way ahead of the others,only Nadal came close to him. So I was pretty confident at the beginning that Federer will win comfortably. But to everyone’s surprise Nadal won the first Two sets. I was getting nervous at that time because Federer losing like this was something I never expected. However Federer showed why he is the best and won the next two sets.It was time for the final set. I was sure Federer will win because Nadal’s confidence was low. But to everyone’s disbelief Nadal won the final set with sheer passion and determination. Federer was completely broken but still he got up and congratulated Nadal for his success. That moment I realized its not about who wins or not, it’s about the mutual respect.

BASKETBALL

Michael Jordan at Boston Garden
Michael Jordan at Boston Garden

Basketball is the most popular sport in the US. Every kid in the US gets introduced to basketball at an early age. Basketballs are played both at the school, college and professional level in the US. The famous basketball teams include MIAMI and SAN ANTONIO SPURS. The famous basketball players like Micheal Jordan and Le Bron James have world wide fame. Basketball fans are generally extremely passionate about their favorite teams. I remember seeing a game between SAN ANTONIO SPURS AND MIAMI HEAT.Basketball is a very fast paced and entertaining sport and watching the game live was an amazing experience. I have never seen a crowd so loud. Crowds over there literally dictate the pace of the game and have a large influence in deciding the winner. Apart from the US basketball is also very popular in many countries. NBA is doing a great job at promoting the game and the fan following of the basketball players have been steadily increasing. Players like Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant are now household names all over the world.

BASEBALL

Vip fan experience baseball

America’s favorite pastime of old and still a favorite today. Baseball is also a hugely popular game in the US. If you through the streets of US you will find kids playing baseball with their dads or training with their coaches. Apart from the US baseball is also hugely popular in JAPAN and CUBA. Baseball has some legendary teams like the Yankees who have their fans in every part of the world. The Major League Baseball(MLB) is one of the most highly attended leagues in the world and the Championship game, SUPER BOWL, is the most watched event in club level. Watching a MLB game live is an amazing experience especially when the striker hits a Home Run and everyone in the crowd rushes to catch the ball.

BOXING

Vip fan experience boxing

Boxing is a contact sport where two participants try to knock each other out. In spite of being a very violent sport boxing is hugely popular throughout the world and is also played at the the olympics. The most famous boxers are Sugar Ray, Muhammad Ali and currently Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Recently a fight between Mayweather and Pacquiao became the center of attraction of the entire world and was called as “the fight of the century”.Boxing is also one of the most popular events in the Olympics.It takes a strong heart to become a boxing fan because there is a lot of blood and sometimes there are very serious injuries.

CRICKET

Cricket is a very popular sports especially in the parts of Asia and Australia. The most famous cricket playing nations are INDIA,PAKISTAN,AUSTRALIA,SOUTH AFRICA. The game has three formats, a 20 over game, a 50 over game and a 5 Day test match. Every four years the ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP is played in the 50 over format and gathers huge attention. A game between fierce rivals India and Pakistan gets as much as 1 billion formats as Asia has the most cricket crazy fans. With the introduction of the 20 year game and cricket leagues like INDIAN PREMIER LEAGUE(IPL) cricket is gradually becoming more and more popular.

MMA

Mixed Martial Arts(MMA) like boxing is also a combat sport. MMA is very popular nowadays because of the efforts of the UFC, Dana White, and fighters like Chuck Lidell, Tito Ortiz. MMA is now practiced in many countries and authorities have been set up who promote the sport like Belgian MMA federation(BMMAF) and The ALL INDIA MIXED MARTIAL ARTS ASSOCIATION(AIMAAA). As a result there are many fans of MMA in this countries.

NASCAR

The NASCAR is a business venture that conducts that conducts multiple auto racing events. It is hugely popular throughout the world,come on, who doesn’t like fast cars? Watching a NASCAR event live at a racing track is an amazing experience of every fan. The sight of fast cars passing by you in the blink of an eye and the loud noise of the engines is enough to get an adrenaline rush.

FIELD HOCKEY

Field Hockey is not the first game which will come to your mind when we talk about team sports but recently it has become very popular. It is also played in the olympics and has huge fan following in countries like India, Netherlands. The Hockey World Cup is also a well attended sports event.

ICE HOCKEY

Ice Hockey may be not as popular as Field Hockey but is very famous in places like Canada and United States. I have attended an ice hockey match and the fan following is pretty good. It is also played in the Winter Olympics. The popularity of ice hockey is likely to increase in the coming years.

BADMINTON

Badminton has started gaining popularity in the recent years and more and more people have steadily been attracted towards the game. Due to emergence of famous badminton players like Saina Nehwal in India the sport has become popular in the south east Asia. China has the most number of badminton players and it is the Chinese players that generally dominate the game.

GOLF

Golf is a hugely popular sport throughout the world especially in the US. Famous golf players like Tiger Woods have world wide fame.Huge number of fans comes to the golf courses to see Tiger Woods play. It is a favorite leisure sport which attracts many people towards it. While on vacation golf is the sport to play.

BOWLING

Bowling has huge number of fans all over the world mainly because it is very easy to play and everyone can have a shot at it. It is the ultimate leisure sport where everyone can go and play and have a good time. Bowling is also good for health because it helps in the flexing and stretching of the arm and shoulder muscles. As many as 1 billion people do bowling throughout the world.

SWIMMING

Swimming is a very popular sport. In Olympics swimming is one of the most popular events. There are different types of swimming events like 100m.200m, relay racing,under water racing. Micheal Phelps is one of the most popular swimmers and is famous throughout the world. Swimming is also a favorite leisure activity for many people and is extremely beneficial for health.

CYCLING

Cycling is also a very popular sport and millions of people cycle everyday. However, professional cycling is different. Tour De France is one of the most popular cycling events in the world and is watched by millions of fans worldwide.Lance Armstrong is one of the most famous cyclists. With more and more people taking an interest in cycling, it is expected to be one of the most popular sports in the coming years.

SQUASH

Squash is a kind or racquet sport played by 2 or 4 people. It may not be the most popular sport in the world but has a large fan following in countries like Australia, Germany and England. The World Championship and PSA World Series are most famous squash tournaments held. Recently more and more young people are taking up squash and it is expected to grow in the coming years.]

TABLE TENNIS

Table Tennis is one of the most popular indoor sports in the world. It has a huge fan following. It is regularly played at the Olympics. Some of the notable table tennis players include Wang Hao and Ding Ning. China has crazy fan following for table tennis and Chinese players generally dominate this sport.

POLO

Polo is a team sport which is played on the horse back and the aim is to score against the opposing team. It is a very difficult sport to play. Polo is played in around 15 or 16 countries. It used to be played at the Olympic level but currently it has been withdrawn. USA has the most fan following of the sport .

PAINT BALL

Now this is an extremely new sport. Recently it has become hugely popular in the US and throughout the world bacause it is an extremely challenging and thrilling game where the aim is to take down the enemies. This is considered to be the most popular game among the younger generations. And considering the way the popularity is rising it is expected to be among the top sports by 2020.

These are some of the most popular sports which are played throughout the world at this moment. Apart from this there also many other sports which are being played in many countries.