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Test Your Knowledge #2

Who first used the crawl stroke in a swimming event? Test Your Knowledge logoA swimming competition held in London in 1844 marked the first time British swimmers witnessed the crawl stroke. Who performed the crawl at the event, swimming to victory?

  1. Chinese swimmers
  2. Native American swimmers
  3. Brazilian swimmers
  4. Australian swimmers

To see the correct answer, see below.






The correct answer is:

b. Native American swimmers

The following account of the event comes from Wikipedia:

"While the British raced using breaststroke, the Native Americans swam a variant of the front crawl, which had been used by people in the Americas, West Africa and some Pacific islands for generations, but was not known to the British.

"As the front crawl is much faster than the breaststroke, the Americans easily beat the British: Flying Gull won the medal, swimming the 150 feet (46 m) in 30 seconds, and second place went to another American named Tobacco.

"Their stroke was described as making a motion with the arms 'like a windmill' and kicking the legs up and down. As this produced considerable splashing, it was considered barbaric and 'un-European' to the British gentlemen, who preferred to keep their heads above water. Subsequently, the British continued to swim only breaststroke until 1873." 

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