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The history and importance of swimming - Research Proposal Example

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Swimming evolution throughout time reflects a spirit of creative and significant renewal from the technical and sportive points of view. Everything changes in life so it is not unusual that swimming has undergone many changes along the passage of time…
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The history and importance of swimming
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Download file to see previous pages Swimming evolution throughout time reflects a spirit of creative and significant renewal from the technical and sportive points of view. Everything changes in life so it is not unusual that swimming has undergone many changes along the passage of time. Nevertheless, these changes haven’t affected the benefits that anybody can experience with the practice of swimming. To have a clearer idea of those changes it is helpful to study the history of swimming.Swimming have been practiced since prehistoric times. There are accounts of this activity in the Bible (Isaiah 25:11; Ezekiel 47:5; Acts 25:42) and the Greek poems “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey” by Homer. There have been found “Egyptian clay seals from 4000 BC showing four swimmers doing a version of the crawl (Weil, 1996-2008a). But “the most famous swimming drawings were apparently found in the Kebir desert” (Weil, 1996-2008a). They are dated around 4000 BC. These facts show that swimming has been around since ancient times.Some archeological findings have discovered mosaics and drags from early Middle Easter cities and Pompeii that show men swimming with the dog stroke. Even though the ancient Olympic Games didn’t include swimming, “the Greeks practiced the sport, holding it in high regard, as they did all athletic endeavors. In fact, one of the most biting insults one Greek could unleash on another was to discuss him as a man who "neither knew how to run nor swim." Plato considered a man who didn't know how to swim uneducated. (…) ) There are frequent representations of swimmers in the Vatican, Borgian and Bourbon codices, and the murals of the Tepantitla House at Teotihuacan (near Mexico City) showed men splashing about the waters of "Tlalocan," paradise of Tlaloc, the god of water. () Both Julius Caesar and Charlemagne were known as great swimmers, and Louis XI frequently took swims in the Seine (USS Swim Fact Pact, n.d.).
The Encyclopedia of Tradicional British Rural Sports contains books related to swimming from the Middle Ages. Some scholars believe that the first book about swimming was Colymbetes authored by Nicolas Wynman in 1538. The widely-recognized book entitled De Arte Nantandi by Everard Digby was published in Latin in 1587. That encyclopeidia records the fact that swimming was a requisite for knights and that Romans were used to building bathhouses and pools as they conquered new lands in order to use them as social clubs and exercise places (Weil, 1996-2008a).
Moreover, organized swimming had its beginning in the 1800s and 1990s when swimming associations and clubs were founded. The Amateur Swimming Association was established in 1886. So these kinds of clubs spread in England, France, Germany, and the United States. Some North American Indians (Flying Gull and Tobacco) invited to participate in the Swimming Society in England had a strong impact on Londoners due to their innovative swimming technique. But their technique was not copied at that time. After 40 years the Europeans adopted it and revolutionized the world of swimming with the newly-born crawl. Indeed, the crawl was not new at all since the old inhabitants of the Ameritas, West Africa and some Pacific islands were used to swimming that way for generations (USS Swim Fact Pact, n.d.)
Another cause for the growing popularity of swimming was the high-profile events that took place during that period such as the feat accomplished by Matthew Webb when he swam across the English Channel (Weil, 1996-2008). "On August 24, 1875, Captain Matthew Webb slipped into the water at Dover, England, and 21 hours and 45 minutes later touched land at Cape Gris Nez, France, becoming the first man to conquer the English Channel. Relying mainly on the breaststroke, he swam some 38 miles in covering a straightline distance of about 20 miles. It wasn't an uneventful trip. Along the way, Captain Webb sang, sipped coffee and beer, ate steaks, was stung by a jellyfish and had to fight his way through a nasty ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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