Summer Olympic Games: AQUATICS

By Janelle Yahne
Circulation Associate

There will be numerous aquatic events for the Olympics to entice people into a pool during this hot summer. Olympic Swimming has been a part of the Modern Olympics since its inception in 1896 with the women’s events coming on in 1912.  Contemporary swimming now includes freestyle (or crawl), breaststroke, butterfly, and backstroke.  Swimming events started July 28th with 34 medal events.  This year, Michael Phelps will attempt a new record in total medals won as he competes in seven events during his third Olympics. Other American swimmers to watch are Ryan Lochte, Phelps’ teammate, and Missy Franklin, a teenage phenom.

Diving has been a part of the Olympics since 1904, with women’s events being added in 1912. Diving is a favorite sport of mine due to the strength and balance necessary to jump into the water with very little splash.  The competition includes eight events using either the 3 meter springboard, or the 10 meter platform. Though the US Olympic Team is not as strong in diving as it is in swimming, it has competed quite well historically with Greg Louganis being one of the great American divers. Diving events began July 29th.

Though not as popular as Diving and Swimming when it comes to television coverage, Synchronized Swimming and Water Polo will have Olympic competitions this year. Synchronized Swimming has been an official sport since 1984, but is only for women.  Water Polo has been a part of the Olympics since 1900, except in 1904. Women’s Water Polo was added in 2000. Synchronized Swimming begins August 5th and Water Polo began July 29th.1

Information about these sports can be found at Olympic.org and london2012.com to learn more about the current teams. We also have a few items on swimming and diving available here at the library to fill in any gaps.

1Data taken from swimming, diving, water polo, and synchronized swimming links.

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