Swimming in History

Events in Sport

  • 1742-05-28 1st indoor swimming pool opens (Goodman's Fields, London)
  • 1827-07-23 1st US swimming school opens (Boston Mass)
  • 1829-06-08 1st UK municipal swimming pool outside of London opens in Liverpool
  • 1892-09-16 Amsterdam swimming club renamed "The Y"
  • 1924-04-11 1st men's college swimming championships begin
  • 1928-12-26 Johnny Weissmuller announces his retirement from amateur swimming

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1933-06-02 FDR authorizes 1st swimming pool built inside the White House

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • 1934-07-12 Willy de Supervise swims world record 400m (5:16.0)
  • 1936-02-27 Willy den Ouden swims world record 100 m free style (1:04.6)
  • 1937-02-10 Ragnhild Hveger swims world free style record 400m (5:14.2)
  • 1938-02-26 Rie Van Veen swims world record 200m free style (2:24.6)
  • 1939-11-29 Cor Klint swims world record 200 m backstroke (2:38.8)
  • 1940-05-29 Adolf Kiefer swims world record 100 yards backstroke (58.8 sec)
  • 1940-07-25 John Sigmund begins swimming for 89 hrs 46 mins in the Mississippi River
  • 1941-05-31 German occupiers forbids Jews access to beach & swimming pools
  • 1941-06-04 Nazis forbid Jews access to beaches & swimming pools
  • 1956-03-03 Cockie Gastelaars swims world record 100 m freestyle (1:04.2)
  • 1958-02-22 Australian swimmer Jon Konrads sets 6 world records in 2 days
  • 1958-06-28 Nancy Ramey swims world record 100m (1:09.6)
  • 1960-03-26 USC captures NCAA swimming title
  • 1960-08-27 Anita Lonsbrough swims world/olympic record 200m (2:49.5)
  • 1965-03-01 Australia suspends champion swimmer Dawn Fraser for 10-yrs for misconduct
  • 1967-12-17 Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia, vanishes in mysterious circumstances while swimming near Melbourne.
  • 1972-09-04 US swimmer Mark Spitz becomes 1st athlete to win 7 olympic gold medals
  • 1980-08-02 US swimmers set 3 world records at National championships
  • 1981-08-13 Mary Terstegge Meagher swims world record 200m butterfly (2:05.96)
  • 1981-08-15 Robin Leamy of US swims record 7.98 kph for 50 m
  • 1981-08-16 Mary Terstegge Meagher swims world record 100m butterfly (57.93)
  • 1982-01-10 Petra Schneider swims world record 1500 m freestyle (15:43.31)
  • 1982-04-08 Tracy Caulkins, 19, wins her 36th US swimming title
  • 1982-08-01 Petra Schneider swims world record 400m medley (4:36.10)
  • 1983-02-19 Vladimir Salnikov (USSR) sets 400 m free style swimming record
  • 1983-02-22 Vladimir Salnikov (USSR) sets 1500m free style swimming record
  • 1985-02-08 Michael Gross swims world record 800m freestyle (7:38.75)
  • 1986-02-09 West German team swims world record 4x200 m freestyle (7:05.17)
  • 1986-05-18 David Goch finishes swimming 55,682 miles in a 25-yd pool
  • 1986-06-23 Pedro Morales swims world record 100m butterfly (52.84)
  • 1988-08-10 Matt Biondi swims world record 100m free style (48.42 sec)
  • 1989-08-15 Giorgio Lamberti swims world record 200m free style (1:46.69)
  • 1989-12-30 Dmitri Volkov swims world record 50m freestyle (27.15 sec)
  • 1990-02-04 Anders Holmertz swims world record 400 m freestyle (3:40.81)
  • 1990-03-02 Mark Tewsksbury swims world record 50m backstroke (25.06 sec)
  • 1990-03-24 Tom Hunter swims world record 50m freestyle (21.81 sec)
  • 1991-01-04 Fu Mingxia, 12, of China wins World Swimming Championships gold medal
  • 1991-01-08 Tamas Darnyi swims world record 400m medley (4:12.36)
  • 1991-01-12 Melvin Stewart swims world record 200 m butterfly (1:55.69)
  • 1991-04-10 Martin Zubero swims world record 200m backstroke (1:52.51)
  • 1991-08-13 Michael Ray Barrowman swims world record 200m breaststroke (2:10.60)
  • 1991-08-20 Norbert Rosza swims world record 100m breast stroke (1:01.29)
  • 1991-08-22 Krizstina Egerszegi swims world record 100 m backstroke (1:00.31)
  • 1991-08-25 Krizstina Egerszegi swims world record 200m backstroke (2:06.62)
  • 1991-11-23 Martin Lopez-Zubero swims world record 200m backstroke (1:56.57)
  • 1992-02-02 Kieren Perkins swims world record 1500m freestyle (14:32.40)
  • 1992-02-09 Jani Sievinen swims world record 400m medley (4:07.10)
  • 1992-02-14 Kieren John Perkins swims world record 800m freestyle (7:46.60)
  • 1992-03-07 Nicole Stevenson swims world record 200m backstroke (2:06.78)
  • 1992-07-29 Evgueni Sadovyi swims world record/OR 400m freestyle (3:45.00)
  • 1992-07-31 Jeff Rouse swims world record/OR 100m backstroke (53.86 sec)
  • 1992-07-31 Kieren John Perkins swims world record/OR 1500m free style (14:43.4)
  • 1992-07-31 Tamas Darnyi swims world record/Olympics 200m backstroke (1:59.36)
  • 1992-07-31 Yang Wenyi swims world record/OR 50m freestyle (24.79 sec)
  • 1992-11-21 Jan Karlsson swims world record 50m butterfly (23.80 sec)
  • 1992-11-21 Jani Sievinen swims world record 100m medley (53.78 sec)
  • 1992-11-21 Louise Karlsson swims world record 50m freestyle (31.19 sec)
  • 1992-11-22 Sandra Volker swims world record 50m backstroke (28.57 sec)
  • 1993-01-09 Franziska van Almsick swims world record 100 m free style (53.33)
  • 1993-02-10 Jani Sievinen swims world record 200m backstroke (1:55.59)
  • 1993-02-16 Sandra Völker swims world record 50m backstroke (28.33 sec)
  • 1993-02-17 Mark Foster swims world record 50m free style (21.60 sec)
  • 1993-04-11 Jeff Rouse swims world record 100m backstroke (51.43 sec)
  • 1993-07-21 Angela Kennedy swims world record 50 m butterfly stroke (26.93)
  • 1994-01-01 Aleksandr Popov swims world record 100m free style (47.83)
  • 1994-01-05 Aleksandr Popov swims world record 100m free style (47.82)
  • 1994-01-05 Yat Weiju swims world record 100m butterfly stroke (58.71)
  • 1994-01-05 Zhong Weiju swims world record 25m pool record (58.71)
  • 1994-01-06 Yat Weiju swims world record 50m butterfly stroke (26.44)
  • 1994-01-06 Zhong Weiju swims world record 25m pool (26.44)
  • 1994-03-22 Mark Foster swims world record 50m butterfly (23.68 sec)
  • 1994-06-18 Aleksander Popov swims world record 100m free style (48.21 sec)
  • 1994-08-24 Kieren Perkins swims world record 1500m free style (14:41.66)
  • 1994-08-24 Kieren Perkins swims world record 800m free style (7:46.00)
  • 1994-09-05 Jingyi Le swims world record 100m women's freestyle (54.01 sec)
  • 1994-09-06 Tom Dolan swims world record 400m medley (4:12.30)
  • 1994-09-07 Jingyi Le/Ying Shan/Ying Le/Bin Lu swimming 4x100 freestyle (3:37.91)
  • 1995-02-11 Danyon Loader swims world record 400m freestyle (340.46)
  • 1995-02-11 Mark Foster swims world record 50m butterfly (23.55 sec)
  • 1995-02-12 Jeff Rouse swims world record 50m backstroke (24.37 sec)
  • 1995-02-18 Angela Kennedy swims world record 100m butterfly
  • 1995-02-18 Warnecke swims world record 50m freestyle
  • 1996-03-02 Copeland swimming pool re-opened by Gladiator
  • 1996-03-18 50,000 swimmers raise 15 million for charity during BT's Swimathon '96
  • 2008-03-22 The French Swimmer Alain Bernard sets the world record of 47.50 for the 100 m freestyle long course after winning the European LC Championships 2008.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2016-08-13 American swimmer Michael Phelps ends his career at Rio Olympics winning 4x100 medley relay, his 23rd Gold medal, as world's most decorated Olympian


Birthdays in Sport

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 329

  • 1872-02-24 John Jarvis, England, swimmer (won 108 titles)
  • 1878-02-02 Alfréd Hajós, Hungarian swimmer (d. 1955)
  • 1884-07-14 Charles Meldrum Daniels, swimmer (Olympic-gold-1904, 08), born in Dayton, Ohio
  • 1885-03-24 Charlie Daniels, US swimmer (Olympics-4 gold-1904, 08)
  • 1886-03-05 Paul Radmilovic, England, swimmer (Olympic-3 gold-1908)
  • 1888-02-02 Frederick Lane, Australian swimmer (d. 1969)
  • 1888-07-06 Annette Kellerman, Australian swimmer (Million Dollar Mermaid), born in Sydney, New South Wales
  • 1889-08-10 Irene Steer, England, 4 X 100m relay swimmers (Olympic-gold-1912)
  • 1890-08-24 Duke Kahanamoku, Hawaii, swimmer (Olympics-3 gold/2 silver-12, 20, 24)
  • 1897-03-13 William Herald, Australia, swimmer (Olympic-1920)
  • 1902-02-07 Ethelda Blebtrey, 100m swimmer (Olympic-gold-1920), born in Waterford, New York
  • 1902-02-27 Ethelda Bleibtrey, 100m/300m US swimmer (Olympics-3 gold-1920)
  • 1904-06-02 Johnny Weissmuller, actor (Tarzan)/100m swimmer (Oly-5 gold-1924, 28)
  • 1906-10-23 Gertrude Ederle, American swimmer (Olympic-gold-1924), born in NYC, New York
  • 1908-02-02 Clarence "Buster" Crabbe, California, swimmer (Olympic-gold-1932)/actor
  • 1910-02-07 Buster Crabbe, 400m US swimmer (Olympics-gold-1932)
  • 1911-06-22 Marie Philipsen-Braun, swimmer (Olympic-gold-1928)
  • 1913-12-06 Eleanor Holm, American 100m backstroke swimmer (Olympic-gold-1932), born in NYC, New York
  • 1914-05-20 Hideko Maehata, Japanese swimmer (d. 1995)
  • 1917-06-28 Katherine Rawls, American swimming champion (d. 1982)
  • 1917-10-09 Kusuo Kitamura, Japan, 1500m freestyle swimmer (Olympic-gold-1932)
  • 1918-01-01 Willy den Ouden, Dutch swimmer, (WR 100m, 1:04.06)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1918-05-19 Florence Chadwick, swimmer (1st to swim English Channel both ways), born in San Diego, California (d. 1995)

  • 1918-06-27 Adolph Kiefer, American 100m backstroke swimmer (Olympic gold 1936), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2017)
  • 1920-02-26 A W [Rie] Kuiper-Mastenbroek, Neth, swimmer (Olympics-3 gold-1936)
  • 1920-12-10 Ragnhild Hveger, Denmark, 200m swimmer (Olympic-silver-1936)
  • 1920-12-19 Ragnild Hveger, Denmark, 400m swimmer (Olympic-silver-1936) [NS]
  • 1921-06-03 Forbes Carlile, Australian athlete and influential swimming coach, born in Melbourne (d. 2016)
  • 1923-08-08 Esther Williams, Inglewood Cal, actress/swimmer (Dangerous when Wet), (d. 2013)
  • 1924-07-18 Inge Sørensen, Danish swimmer
  • 1926-03-06 Ann Curtis, 400m/800m US swimmer (Olympics-2 gold-1948), (d. 2012)
  • 1926-10-20 Ursula Happe, Germany, 200m backstroke swimmer (Olympic-gold-1956)
  • 1927-05-01 Greta Andersen, Denmark, 100m freestyle swimmer (Olympic-gold-1948)
  • 1930-09-13 James McLane, US, 1500m freestyle swimmer (Olympic-gold-1948)
  • 1931-03-24 Thelma Kalama, US, 4 X 100m relay swimmer (Olympic-gold-1948)
  • 1933-06-20 Jean Boiteux, France, 400m freestyle swimmer (Olympic-gold-1952)
  • 1937-02-04 John Devitt, Australia, 100m freestyle swimmer (Olympic-gold-1960)
  • 1937-02-18 Jeff Farrell, US swimmer (Olympics-2 gold-1960)
  • 1937-10-19 Marilyn Bell, Canadian swimmer
  • 1938-07-12 Wieger Mensonides, Dutch swimmer
  • 1939-01-06 Murray Rose, Nairn Scotland, Australian Olympic swimmer (4x oly gold), (d. 2012)
  • 1940-07-03 Lance Larson, US, 100m freestyle swimmer (Olympic-silver-1960)
  • 1940-10-03 Mike Troy, US swimmer (Olympics-2 gold-1960)
  • 1941-01-30 Tineke Lagerberg, Dutch swimmer
  • 1941-08-10 Anita Lonsbrough, England, 200m backstroke swimmer (Oly-gold-1960)
  • 1941-10-05 Ricardo Hoffmann, marathon swimmer (299 miles)
  • 1942-06-06 Sandra Morgan, Australian 4x100m freestyle swimmer (Olympic gold 1956), born in Tamworth, New South Wales
  • 1942-08-20 Hans-Joachim Klein, German FR, 100m swimmer (Olympic-bronze-1964)
  • 1943-05-26 Erica G Terpstra, Oly swimmer/Dutch MP (VVD)
  • 1944-01-03 Christina von Saltza, US, swimmer (Olympic-3 gold/silver-1960)
  • 1944-08-28 Marianne Heemskerk, Dutch swimmer
  • 1945-12-18 Carolyn Wood, US, 4 X 100m freestyle swimmer (Olympic-gold-1960)
  • 1946-04-30 Donald Schollander, swimmer (Olympic-4 gold-64), born in Charlotte, North Carolina
  • 1947-02-06 Charles Hickcox, US, 200m/400m medley swimmer (Olympic-3 gold-1968)
  • 1947-04-26 Donna Elizabeth De Varona, Greenwich Ct, swimmer (Olympic-2 gold-64)
  • 1947-06-06 Ada Kok, Dutch swimmer
  • 1947-09-26 Dick Roth, American swimmer (Olympics-gold-1964), born in Palo Alto, California
  • 1948-07-17 Cathy Ferguson, 100m backstroke swimmer (Olympic-gold-1964)
  • 1948-08-30 Donnacha O'Dea, Irish poker player and swimmer
  • 1948-11-09 Sharon Stouder, US, 100m butterfly swimmer (Olympic-gold-1964), (d. 2013)
  • 1949-08-22 Diana Nyad, swimmer (1st to swim Bahamas to Fla-1979)
  • 1949-11-03 Roswitha Krause, USSR, 4 X 100m swimmer (Olympic-silver-1968)
  • 1949-12-19 Claudia A Kolb, American 200m breast stroke swimmer (Olympic-silver-1964)
  • 1950-02-10 Mark Spitz, Modesto California, swimmer (Oly-9 gold/silver/bronze-68, 72)
  • 1950-06-11 Debbie "Pokey" Watson, US, 200m backstroke swimmer (Olympic-gold-1968)
  • 1951-02-03 Felipe Munoz, Mexico, 200m backstroke swimmer (Olympic-gold-1968)
  • 1951-02-22 Elaine Tanner, Canadian swimmer (1966 Commonwealth Games, 1968 Olympics), born in Vancouver, British Columbia
  • 1951-05-12 Gunnar Larrson, Sweden, 200m/400m swimmer (Olympic-gold-1972)
  • 1951-08-07 Gary Hall, US swimmer (Olympics-bronze/2 silver-1968, 72)
  • 1951-09-30 Catie Ball, US, 100 m breast stroke swimmer (Olympic-4X4 gold-1968)
  • 1952-01-22 Karen Moe [Thornton], US swimmer (Olympics-gold-1972)
  • 1952-02-28 Melissa Babish, SC, swimmer (Olympic)
  • 1952-04-15 Bengt Gingsjö, Swedish swimmer
  • 1952-08-14 Debbie Meyer, 200m/400m/800m swimmer (Oly-3 gold-68), born in Annapolis, Maryland
  • 1952-08-26 John Kinsella, USA, swimmer (Olympic-gold-1972)
  • 1952-12-21 Steve Furniss, US swimmer (Olympics-bronze-1972)
  • 1953-03-14 Tim McKee, US, 400m medley swimmer (Olympic-silver-1972)
  • 1953-05-19 Shavarsh Karapetyan, Soviet Armenian finswimmer
  • 1953-09-14 Judy Playfair, Australian swimmer
  • 1953-10-16 Susan Pedersen, US, 4 X 100m medley swimmer (Olympic-gold-1968)
  • 1953-10-24 James di Donato, open water swimmer, one of the Tiger Twins (world record for swimming the butterfly in 40.6 miles)
  • 1953-10-24 Jonathan di Donato, open water swimmer, one of the Tiger Twins (world record for swimming the butterfly in 40.6 miles)
  • 1954-03-08 David Wilkie, 200m backstroke swimmer (Olympic-gold-1976), is born in Colombo, Sri Lanka to Scottish parents
  • 1954-05-27 Catherine Carr, US breaststroke swimmer (Olympics-2 gold-1972)
  • 1954-06-15 Beverley Whitfield, Australian swimmer (d. 1996)
  • 1954-10-01 Martin Strel, Slovenian swimmer
  • 1954-11-01 Ruben Guerrero, Mexico, relay swimmer (Olympic-1968)
  • 1955-01-24 James Montgomery, US 100m swimmer (Olympic-3 gold-1976)
  • 1955-04-15 Enith Salle Brigitha, Neth, 100m/200m swimmer (Olympic-bronze-1976)
  • 1956-01-20 John Phillips Naber, Evanston Ill, swimmer (Olympic-4 gold/silver-76)
  • 1956-04-21 Rick DeMont, US, 400m swimmer, drug disqualification (1972 Olympics)
  • 1956-09-04 Shane Gould, freestyle swimmer (Olympics-3 Gold-1972)
  • 1956-10-10 Melissa Belote, 100m/200m swimmer (Olympics-3 gold-1972)
  • 1956-11-23 Shane Gould, Brisbane Queensland, swimmer (Olympic-3 gold-1972)
  • 1957-01-31 Shirley F Babashoff, California, swimmer (Olympics-6 silver/2 gold-72, 76)
  • 1957-02-26 Keena Rothhammer, US, 800 m freestyle swimmer (Olympic-gold-1972)
  • 1957-05-08 Deana Deardruff, US, 4 X 100m swimmer (Olympic-gold-1972)
  • 1957-05-27 Bruce Furniss, US swimmer (Olympics-2 gold-1976)
  • 1957-05-27 Duncan Goodhew, English 100m breast stroke swimmer (Oly-Gold-1980), born in London, England
  • 1957-08-20 Cindy Nicholas, Canada, swimmer (swam English Channel 19 times)

Weddings in Sport


HeartWedding of Interest

1984-03-03 Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway (23) weds swimmer Janet Buchan in Menlo Park, California

NFL Quarterback John Elway
NFL Quarterback
John Elway
  • 2005-08-23 Olympic gold medalist swimmer Pieter van den Hoogenband (27) weds fellow Olympic swimmer Minouche Smit at Henkenshage Castle in Sint-Oedenrode, North Brabant, The Netherlands
  • 2009-05-01 Olympic swimmer gold medalist Amanda Beard (27) weds photographer Sacha Brown (34) in Wakatobia, Indonesia

Deaths in Sport

  • 1883-07-24 Matthew Webb, English Channel swimmer, drowns above Niagara Falls
  • 1955-11-12 Alfréd Hajós, Hungarian swimmer (b. 1878)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1961-01-24 Alfred Carlton Gilbert, American athlete, inventor, and businessman (invented the Erector Set), dies at 76

  • 1968-01-22 Duke Kahanamoku, 100m swimmer (Olympics-3 gold-12, 20, 24), dies at 77
  • 1969-05-14 Frederick Lane, Australian swimmer (b. 1888)
  • 1973-08-09 Charlie Daniels, US swimmer (Olympics-4 gold-1904, 08), dies at 88
  • 1975-11-05 Annette Kellerman, swimmer (Million Dollar Mermaid), dies at 87
  • 1978-05-06 Ethelda Bleibtrey, US swimmer (Olympics-3 gold-1920), dies at 76
  • 1983-04-23 Buster Crabbe, 400m US swimmer (Olympics-gold-1932), dies at 73
  • 1984-01-20 Johnny Weissmuller, US swimmer (Olympics-5 gold-1924, 28), dies at 79
  • 1989-11-13 Victor Davis, Canadian swimmer (b. 1964)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1995-03-15 Florence Chadwick, American swimmer, dies at 86

  • 2002-10-17 Aileen Riggin, American swimmer (b. 1906)
  • 2003-11-06 Rie Mastenbroek, Dutch swimmer (b. 1919)
  • 2003-11-30 Gertrude Ederle, American swimmer (b. 1906)
  • 2004-01-31 Eleanor Holm, American swimmer (b. 1913)
  • 2007-04-16 Maria Lenk, Brazilian swimmer and first Brazilian woman to compete in the Olympic Games (b. 1915)
  • 2010-10-23 Francis Crippen, American long-distance swimmer (b. 1984)
  • 2012-04-15 Murray Rose, Australian Olympic gold winning swimmer, dies from leukemia at 73
  • 2012-06-26 Ann Curtis, American Olympic swimmer, dies at 86
  • 2013-06-06 Esther Williams, American swimmer and actress, dies from natural causes at 91
  • 2013-06-23 Sharon Stouder, American swimmer, dies at 64
  • 2016-08-02 Forbes Carlile, Australian athlete and influential swimming coach, dies at 95
  • 2017-05-05 Adolph Kiefer, American 100m backstroke swimmer (Olympic gold 1936), dies at 98