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 100m 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 100m 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 100m 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 100m 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 and 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 100m freestyle long course after winning the European LC Championships 2008.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

2016-08-12 American swimmer Katie Ledecky's medal tally of 4 golds, 1 silver make her the most decorated US female athlete at one Olympics, highest female of Rio games and 1st swimmer to win 200m, 400m and 800m freestyle at same Olympics since 1968

Swimmer Katie Ledecky
Swimmer
Katie Ledecky

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 333

  • 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, Hawaiian swimmer (Olympics-3 gold/2 silver-12, 20, 24), born in Waikiki, Honolulu County, Hawaii (d. 1968)
  • 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, Danish 200m swimmer (Olympic silver 1936), born in Cyborg, Denmark (d. 2011)
  • 1920-12-19 Ragnild Hveger, Danish 400m swimmer (Olympic silver 1936) [NS]
  • 1921-06-03 Forbes Carlile, Australian athlete and influential swimming coach, born in Melbourne (d. 2016)
  • 1921-08-08 Esther Williams, American swimmer and actress (Dangerous when Wet), born in Inglewood California (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, German 200m backstroke swimmer (Olympic gold 1956)
  • 1927-05-01 Greta Andersen, Danish 100m freestyle swimmer (Olympic gold 1948)
  • 1930-09-13 James McLane, American 1500m freestyle swimmer (Olympic gold 1948)
  • 1931-03-24 Thelma Kalama, American 4 X 100m relay swimmer (Olympic gold 1948)
  • 1933-06-20 Jean Boiteux, French 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, American 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, Dutch swimmer and politician (VVD)
  • 1944-01-03 Christina von Saltza, American swimmer (Olympic-3 gold/silver-1960)
  • 1944-08-28 Marianne Heemskerk, Dutch swimmer
  • 1945-12-18 Carolyn Wood, American 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, American 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, American 100m butterfly swimmer (Olympic gold 1964), (d. 2013)
  • 1949-08-22 Diana Nyad, American journalist and long-distance swimmer (1st to swim Bahamas to Fla-1979), born in NYC, New York
  • 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, American 200m backstroke swimmer (Olympic gold 1968)
  • 1951-02-03 Felipe Munoz, Mexican 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, Swedish 200m/400m swimmer (Olympic gold 1972)
  • 1951-08-07 Gary Hall, US swimmer (Olympics-bronze/2 silver-1968, 72)
  • 1951-09-30 Catie Ball, American 100m 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, American 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, American 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, Mexican 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, American 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, American 800m freestyle swimmer (Olympic gold 1972)
  • 1957-05-08 Deana Deardruff, American 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, Canadian 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, Hawaiian swimmer (Olympics-3 gold/2 silver-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 (Dangerous when Wet), 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