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Word Count: 1,601
The techniques of Swimming Swimming is a competitive and recreational activity consisting of various motions that propel the body through the water Swimming is considered by most experts to be one of the best forms of physical exercise When practiced properly the activity utilizes most of the bodys muscles and is an excellent conditioner for the cardiovascular system Much of the wear and tear on the human body that is sometimes associated with land sports such as running is reduced in swimming because of the bodys buoyancy in water Physical rehabilitation therapy involving swimming is not uncommon International competition in swimming--as well as in its sister activity diving--is governed by the Federation Internationale de Natation Amateur FINA Swimming has been part of the Olympics since its modern-day inception in 1896 HISTORY OF SWIMMING Swimming predates recorded history Humans undoubtedly discovered how to swim by accident a person probably fell into the water and struggled to shore using a dog-paddle stroke There exists an Egyptian hieroglyph for swimming dating from 2500 BC The ancient Greeks and Romans made swimming an important part of their military training programs It is believed that swimming contests were organized in Japan as early as the 1st century BC During the Middle Ages in Europe swimming declined in popularity People felt that the water was contaminated and a source of disease Fear of the water was not universal however and Louis XI reportedly swam daily in the Seine During the early 19th century swimming enjoyed a revival especially in England Lord Byron swam the Hellespont now the Dardanelles to prove that the mythological hero Leander could have done it Organized competitive swimming began in England in the 1840s In 1844 the British were surprised when two American Indians demonstrated the efficiency of a method of swimming similar to the modern crawl The British still swam with the head above the water a holdover from the days
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