The Front Crawl

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I've never been able to do a proper front crawl, but now that I've read something of the history of this barbaric swimming style, I feel I must learn it.

In the western world, the front crawl was first seen in 1844 in London. Native Americans participating in this competition swam front crawl, defeating the British breaststroke swimmers easily. As this produced considerable splashing in the water and embarrassment outside, it was considered a barbaric and "un-European" way to swim by the British gentlemen, who preferred to keep their heads out of the water. Subsequently, the British continued to swim only breaststroke until 1873.

Ironically, the best guide to the front crawl I've been able to find is at the BBC Sports Academy site. It's got animated diagrams, instructions for multiple levels, and a video tutorial from a world champion.

2 Comments

scott said:

What of the noble Dog Paddle , without which I would never have been able to get out of a swimming pool or do more than walk around on the beach when I was a kid?? (The Wikipedia reccomends, as a way of advancing past the dog paddle, that one's hands are tied together "like a manacled prisoner trying to swim across a moat"! Oh yeah, that would have been a helpful thing to imagine when I was a kid!)

dan said:

That wikipedia entry on dog paddle if effed up.

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This page contains a single entry by dan published on September 19, 2005 11:34 AM.

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