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The word 'pool' derives from the Latin 'piscis', meaning fish. A swimming pool in French is still called a 'piscine'.

A major change in the quality of life occured as individual wealth increased over the centuries, and with this increase in the standard of living came luxuries such as private and public pools. They were placed everywhere and used for bathing, ceremony, socializing and well-being in general. They were considered aesthetic and enhanced the beauty and value of a property, very much the same way designer pools do in a growing number of modern homes.

Depending on the size of one's pool, stretch of water or ambitions, it suffices to be familiar with the most basic of all swimming techniques, the doggy paddle.

It was the first stroke used by ancient man, believed to have been imitated by observing a variety of creatures making similar forward motions in water approximately 10.000 years ago. Particularly dogs of coarse, and bears, deer, ducks, horses, tigers, mice, moose, rabbits, elephants and even camels, despite the fact that there are now hardly any waterholes deep and large enough for them to indulge in. It is the best way to get around in water if one does not know how to swim and the first instinctive stroke used by infants.

Also one of the oldest and slowest is the breaststroke. It is an adaption of the doggy paddle. The leg movement of the breaststroke is mimicked from the swimming action of frogs. It is the most popular recreational style due to its stability and the ability to keep one's head above water for a longer period of time.

On the other side of the spectrum from easy to fast is the butterfly, so called because the movement of the stroke is similar to the way butterflies move their wings through the air. Although evolving from the breaststroke, the butterfly is unforgiving of mistakes and considered the most demanding in surface swimming. It is swum face down with the legs performing a dolphin kick whilst simultaneously rotating the arms forward in a circle. Once mastered, it becomes an efficient and highly competitive stroke.

The original butterfly is accredited to a sixteen year old Australian junior swimming champ, Sydney Cavill, a descendant of the Cavill family, who for generations made substantial contributions to the sport of swimming. His first attempts at the stroke were in 1897. It went through many alterations and scientific modifications before it was introduced as an official event at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne. It was won by the American William Yorzyk, who swam the 200 metres in 2 minutes and 19.30 seconds. 

At the last 2012 Olympic Games in London, the South African Chad le Clos won gold butterflying the same distance in 1 minute and 52.96 seconds. He was just a fraction ahead of the most decorated Olympian ever, Michael Phelps, whose 2009 unrivalled world record still stands at an astonishing 1 minute and 51.51 seconds.

If you want to, please like, share, forward and / or respond by leaving a comment below.

Jon Eiselin.



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    • By
      Sandra Bolten
      30.11.2014, 20:09

      Beautiful picture, beautiful action with synch and soul. Are you allowed to publish that picture? From a fan.

    • By
      Jon Eiselin
      02.12.2014, 17:54

      Yeah sure! All images on this website are totally legit and accounted for. Bests, Jon.

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