The Olympics website notes that, while people used swimming for practical purposes as early as prehistory, swimming did not become an organized sport until the early 1800s.

Swimming & Diving and the Olympics

The Olympics website notes that, while people used swimming for practical purposes as early as prehistory, swimming did not become an organized sport until the early 1800s. Various swimming strokes developed over the years, starting with the breaststroke and progressing to the crawl. Swimming has been an event in all the modern Olympics, beginning in 1896. Backstroke was added to the Olympics in the 1904 Games. The butterfly appeared officially in the 1956 Melbourne Games. Women’s swimming was added in 1912. The only current difference between the events for men and women in swimming events is the freestyle swim distance. Women swim 800 meters and men swim 1,500 meters.

An MSU swimmer practices in the McCaffree Pool

Diving evolved from gymnastics in the 18th century in Sweden and Germany. The first diving organization was founded in 1901. Diving made its Olympic debut in 1904 in St. Louis. Springboard and platform events have appeared since the 1908 London Games. Women’s diving was added in Stockholm in 1912.

Swimming and diving events take place throughout the 2012 Olympics. Swimming events are held July 28 – August 4, and August 9-10, with a total of 34 gold medals at stake. Diving events are held July 29 – August 1, August 5, August 7, August 9 and August 11, with a total of 8 gold medals at stake.

Swimming & Diving at Michigan State

The MSU men’s swimming team first competed in 1922, with a record of 0-5-0 under Coach Southard Flynn. The women’s swimming team began competition in 1971, placing second in the Big Ten that year. The team’s home pool is McCaffree Pool in IM West. There is also an outdoor training pool at IM West. Platform diving is not a collegiate sport, so there is no platform in the official MSU pool (although our outdoor training pool does have platforms available). The teams will open their 2012 season against Wisconsin on September 28 at 5:00 p.m. You can make a gift in support of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams on the MSU Giving website.

McCaffree Pool
Three meter diving boards at McCaffree Pool
McCaffree Pool - Home of the MSU Swimming and Diving Team
A student jumps off the platform at the outdoor swimming pool
The outdoor pool and diving well are open to the public for those brave enough to take the plunge
The outdoor pool viewed from Spartan Stadium

Photo Credits: Three meter boards, McCaffree Pool, and stadium view photos were taken by Katie Kelly, Communications Manager at University Scholarships & Fellowships. All other photos provided by MSU Communications & Brand Strategy.

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