Swimming Trivia Questions

Trivia, odd facts, and interesting Ttdbits of swimming information

American swimmer Johnny Weissmuller takes a breath while swimming freestyle
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You can use this swimming information to make your own swimming trivia questions. Have fun making trivia questions about swimming and swimmers.

  • The Japanese won all the men's titles except the 400-meter freestyle in the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics. Buster Crabbe won the 400-meter free. (USA Swimming)
  • Americans Nancy Hogshead and Carrie Steinseifer registered the first official tie-in Olympic history in the 100-meter freestyle at the 1984 Olympics. They each recorded a time of 55.92. (USA Swimming)
  • A blue whale's belly button is about 8 inches wide. (Animal Trivia)
  • In the 1948 Olympics, the U.S. won every event in the swimming competition. (USA Swimming)
  • Johnny Weissmuller, the first to swim 100 meters in less than a minute, was a hero in real life too? He saved the lives of 11 people when an excursion boat capsized on Lake Michigan. He also played the role of a hero in reel life - 'Tarzan the Ape man' in the movie series based on Edgar Rice-Burrough's novel. (Indianinfo)
  • Tracy Caulkins is the only swimmer ever, man or woman, to own American records in every stroke. (USA Swimming)
  • Captain Matthew Webb of England was the first to swim the English Channel using the breaststroke. (Emazing)
  • Henry Sullivan, in 1923, was the first American to swim the English Channel. (Famous Firsts)
  • Gertrude Ederle was still a teenager when she became the first woman to swim the English Channel on August 6, 1926. Not only did she swim the channel, but she broke the speed record held by a man. (Dishout)
  • At the second modern Olympic Games contested in Paris in 1900, the most unusual event to be held was underwater swimming. It was decided prior to the competition that two points would be awarded for each meter swum underwater. In addition, one point was added to the scoring of each individual for every second he stayed below the surface. Much to the delight of the locals, Frenchman Charles de Venderville won the event swimming 60 meters and staying submerged for 1-min 8.4-sec. Denmark's Peder Lykkeberg stayed underwater for a longer period, one and a half minutes, but only managed to travel 28.5 meters. This was the first and only time underwater swimming was held at the Olympic Games. (ASI)
  • Lance Larson, in lane four, appeared (according to photographs) to touch first at the finish of the 1960 (Rome Olympics) 100-meter freestyle swimming event. Yet John Devitt, in lane three, was awarded the gold medal. (Indianinfo)
  • The first man to swim the English Channel without a life jacket was Captain Matthew Webb, who died trying to swim the rapids above Niagara Falls. (Dishout)
  • The turbo pump on the Space Shuttle main engine is so powerful it could drain an average family-sized swimming pool in 25 seconds. (Dishout)
  • In 1984, Greg Louganis became the first male diver in 56 years to win both the springboard and platform events. (Indianinfo)
  • Right now as you sit reading this, more than 100,000,000 micro creatures are swimming, feeding, reproducing, and depositing waste inside that area behind your lips. (Dishout)
  • Diana Nyad, in 1979, was the first person to swim from the Bahamas to Florida. (Famous Firsts)
  • The Olympic Flag with the five rings, which was first unveiled at Antwerp in 1920, was finally retired after the 1984 Games at Los Angeles. A new flag was flown to the 1988 Seoul Games. At the closing ceremony of the Games, the mayor of the current host city presents the flag to the mayor of the next host city. (Indianinfo)
  • The Olympic flag was presented by Baron de Coubertin at the 1914 Olympic Congress to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the International Olympic Committee. The flag made its debut at the 1920 Antwerp Games. (Indianinfo)
  • Esther Williams did not win any Olympic medals for swimming or for diving. The year she was to compete (1940) the Olympics were suspended due to WWII. (Dishout)
  • Elephants are capable of swimming twenty miles a day, using their trunks as natural snorkels. (Snickers)
  • Tuna swim at a steady speed of nine mph and they never stop. That means a 15-year-old tuna may have traveled 1,000,000 miles. (Issac Asimov's Book of Facts)
  • Kangaroos are great swimmers. (Kangaroo Facts)
  • Benjamin Franklin invented swim-fins. (Strange Facts and Useless Information)
  • "Citius, altius, fortius" is a Latin phrase meaning "swifter, higher, stronger", which Baron de Coubertin borrowed from Father Henri Martin Dideon, who used the phrase to describe the athletic achievements of his students". (Indianinfo)
  • Australian swimmer Dawn Fraser startled the Japanese at Tokyo when she climbed the flagpole at the emperor's palace to take the flag as a souvenir! She paid a heavy price for this misdemeanor as she was banned for 10 years. The ban was later reduced to four years. (Indianinfo)
  • The five rings in the Olympic flag symbolize the five inhabited continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and America. It is believed the colors were chosen because at least one of them can be found in the flag of every nation. (Indianinfo)
  • The Olympic flame is a symbol carried over from the ancient Olympics, where a sacred flame burned at the altar of Zeus throughout the competition. It was finally reintroduced at the 1924 Amsterdam Games. (Indianinfo)
  • Sixteen-year-old Rick Demont finished first in 1972 400-metre free style swimming event, but was disqualified for taking an asthma drug he didn't know was on the prohibited list; he had listed it with the team doctors but they did not report it properly. (Indianinfo)
  • The motto of Pierre de Coubertin reads, "The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph, but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered, but to have fought well." (Indianinfo)
  • J. Scott Leary of the Olympic Club in San Francisco, Calif., went 1:00.00 on July 18, 1905, to become the first man to swim one minute in the 100-yard freestyle. (USA Swimming)
  • Gold medalist hopeful Jeff Farrell swam in the 1960 US Olympic Time Trials only six days after an appendectomy. Not fully recovered, he placed third in the 100-meter free and fourth in the 200-meter free. This finish in the 200 was good enough to put him on the 800-meter freestyle and 400-meter medley relays in which he recovered sufficiently to anchor the US teams to World Records in both events. (USA Swimming and Jeff Farrell)
  • In the 1904 Olympic Games, the first three places in the plunge-for-distance event went to members of the New York Athletic Club. The gold went to William Dickey with a plunge of 62'6". (USA Swimming)
  • Plunge for Distance was a short-lived Olympic event. Contestants began with a standing dive into a swimming pool where they remained motionless for 60 seconds or until they ran out of breath. The length of their dive was then measured. The event was introduced at the St Louis Games of 1904 and the gold medal went to William Dickey of the United States with a modest plunge of 19.05 meters. Americans filled all five placings. After that the event plunged deep into obscurity and was never held again. (ASI)
  • The Olympic oath reads, "In the name of all competitors, I promise that we shall take part in these Olympic Games, respecting and abiding by the rules that govern them, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, for the glory of sport and the honor of our teams." (Indianinfo)
  • The Olympic flag has a plain white background with no border. In the center are five rings forming two rows of three rings above and two below. The rings of the upper row are, from left to right, blue, black and red. The rings of the lower row are yellow and green. (Indianinfo)
  • The average human produces 25,000 quarts of spit in a lifetime, enough to fill two swimming pools. (Dishout)
  • In the 1984 Olympics, there were no women's World Records set. (USA Swimming)
  • What were the first goggles made of? Divers in the 1300's made goggles from polished, clear tortoise shell. The first rubber goggles, which had heavy glass lenses, were invented in the 1930's. (Quaker Instant Oatmeal)
  • On average, sardines live to be 14 years old. (Animal Trivia).
  • At the 1972 Olympic Games, Steve Genter suffered a collapsed lung only days before this event. Swimming without the consent of his doctors he went on to finish with a silver in the 200-meter freestyle and a bronze in the 400-meter freestyle. (USA Swimming)
  • Leigh Ann Fetter was the first woman to break 22 seconds in the 50-yard freestyle with a 21.92 at the 1990 NCAA Championships. (USA Swimming)
  • At the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela, the U.S. men's 400-meter medley relay consisted of all four 100-meter stroke world record holders, the only time this has happened in swimming history. (Rick Carey, Steve Lundquist, Matt Gribble, Rowdy Gaines) (USA Swimming)
  • American high-diver Greg Louganis hit his head on the board in mid-dive during the qualifying round, in the 1988 Seoul Olympics. The gash on his head required stitches, but a mere 10 minutes later, he was back to complete his dives. Two days later, Louganis went on to win the gold medal in the springboard and platform diving events. (Indianinfo)
  • Buster Crabbe, gold and bronze medalist in the 1932 Olympics, went on after his swimming career to appear in 175 movies. He signed with Paramount for his first film "King of The Jungle" in hopes of becoming a rival to Johnny Weissmuller in the movie industry. Weissmuller was a swimming Olympian who starred in 12 Tarzan pictures. (USA Swimming)
  • The first recorded swimming competition in the United States took place in 1883 with the New York Athletic Club, who held annual competitions through 1887 when the Amateur Athletic Union began sponsoring the events. (USA Swimming)
  • Some hotels in Las Vegas have gambling tables floating in their swimming pools. (Dishout)
  • Pianist Yanni was formally a member of the Greek National Swimming Team. (Dishout)
  • The first woman to break the one-minute barrier in the 100-yard freestyle was Helene Madison of Seattle in 1932. (USA Swimming)
  • Don Schollander was the first person to break two minutes in the 200-meter freestyle in 1963 with a 1:58.4. (USA Swimming)
  • In 1924, Sybil Bauer became the first woman to break an existing men's record, when she won the 200-meter backstroke at the Olympic Games. (USA Swimming)
  • The Olympic flame is lit at the ancient site of Olympia by natural rays of the Sun reflected off a curved mirror. Women dressed in robes, resembling those worn in ancient times, light the flame. (Indianinfo)
  • In some volcanic areas such as Iceland, the temperature rises beneath the surface of the earth as high as 680 degrees F (360 degrees C) that engineers can tap the geothermal energy by piping hot water from underground to warm nearby homes, offices, and factories. An outdoor swimming pool in the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik is heated so effectively by this method that it remains open and in use all year round. Reader's Digest Book of Facts (Dishout)