Oleg Zabluda's blog
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Freestyle swimming (плавание вольным стилем) in Russian is called Кроль (Rabbit).
Freestyle swimming (плавание вольным стилем) in Russian is called Кроль (Rabbit). What the hell it has to do with rabbits, I learned only after I came to US.

"Front Crawl" is known since ancient times. It is shown on an Egyptian clay seal dated between 9000-4000 BC, as well as on an Egyptian tomb from 2000 BC (cue Fomenko, see later). For all we know, our proud ancestor, mighty aquatic ape could have been swimming around like that.

Of course, it was unknown in Europe during swimming dark ages till 1844, when American Indians using crawl, easily defeated all British gentlemen using breaststroke. Sour grapes caused them to reject this barbaric style with all the splashing (I can only imagine what they would have thought of butterfly, invented in 1933 [1]), but in truth they simply didn't get it.

Sometime between 1870 and 1890, John Arthur Trudgen (1852–1902) learned the front crawl from native South Americans during a trip to Argentina. but he mistakenly used sidestroke (scissor) kick instead of the flutter kick used by the Native Americans. This hybrid stroke was called the Trudgen stroke, later changed to modern American crawl in 1902 by Richmond "Dick" Cavill (1884–1938), after relearning it from Australia/Oceania Natives.

Mark Spitz was swimming crawl and butterfly.

[1] The peak speed of the butterfly is faster than the front crawl,  but overall it is slightly slower.



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