Swimming is noted in many classics as being related to heroism and religion. Nicolas Wynman’s Dialogue on the Art of Swimming (1538) is the first recorded written document on swimming methods. Swimming first appeared at the Olympics in 1896, alongside the development of swimming. Swimming the English Channel is the most publicized non-Olympic event. This proves excellence in strength and endurance. Matthew Webb of England was the first man to cross the English Channel in 1875, and later Gertrude Ederle of the United States of America became the first woman to cross in 1926.
Snorkeling to see exotic fish and aquamarine life is a popular vacation adventure. In ancient times, snorkels were made from hollow reeds found in lakes and marshes. Pliny the Elder, a Roman from the first century AD refers to snorkeling, so the activity ranks as one of the oldest recorded water sports. Loenardo da Vinci created a more modern tuba when the Venetian Senate summoned him. Divers attached this hollow tube to leather helmets
The current diver’s snorkel is usually a J-shaped tube that is open at the top and has a mouthpiece on the other end, usually no more than 2 feet (61 cm) long.
The western coasts of America crash into the waves on a wooden board known as a surfboard. Originally, surfing developed in Hawaii in the 19th century. It became popular in California in the 1920s and became a popular sport for young people in the 1960s.
Surfers originally used long and bulky wooden boards, but now use lightweight synthetic boards that allow for greater maneuverability. Hawaii hosts international surfing championships every year.
Water polo originated in England in 1870 and the American joined the bandwagon in the early 1900s. Many club and college teams exist for this rigorous sport. The Americans put a spin on the game by using a softer rubber ball in a larger pool, a game known as softball water polo. Violence and brutal play put an end to this faction of the sport, and today only the hardball version continues to be played around the world. Men started Olympic-level water polo in 1900 and women first played at the Olympics in 2000.
Diving, another favorite Olympic sport, started the competition in 1871 off London Bridge. Diving is now a popular sport in high school and college, and is an amazing display of strength, control and agility.