We all know about Dawn Fraser’s famous triple and Mark Spitz’s sensational seven in the Olympic pool, and most will know something about Johnny Weissmuller, he of Tarzan fame. How many remember Greg Louganis? And Manuel Estriarte – the greatest water polo goal scorer ever?
It gets trickier after that: how old was Fu Mingxia when she won her first world diving title? At which Olympic Games did the butterfly stroke make its debut? Who’s the youngest swimmer ever to win an Olympic medal? When did synchronised swimming become an official sport? And can you name the only swimmer ever to have lost an Olympic gold medal by 0.002sec (that’s two thousandths of a second), a result that forced a change in the rulebook?
The answers to those and many more questions from the pool can all be found in a book edited and largely penned by SJA member Craig Lord: Aquatics 1908-2008, 100 Years of Excellence in Sport, the official centenary book and (all 21st century) CD of FINA, the international swimming federation that was founded in London when the British capital hosted the Olympic Games for the first time.
A former Scottish international swimmer, Lord is world-renowned as one of the foremost experts on his sport. He has been swimming correspondent for The Times for the last 20 years (a long wait to see a Briton win an Olympic swimming gold medal), as well as writing for the Sunday Times and a range of international swimming publications, and serves on AIPS Swimming Commission.
Aquatics charts the evolution of what are now five Olympic sports: swimming, diving, water polo, synchronised swimming and open water swimming.
The work includes reviews of every Olympic Games and World Championships from 1908 to the world short-course championships held in Manchester this year, together with profiles of more than 100 of the best aquatic athletes in history. Accompanying the book is a CD containing a review of every Olympic swimming, diving, water polo and synchronised swimming final ever held, alongside the full result of each final.
Thanks to Lord, the SJA is able to offer one copy of the book and CD set to the first fully paid-up SJA member who answers this simple question:
Name the British swimmer who won two Olympic gold medals in Beijing this year.
Answers need to be sent by email to the website editor, with the word “Aquatics” in the subject field. Remember to include your name, SJA membership number and postal address.
Join the SJA today – click here for details and membership application form