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Swimming World Records and Interesting Facts about Swimming

Swimming is a wonderful and varied sport. Whether it be in the pool or open water, swimming is great for the mind and body.  For those most dedicated to our sport, some have gained almost superhuman skills. Training hard enough to have the ability to push their bodies to the limit and do amazing things. We have taken a look at some of the most amazing records and facts set by swimmers all over the world, so read on and be inspired!  



  • Starting in warmer waters, in 2013 Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without the aid of a shark cage. Completing the swim at 64 years old, it was Diana’s 5th attempt at the swim having previously failed to complete the challenge following severe weather conditions and exhaustion.
  • We are all aware of the amazing health benefits of swimming, and Mieko Nagaoka is a living proof that swimming will keep you fit and healthy for many years to come. At 100 years old, Nagaoka swam and won a 1500-meter freestyle race in 2015 - setting the World Record for oldest swimmer.
  • Feeling particularly patriotic? You’ll be happy and proud to know that Ross Edgely was the first person to swim around the UK in 2018. He crossed the finish line off the coast of Margate, Kent, after swimming an amazing 1,780 miles in 155 days.
  • Let’s remain in the UK and find out some interesting facts about the English Channel. The Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes worldwide, with more than 200 ferries passing through every day. If you’ve ever wondered about swimming the English Channel make sure you save some pennies first! An attempt at swimming to France can cost in excess of £2,750, which includes a registered pilot and escort boat. Back in August 2018, swimmer Lewis Pugh completed his record-breaking feat of swimming the length of the Channel, from Land's End in Cornwall to Dover in Kent, to raise awareness about the state of our oceans.


  • On a cheekier note, the largest skinny dip was achieved by 2,505 women, during an event organised by Deirdre Featherstone in Wicklow, Ireland, on 9 June 2018. The event was organised to raise awareness on breast cancer and to raise funds for Aoibheann’s Pink Tie, a National Children’s Cancer Charity.


  • Looking back in history did you know Benjamin Franklin as well as leaving an important legacy thanks to his experiments with electricity, also invented swim fins! As a committed swimmer, he looked for a way to swim faster and ended up inventing the first set of hand held fins.
  • On May 3, 1810, Lord Byron, an expert swimmer and all-around 'derring-do' addict, swam across the Hellespont, a tumultuous strait in Turkey now called the Dardanelles. He got in the water on the European side and took off for the opposite shore accompanied by Lieutenant William Ekenhead of the Royal Navy. The pair slogged it out, and freezing and exhausted arrived at Abydos on the Asian side about four hours later, thus becoming the first people in recorded history to complete the swim. He commemorated the day in a poem.


What are your favourite facts about swimming? Do you hold any weird or peculiar records in the pool? Share it with us! We’re curious!