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Olympic Swimming



Olympic Swimming
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.06

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    medals-something, swim-the, backstroke, various, meters, equal, equipment, record, endurance, longest, individual, marked, amount, modern, turn, meter
     content words:    Seine River, Lenny Krayzelburg, Michael Phelps


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Olympic Swimming
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Turn on your TV to watch the swimming events of the Olympics and you will see swimmers competing in a 50-meter pool. Lanes are marked off in the pool. Sophisticated equipment measures each swimmer's time to a fraction of a second. There are events for freestyle swimming, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly. There are events for men and women, individuals and teams.
 
2     Olympic swimming hasn't always been like this. When the modern Olympics began, in 1896 in Athens, Greece, swimmers raced under much different conditions. For this first Olympic competition, swimmers didn't race in a pool at all. They swam in the sea! The swimmers were taken by boat to the starting line. There they jumped in and swam for the shore.
 
3     In 1900, the Olympic swimming competition took place in Paris. Swimmers competed in the Seine River! The 1900 competition featured several events that occurred only that one year. There was a swimming obstacle course and an underwater endurance swim. There was also a 4000-meter swim - the longest Olympic swimming event ever!
 
4     In the next few Olympics, events were added for the backstroke and breaststroke. Various locations were tried. One time the swimmers competed in a pool that was built in the center of the running track! By 1912, women were also competing in swimming events. The butterfly event was added in 1956.
 
5     In 2004, the Olympics were held again in Athens, Greece. There, swimmers competed in 32 events designed for both men and women. There were 26 individual events and 6 team relays.

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