The history of butterfly swimming
The history of butterfly stroke started in the 1930s when it developed as a style of swimming breaststroke.
Swimmers and coaches began to realise that breaststroke was quicker when a swimmer recovered their arms forward above the water and the arm technique – as well as the swimming term ‘butterfly’ – was born.
While an overarm recovery was not unusual as a finishing stroke in breaststroke, American Henry Myers is said to be the first person to have used butterfly arms for a full length of breaststroke, unveiling it to the confusion of officials and competitors in a 150 yard medley race in 1933.
Shortly after, American swimming coach David Armbruster is credited with developing the recognisable butterfly dolphin kick to accompany the overarm recovery with one of his swimmers, Jack Sieg, using it to devestating effect in 1935.
While the dolphin kick was against world governing body FINA’s breaststroke rules, the butterfly arm technique continued to be used in breaststroke races until butterfly was established as an individual stroke by FINA in 1952.
The history of butterfly: The Olympic Games
Butterfly was contested at the Olympic Games for the first time in 1956, with a men’s 200m Butterfly event and women’s 100m Butterfly event in Melbourne.
The men’s 200m Butterfly and women’s 100m Butterfly have been held at every Olympics since then while the men’s 100m Butterfly and women’s 200m Butterfly were added to the Olympic schedule at the Mexico City Games in 1968.
While only the 100m and 200m Butterfly are contested at the Olympic Games, a 50m Butterfly event is held at World and continental levels.
Please watch The Greatest Come in the 100 M Butterfly
How many Dolphins kick did Phelps do off his dive?
What place was Phelps at the turn?