There are many different styles for swimming. The most popular one is freestyle which is generally regarded as the fastest which is further proven by the high times clocked in its sporting events. Another one, which gained the most popularity among the British, was the breaststroke. This was because the British did not consider the splashing accompanying the freestyle as socially appropriate and preferred the gentle motion of the breaststroke. A third one, and usually considered the most difficult to master, is the butterfly. It requires more strength to execute as well compared to the other ones.
Swimming was initiated as an Olympic sport in the year 1896 at the summer Olympic Games in Athens. It began as a male only competition with Alfred Hajos of Hungary becoming the first athlete to win a gold medal in the event. Women were allowed to participate in the 1912 games in Stockholm for the first time. Soon after the variant methods of swimming started being incorporated as different events and even relay race equivalents were started with competitors representing their respective countries.