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Swimming at the 1912 Stockholm Summer Games

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Host City: Stockholm, Sweden
Date Started: July 6, 1912
Date Finished: July 15, 1912
Events: 9

Participants: 120 (93 men and 27 women) from 17 countries
Youngest Participant: SWE Greta Carlsson (14 years, 1 days)
Oldest Participant: AUT Zeno von Singalewicz (36 years, 329 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): ANZ Harold Hardwick and GBR Jack Hatfield (3 medals)
Most Medals (Country): GER Germany (7 medals)


Swimming has been contested at every Olympic Games of the modern era and 1912 at Stockholm was no exception. But the big swimming news in Stockholm was the inclusion of events for women. While women had competed at the Olympics in 1900-1908 in archery, croquet, golf, tennis, and yachting, this was the first time that women were admitted to the Olympic Program in one of the “major” sports on the program. It would not be until 1928 that women would be allowed to compete in the Olympic Games in track & field athletics.

This decision was made by the IOC in Luxembourg in 1910 at their 11th Session. The IOC Membership voted unanimously to accept women in Olympic competition in gymnastics, swimming, and tennis. Originally, the Swedish Olympic Committee planned women’s competitions in the 100 metre freestyle and in plain high diving (see Diving). Eventually, it was decided to also allow women to compete in a freestyle relay race.

The swimming competitions were held at Djurgårdsbrunnsviken, an inlet not far from the Stockholm city center. A stadium set-up was built in the inlet and a swimming course of 100 metres was arranged, bounded on one side by land, on the opposite end by a steamboat pier, and enclosed on each side by pontoons.