Swimming In Sweden: 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games

Swimming In Sweden: 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games

Courtesy of the Olympic Channel.

One of the first tasks undertaken by the Swimming Committee for
the Olympic Games, was the drafting of a plan for a swimming Stadium. It was clear that none of the open air swimming baths of Stockholm could be used for the purpose, the largest not measuring
more than 331/a metres in length, while the International Rules for
Swimming Competitions prescribe a minimum length of 100 metres
for races above 500 metres.
It was, then, necessary to choose some suitable place in one of the
many stretches of water in or around Stockholm. Many sites were
proposed and examined. Among them may be mentioned Saltsjöbaden, the inlet at Lindarängen, Lake Mälar above Marieberg, and
Lake Råsunda, all of which offered various advantages, but had to be
rejected in consequence of the question of communications — a most
important matter.
A sub-section of the Swimming Committee for the Olympic Games,
specially appointed for the purpose, finally fixed on the waters of
Djurgårdsbrunnsviken, (at the foot of the hill called Laboratoriebacken) which offered the greatest advantages, both as regards communications, and also as regards natural facilities for the building of stands
along the shores, the erection of the diving platforms, etc., and for the
arrangement of the swimming course. In addition, the waters in question offered that protection against currents which is required by the
rules. On the other hand, there was the objection that the site would
not permit the permanent retention of the intended Swimming Stadium, as the town authorities had already begun the laying out of new
streets and quays in the neighbourhood, and it was only the great
kindness of the Commissioners for D;
urgården Park that enabled the
Committee to make
use of the spot for
the Swimming and
Diving competitions.
By choosing this
place, it was found
possible to arrange
the swimming
course in the little
bay of Djurgårdsbrunnsviken that
runs into Laboratoriebacken Hill,
and is thus protected from any currents that may come
from Nybroviken.
The far end and
one side of the future Swimming Stadium were bounded by the land, and
the opposite end
by a steamboat pier,
while, towards the
channel, the course
was enclosed by a
Diving Platforms at the Swimming Stadium. line of pontoons.
The water, it is
true, was not quite so clear as that of the Baltic out at Saltsjöbaden,
but it was good enough, and had been the scene of former swimming
In November, 1910, Mr.

For Swimming, the regulations of the Fédération Internationale de
Natation Amateur were in force, viz.:
An amateur is one who has never:
a) competed for a money prize, declared wager, or staked bet, in swimming or
in any other athletic Sport;
b) taught, pursued, or assisted in the practice of swimming, or any other athletic
exercise, as a means of pecuniary gain:
c) knowingly and without protest taken part in any competition or exhibition
with anyone who was not an Amateur — (except whilst in the Military or Naval
Services, and then only in Military or Naval sports. A professional in any branch
of sport shall be considered a professional in swimming.

One of the missions of the World Open Water Swimming Association is to celebrate, honor and promote all those who venture beyond the shoreline in order to educate, enthuse and entertain others who may follow them in the open water.

George Hodgson completes an amazing achievement by winning gold in the men’s 400m and 1500m freestyle swimming events after only being a professional swimmer for 3 years, relive his victory in these highlights from the Stockholm 1912 Olympic Games.

5:24.4 in 400m freestyle
22:00.0 1500m freestyle

Canadian swimmer George Hodgson was an unusual Olympic champion. At only 18 years-old when he competed at the Stockholm 1912 Olympic Games, Hodgson had only been swimming competitively for three years. He was also the lone Canadian swimmer at the Games, which didn’t stop him from taking his country to the top of the podium twice.

Hodgson won two Olympic gold medals after he broke the world records twice for both the 400m and 1500m freestyle events at the Stockholm Olympics. After such an impressive sequence of results, George Hodgson retired from swimming competitions, ending his short but powerful sporting history.

George Hodgson might have competed for less than a full Olympiad, but he definitely made his mark in Olympic history.


Find more about the Stockholm 1912 Olympic Games: http://www.olympic.org/stockholm-1912…

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