Splash!: 10,000 Years of Swimming [Book]


A lively, sweeping history of one of the world’s most popular activities–swimming–from man’s first dip in what is now the driest spot on earth to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo Swimming is a long thread that connects the Olympic heroes of today with the real and mythic ones of the past across more than ten millennia–a recorded history that begins in a cave in the Egyptian desert and sweeps across athletes and poets, statesmen and emperors, humans and gods; across the whole human experience, the entire human story.Splash! weaves a 10,000-year-old tale that begins in a bone-dry cave in the remote southwest corner of Egypt, winds its way through ancient Greece and Rome, flows mostly underground through the Dark and Middle Ages, and then reemerges in the wake of the Renaissance before ending on the runway of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo–where, critically, swimming will once again be among the most high-profile of all events.But swimming is also about more than itself, more than simply moving through the water, more than speed or great feats of aquatic endurance or the terror of the bottomless deep. It’s part of the churning continuum of time–part of history, part of life. Stretch “swimming” out to its largest dimension, and its history offers a multi-tiered tour through religion, fashion low and high, architecture, sanitation and public health, colonialism, segregation and integration, sexism, sexiness, guts, glory, and much, much more.Unique and compelling, Splash! sweeps across the whole of humankind’s swimming history, and has fun along the way.

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