Swimming at the 1912 Summer Olympics

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.

Events

Event Status Date Participants NOCs
100 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 6 – 10 July 1912 34 12
400 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 11 – 14 July 1912 26 13
1,500 metres Freestyle, Men Olympic 6 – 10 July 1912 19 11
4 x 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men Olympic 12 – 15 July 1912 20 5
100 metres Backstroke, Men Olympic 9 – 13 July 1912 18 7
200 metres Breaststroke, Men Olympic 7 – 10 July 1912 24 11
400 metres Breaststroke, Men Olympic 8 – 12 July 1912 17 10
100 metres Freestyle, Women Olympic 8 – 12 July 1912 27 8
4 x 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Women Olympic 15 July 1912 16 4
120 (93/27) 17 (17/8)

Medals

Event Gold Silver Bronze
100 metres Freestyle, Men Duke KahanamokuUSA Cecil HealyANZ Ken HuszaghUSA
400 metres Freestyle, Men George HodgsonCAN Jack HatfieldGBR Harold HardwickANZ
1,500 metres Freestyle, Men George HodgsonCAN Jack HatfieldGBR Harold HardwickANZ
4 × 200 metres Freestyle Relay, Men AustralasiaANZ United StatesUSA Great BritainGBR
100 metres Backstroke, Men Harry HebnerUSA Otto FahrGER Paul KellnerGER
200 metres Breaststroke, Men Walter BatheGER Willy LützowGER Paul MalischGER
400 metres Breaststroke, Men Walter BatheGER Thor HenningSWE Percy CourtmanGBR
100 metres Freestyle, Women Fanny DurackANZ Mina WylieANZ Jennie FletcherGBR
4 × 100 metres Freestyle Relay, Women Great BritainGBR GermanyGER AustriaAUT

Medal table

NOC Gold Silver Bronze Total
Germany GER 2 3 2 7
Australasia ANZ 2 2 2 6
United States USA 2 1 1 4
Canada CAN 2 0 0 2
Great Britain GBR 1 2 3 6
Sweden SWE 0 1 0 1
Austria AUT 0 0 1 1