YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City

YMCA Celebrates 100 Years of Short Course Swimming

Did you know…

2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the YMCA National Short Course Swimming Championship? The first event took place in Brooklyn, NY in 1923 with 80 athletes. Today, this event hosts over 1,200 athletes from across the country!

The very first championship was hosted May 19, 1923 at the Brooklyn Central Branch YMCA in New York, NY. Ten YMCAs from four states and one Canadian providence participated. There were seven individual events and one relay event in the one-day competition. The individual events included two events not offered in the current championship – the 150 Yard Backstroke and Fancy Diving!

Fun Facts

  • Event distances varied until the mid-1930s because pool sizes varied!
  • Through 1923-1970, only men competed in the championships. The first Y National Women’s Swimming Championship was held in 1967 and then in 1971, both men’s and women’s championships were combined into the same event.
  • Chaperones (females aged 21+) were required for each women’s team when the Women’s Championship began in 1967. The ratio was 1 chaperone for every 10 participants!
  • The meet has been held 34 times in Ft. Lauderdale, FL – the most out of any location!
  • Twelve athletes who have participated in the championships went on to represent Team USA in the Olympics!

Swimming is a lifelong sport, and the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City invites you to get dive in! We offer swim lessons beginning as early as six months for, swim clinics where more serious swimmers can improve their skills and a competitive swim league. 



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