The Ultimate Swimming Survey

Photo Courtesy: Brian Jenkins, UVM Athletics

By Chandler Brandes, Swimming World College Intern.

I asked 453 of my closest swimming friends, teammates, coaches and fans (thanks for the help, social media) to take this survey. But this was no ordinary survey. It was difficult. The questions made you think. It was harder than any exam you’ve ever taken before and definitely harder than what holiday training will be.

Okay, maybe not that hard, but the questions did make you scratch your head and think.

Here are the responses to the 10 hardest questions in swimming history:

1. Should you cool down after your last race on the final day of the meet?


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We start off with a question of swimming ethics and morals. Should I cool down after my last race? I know my coach expects me to. I don’t want to feel awful at practice tomorrow. But I really just wanna go home…

To cool down, or not to cool down—that is the question. And the answer to that question, according to 54.3 percent of 453 people surveyed, is to not. Sorry, coaches, but can you really blame us?

2. Is it spelled “breaststroke” or “breastroke”?

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There is a correct answer to this and 29.6 percent of you are wrong. The correct spelling is breaststroke, not breastroke. It’s okay; even swimmers need the occasional spell check.

3. Which is the hardest event?

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As if it wasn’t official before, it is now: the 400 IM is by far the hardest event. The 200 fly clocks in at the second hardest and only 23 percent think the 1650 is the most grueling event. Sorry, distance swimmers…maybe you should try sprinting.

4. Which song is more annoying to have stuck in your head during practice?

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This may have even been the hardest question on here, seeing how Taylor Swift and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” are equally annoying to have stuck in your head on repeat during practice. Only fitting that this was a close one.

5. Choose two: School, Swimming, Social Life

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Although it is possible, it’s not always easy having the perfect balance between school, swimming and a social life. However, the vast majority chose swimming and school, so it’s a good thing our priorities are straight.

6. How many laps is a 100?

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This question was the cause for much debate. In my unprofessional and unscientific opinion, a LAP is down and back. A LENGTH is one way. With this in mind, a 100 is two LAPS and four LENGTHS. Agree to disagree.

7. In backstroke, do you technically move forward or backward?

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Simply put, this was a head-scratcher. I myself didn’t know how to answer this one. Technically, I suppose you move forward. But then why is it called backstroke…

8. What is a question you’re tired of hearing?

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“Are you going to the Olympics?” was the clear winner here, and rightfully so. Is it just me, or does everyone who isn’t a swimmer themselves thinks if you are one, going to the Olympics is a given? If only it was that easy, and kudos to those who can answer that question “yes.”

9. Which is worse?

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As someone who has had their goggles and cap fall off numerous times during a race, this one was tricky. Ultimately, it has been decided that having your goggles slide off mid-race is far worse than your cap falling off.

10. Is it okay to pee in the pool?

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There are two types of swimmers: those who pee in the pool and liars. And 19 percent here are liars.

There you have it, folks. The swimmers have spoken.

All commentaries are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Swimming World Magazine nor its staff. 

1 comment

  1. avatar

    Evidently, you don’t swim LCM: 1 lap!