VIDEO: York YMCA takes a Saturday look-back at swimming tradition with some 1940’s-era strokes

At the end of a three-and-a-half hour Saturday workout, the York YMCA coaches took an opportunity to teach the team about its own Olympic tradition and the major technical changes in the last 60-some years of swimming.

York YMCA has produced one Olympic medalist, Bob Sohl, who won bronze in the 200 breast at the 1948 London Games.

The York coaches taught the swimmers about the evolution of swimming strokes since those 1948 Games, even allowing the athletes a chance to swim the three competitive strokes of the day (butterfly had yet to be officially recognized as its own stroke until 1952). Some swimmers even got so into the re-creation that they took off caps and goggles to make things more authentic.

The video above shows a snippet of the swimmers taking off for their 1940s-style 150 IM. Check it out for a little ‘blast from the past’ and leave any drastic changes in the sport you remember in the comments section.

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David Berkoff

I grew up competing against York Y in the YMCA PA league. Really cool to see this team coming back to the national scene. Really cool to see their girls win the 800 free relay at jrs.


The sport and profession needs more coaches like Michael Brooks. Thank you for sharing.


12 years of swimming from age group thru college with 6 different coaches, I would say Michael Brooks is top of the heap. Congrats on your successes!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson just can’t stay away from the pool. A competitive career of almost two decades wasn’t enough for this Minnesotan, who continues to get his daily chlorine fix. A lifelong lover of writing, Jared now combines the two passions as Senior Reporter for, covering swimming at every level. He’s an …

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