Swimming became an Olympic sport during the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Initially, only freestyle and breaststroke were Olympic events, but other strokes have since been added.
Women's swimming entered the Olympic Games in 1912, and the events in women's and men's competitions have remained very similar throughout modern Olympic history. As of 2014, the only difference in the competitions is the length of the longest freestyle event: women race 800 meters, while men race 1500 meters.
In 2008, a long-distance open-water swim was added to the Olympic schedule. In this race, athletes traverse 10 km in a nearby natural body of water.