Cecil Healy contributed to spread the crawl technique and to make it evolved too . To achieve this, Cecil Healy had extensively toured in Europe where he showed this new swimming way, therefore considered less elegant as a technique. He allowed many Europeans to see for the first time a swimmer using this technique. He swam in France, in the United Kingdom, in Belgium, in Germany, in the Netherlands, in Italy... During the 1906 season, for example he won the 100 m and 200 m at the "e; International Scratch Race "e; of Paris within a time, never observed in our country. He principally contributed to the improvement of the breathing technique. Indeed, one of the main difficulties of this swimming is the synchronization of breathing with the movement of the body. Still nowadays, what surprises more, when looking at a high-level swimmer who runs this swimming is the regularity and the accuracy of metronome with which the swimmer takes his head off from the water to take a breath. Cecil Healy took part in this evolution of swimming. He very often intervened in the media (written press), wrote a book entitled 'The Crawl Stroke' or taught swimming in order to broadcast the latest enhancements of this technique. Similarly, he never hesitated, during his travels in Europe,to transmit his know-how to swimmers of the old continent . His involvement let him earn to win many titles and records. He smashed the utmost names of his era, especially Frank Beaurepaire, the "e; World Famous Victorian "e;. In 1904, he realized the best performance of all time on a 100 yards within 58 seconds while world records were not registered yet, officially. In 1905, he realized a time of 58 seconds on 110 yards freestyle at the Australasian Championship which enabled him to win the title of champion of Oceania. Apart his performance at the Olympic Games, we can underline his numerous victories on the 110 yards freestyle at the Australia championships in 1905, 1906, 1908, 1909 and 1910. Lack of title in 1907 will be explained further. He won the 220 yards in 1908 on. He finally obtained the record of the world on the 100 m freestyle in 1909 and 1910. A year after his death, Cecil Healy still holds the European record in the 50 m in September 1919.
By Bertrand FARENEAU,
- Joinville : gallica