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Did you know...?

posted March 26, 2008 @ 12:11 AM  |  Fun Facts category

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin nearly became a swimming coach? He was an accomplished and enthusiastic swimmer, having first taught himself by paddling around as a young boy, and then perfected his strokes by reading an illustrated treatise called “The Art of swimming ... with advice for bathing.”

In his late teens, while working in London, Franklin showed off his swimming skills to friends: “I stript and leapt into the River, and swam from near Chelsea to Blackfryars, performing on the way many Feats of Activity both upon and under Water...” His “Feats” were widely discussed, and a few months later, Sir William Wyndham approached Franklin to ask him to teach his sons to swim. Franklin recalled in his Autobiography that, “From this Incident I thought it likely, that if I were to remain in England and open a Swimming School, I might get a good Deal of Money. And it struck me so strongly, that had the Overture been sooner made me, probably I should not so soon have returned to America.”

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