Swimming competitions were already a part of the modern Olympic Games held in Athens in 1896. Together with track and
field athletics, swimming still plays a major part in the Summer Olympics. La Federation Internationale de Natation (FINA) - established in 1908 - organised the first European Swimming Charnpionships: for men in 1926, which was held in Budapest, and for women in Bologna the following year. FINA started the first World Swimming Charnpionships, which included also diving and water polo, in 1973 in Belgrade. During the Iast century many medals were won by Slovaks in competitive swimming: Zoltán
Halmaj from Vysoká nad Moravou alone won 2 Gold, 4 Silver and I Bronze medal in the Olympic Games of 1900 and 1904. One of the successful swimmers between the two Wars was J. Steiner, who won Bronze at the 1931 European Swimming Championships, and major contributors to the success of Slovak swimming since WWII were the finalists at the Olympic Games: Ľ. Komadel (1952), O. Kozičová (1968) and M. Roľko (1976, 1980). In 1977 M. Roľko also became the European Swimming
Champion in 100 metre backstroke in Jonkoping.
This starnp is issued on the occasion of the World Swimming Charnpionships and is also to honour Martina Moravcová from Piešťany. This year in Barcelona, she will have the opportunity to enlarge her rich medal collection from top world competitions.