Why do they call it "freestyle" for a freestyle swimming

Uploaded by Chris 73
My 9-yo son came back from swimming lesson at school, "Daddy I came 2nd in my group". I asked him what style did he swam. He told me they were freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and etc. Then he asked me back, "Daddy, why do they called it Freestyle?"

I told him that he had much to learn and that if he finished his milk, I would tell him...

Now, where is my wikipedia?

Actually, "freestyle" is not quite a name for it - more like a synonym. Freestyle term usually means that you are free to use any style in the competition. I think the more correct name would be "front crawl", or "Australian" style. There are 4 official swimming styles in most competition: backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle. Freestyle in this case means you can choose whatever style, i.e. sidestroke, backstroke, butterfly, as mentioned. However, front-crawl or Australian style are the natural choice since it provides the fastest speed.

I think my son finished his milk and I got something to impress him ;-)

[1] Freestyle swimming, wikipedia.org
[2] Front crawl swimming, wikipedia.org

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