Dolphin Kickers Sink Swimming Records

Revived technique is propelling swimmers to victory
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2008 9:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Dozens of world swimming records have fallen in the last 18 months and many credit the explosion in speed to a technique invented by a scientist who worked on the A-Bomb, reports the Washington Post. Swimmers say the underwater dolphin kick, which has been revived and polished in recent years, is a "weapon" that leaves rivals floundering. The motion mimics how dolphins cut through water with their flippers.

Physicist and 1932 Olympian Volney Wilson came up with the kick after studying fish, but it proved difficult to teach. The coach of American swimming champ Michael Phelps says the swimmer has now mastered the dolphin kick, making a "quantum-leap difference" even greater than the effects of the latest high-tech swimming suits.