April is Adult Learn-To-Swim Month

Friday, April 7, 2017
Posted by: Lee Hutchens

April is Adult Learn-to-Swim Month

The very first ever Olympic swimming champion learned to swim because his father drowned. Alfred Hajos was a Jew from Hungary. He won the 100m Freestyle 

Alfred Hajos, first Olympic Swimming champion whose father drownedand the 1200m Freestyle at the 1896 Olympic Games in Athens. His races were held in the Mediterranean Sea where the water temperature was 55 degrees. He was able to swim the 100m Free is 1 minute and 22 seconds and the 1200m Free in 18 minutes and 22 seconds while swimming through 14 foot waves. The Athenian Journal Acropolis called him the “Hungarian Dolphin.” He was the youngest winner at the games at the age of 18 years old. 

Alfred was actually born Arnold Guttmann and was born in Budapest, Hungary. At the age of 13 he felt compelled to become a good swimmer after his father drowned in the Danube River.

We all have different reasons and motivation to learn to swim. But others never learned. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than a third of adults in the United States can’t swim the length of a pool, which puts them at risk of being one of the 10 people who drown every day in the United States.

In a few weeks time, pools, lakes and beaches will open and start filling up for spring and summer recreation. For a non-swimmer, these typical summer activities can be intimidating. And adults who can’t swim are sometimes apprehensive about signing up for a class. J member, Betty Espinosa, had a fear of the water and starting taking the J’s Learn to Swim class with Melanie Rosen just a few months ago.

“Melanie is a great instructor. She doesn't push me too far beyond my comfort zone, but doesn't let me off easy either,” said Betty. “Learning the fundamentals has allowed me to better understand and alleviate my fear of the water. Melanie has been real good about that, since she has no fear, she takes the time to want to understand my apprehension about certain things. I have learned a lot in this session. I am doing things I did not think I could do and I actually looked forward to going to the pool to practice.”

Now is the time to find a program and instructor for you to learn how to swim. And we have it right here at the J. If you would like to learn a little more about our Adult Learn To Swim class or would like to set up private lessons to learn how to swim, please contact our Aquatics Director Lee Hutchens at 713-595-8193 or at