At the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896, swimming competitions took place in the Yachting Marina at Zea (Piraeus). The swimmers boarded a boat that took them out into the cold waters of the Saronic Gulf, where they dove into the sea and raced toward the finish line at the Marina Zeas’ shore.
Now, there are five swimming disciplines as well as relays held in state-of-the-art pools and raced by swimmers who wear aerodynamic suits. Swimmers race the individual medley, freestyle, backstroke, butterfly and breaststroke, as well as freestyle and medley relays over a number of distances. The 2008 Olympic Games marked a new event: the marathon 10 km open water.