Backstroke is one of the four swimming styles used in competitive events regulated by FINA, and the only one of these styles swum on the back.
This swimming style has the advantage of easy breathing, but the disadvantage of swimmers not being able to see where they are going. It is also the only competition swimming style that has a different start.
The swimming style is similar to an upside down front crawl or freestyle. Both backstroke and front crawl are long-axis strokes.
In individual medley backstroke is the second style swum; in the medley relay it is the first style swum.
Backstroke is an ancient style of swimming, popularized by Harry Hebner. It was the second stroke to be swum in competitions after the front crawl, known as the Australian Crawl or freestyle.
The first Olympic backstroke competition was at the 1900 Paris Olympics men's 200 metre.