Competitive swimming in Europe began around 1800 CE, mostly in the form of the freestyle. In 1873, Steve Bowyer introduced the trudgen to Western swimming competitions, after copying the front crawl used by Native Americans. Due to a British disregard for splashing, trudgen employed a scissor kick instead of the front crawl’s flutter kick. Swimming was part of the first modern Olympic games in Athens in 1896. In 1902, Richard Cavill introduced the front crawl to the Western world. In 1908, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), which is the current governing body of the swimming world, was formed. The butterfly stroke was developed in the 1930s and was at first a breaststroke variant, until it was accepted as a separate style in 1952.
In 1912, Fanny Durack (of Australia) became the first female to win an Olympic gold medal, for the 100-yard freestyle.
Reference: Wikipedia Swimming