Swimming as an activity dates back to Stone Age, as men dived through rivers and lakes to transport themselves. Relics from Egyptian caves and allusions from Greek mythology point to this, but nowhere is it established that it was a sport before the 19th Century. Swimming was part of the original modern Olympic Games which commenced in 1896. Competitions in swimming began locally with the introduction of Dr. J.K Randle titles for secondary school boys in the 1930s. Nigeria began to compete internationally in 1971. Asides modest success at the All Africa Games of the 1980s and the ‘90s, Nigerian swimmers are yet to make any mark at the Commonwealth and the Olympic games.
The assertion that African countries, south of the Sahara in the general and Nigeria in particular have not been performing well in swimming at international competitions has necessitated a study to determine the anthropometric profile and cardiorespiratory fitness of Nigerian swimmers and compare them with their counterparts across the world. Little or no research work have been done on postulations surrounding this, but a study on the comparative study of Anthropometric profile and cardiorespiratory fitness of the developed countries shows a significant difference in age, body mass, height, sitting height, arm length, leg length, plus statures and body density. Also, there was a significant difference between the maximum oxygen intake of Nigerian male swimmers and swimmers in the United States of America.