By far the hardest of all swimming strokes to learn is the butterfly stroke.
I do not know this from being able to do it. I’m atrocious at it.
I do know and have watched somebody who can, very well. It’s on par with watching a gymnast on top of their craft: a mixture of extreme dedication, counterintuitive coordination and raw, gifted talent.
Combine spiralling plane propeller arms with a dolphin’s kick, executed with improbable elegance and you’re witnessing the queen of all swim strokes right there.
The stroke, alas, is under threat.
Swim England is indefinitely banning the stroke from British pools, because “wide strokes” such as this could increase the risk of coronavirus transmission.