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Backstroke is one of the oldest strokes. It has been in the Olympics since 1904. Back startIt is essentially backwards freestyle. It is the second stroke in the individual medley (IM) and first in the medley relay. Backstroke events range from 50 to 200 yards or meters. Backstroke is a long axis stroke. This means that the rotation occurs in the spine. Backstroke consists of alternating arm swings and an alternating kick. Some well-known backstrokers are Missy Franklin and Matt Grevers.