Monday, July 2, 2018

The 2018 International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame Class Has Been Selected

International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame
The International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) is proud to announce the 2018 Class of Inductees. The group of nine (9) outstanding individuals will be inducted at the IMSHOF’s annual ceremony to be held on Friday evening, September 28th, 2018, at 6:00 p.m..  The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront in conjunction with the 2018 United States Aquatic Sports XXXVIX Convention.
The prestigious IMSHOF class of 2018 includes four swimmers, two divers, one synchronized swimmer, one water polo player and one contributor, from five (5) different countries: the USA, Austria, Germany, Brazil and Japan.
In addition to honoring the IMSHOF Honorees, ISHOF will be recognizing Swimming World Magazine’s Top Ten Masters Swimmers from 2017.
Swimming World Top Ten Masters Swimmers for 2017 are: Men – Rick Colella (USA)Sergey Geybel (RUS)Nicolas Granger (FRA)Karl Hauter (GER)Willard Lamb (USA), and Darian Townsend (USA); Women – Noriko Inada (USA)Maurine Kornfeld (USA)Betty Lorenzi (USA)Karlyn Pipes (USA)Diann Uustal (USA), and Laura Val (USA).

The event is open to the public and free of charge. Book Your Hotel 


Currently at 97 years old, Maurine has been competing for 31 years and has been in the Top Ten 27 times. She has set seven long course and 20 short course FINA Masters World records in the I.M., freestyle and backstroke. She has competed in four FINA World Championships, winning 14 gold and four silver medals. She has set 27 FINA MASTERS WORLD RECORDS and since 1986, she has competed in eight age groups (65-69 through 95-99).
Since 2004, Hitomi has been in the Top Ten each of the 14 years she has competed. She has set 35 long course and 45 short course FINA Masters World Records in the I.M., freestyle, butterfly and breaststroke. She has competed in the 2014 & 2017 FINA Masters World Championships winning six gold and one silver. Matsuda has competed in four age groups (25-29 through 40-44) and has already set 80 FINA MASTERS WORLD RECORDS and she has only just begun.
Marcus Laborne Mattioli moved right into Masters swimming after ending his Olympic career in 1988, immediately receiving rankings in the Top Ten Masters category. However, he did leave the sport for 16 years, but returning to the Top 10 in 2004. Since then he has been on the list every year, for a total 15 times. He has set 14 long course and six short course FINA Masters World Records in the freestyle, butterfly and I.M. He has competed in six FINA World Championships since 1988 winning 24 gold and three silver, and has set 20 FINA MASTERS WORLD RECORDS in the four age groups (25-29 through 55-59) he has competed in.
Since 1973, Jurgen Schmidt has competed in nine age groups (50-54 through 90-94) and has set two FINA MASTERS WORLD RECORDS. Jurgen was a six-time All-Star in three different age-groups and has been ranked in the Top Ten for 43 years. e has competed in the 1988 and 2006 FINA Masters World Championships winning one gold, four silver and two bronze medals. In 1999 & 2008, he was named SPMA Swimmer of the Year. In 2004, he was named Santa Barbara Master Athlete of the Year and in 2015, he was inducted into the Huntsman World Senior Games Hall of Fame, (St. George, Utah).


Mary Bennett has 85 National titles, six FINA National Championships, three World Masters Games titles and five FINA WORLD RECORDS. She has competed in four age groups between 1990 and 2014 (50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69). She competed in the 1m, 3m, 10m and also in the synchro events winning a total of 106 gold, 23 silver and three bronze medals. She competed at five FINA Masters World Championships where she won 13 gold medals, five silver medals and one bronze medal. Just months before her death from cancer she won the synchro platform event in Montreal in 2014. She was on oxygen and had to be carried up the ladder to do her dives, but insisted on finishing the event. She passed away on October 11, 2014. She won the McAlister and Krahn Performance Award(Sable) in 2012.
At age 76, Irmtraud Bohn of Austria has competed in six age groups (45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74) and travelled the world from Casablanca to Rio, competing at 12 different FINA Masters World Championships between 1990 and 2014. At the FINA Masters World Championships she has won a total of 24 gold medals (1m-7, 3m- 9, 10m-8) and 12 silver medals (1m- 4, 3m- 3, 10m- 5). At the 1989 World Masters Games she won gold on platform, silver on 1m and 3m springboard. She has set eight FINA world records in her career.


Beth Carey has attended eight FINA Masters World Championships from 1992 through 2010, winning 20 medals (eight gold, seven silver, and five bronze). She attended the 2013 Pan American Masters Championship, where she won one gold in the duet, and one silver in the team event. Carey competed in US Masters National Championships beginning in 1984 and is still participating today. To date, she has won 77 medals (medals in her age group every year, missing only one US Masters Championships in the last 30 years, due to illness). She has a 40+ year career in Masters synchronized swimming, beginning in her 40s until now in her 80s. She has been a member of the Ramapo Aqua Masters (New York-New Jersey) since the team’s inception.


Wolf Rüdiger was chosen as a member of the Olympic-Dream team, for his home country of Germany, which made him one of the Top 14 water polo players of the Olympic tournament in the 1968 OLYMPIC GAMES. He retired from Olympic competition afterward but has continued to stay involved with the sport. In 2000, at the age of 60, he won his first Masters World Championships alongside other former national players. To this day he has been playing for SV Cannstatt and has participated in numerous German, European and World Championships in the Masters category. He has attended numerous FINA World Masters Championships, winning four gold medals (2000, 2010, 2012, 2014), European Masters Championships, winning three gold (2007, 2009, 2011), and German Championships, winning seven gold (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012).


When Walt Reid began attending USMS conventions in 1984, he volunteered to help tabulate USMS national records. Three years later he became the chair of the Records and Tabulation committee. His initiation of officially recording the Short Course Meters Top Ten Times and Short Course Meters National Records led to his creation of a computer program for LMSCs to compile Top Ten Times that interfaced with his National Top Ten database. Keeping the national records quickly evolved into Walt’s expanded interest in international performances. The formation of Masters Swimming International (MSI) in 1983 led to keeping data for swims around the world. In 1987, Walt began compiling and publishing the MSI World Masters Top 10. Walt’s commitment to chronicling the performances of Masters Swimmers globally was instrumental in making Masters a truly international endeavor and provided an invaluable resource for federations, national organizations and individual athletes.
Reid became the first (and only to date) “FINA Masters Recorder”, in 1992, under the direction of FINA, where he became responsible for the development of procedures and forms for processing Masters World Record Applications and World Top 10 Tabulations; First and only FINA Masters Recorder from 1992 to present. This enables Walt to provide to ISHOF/IMSHOF a list of candidates for the category “Honor Swimmer” each year for consideration for selection, based on a FINA approved Masters point system and database for calculating points based on swimming World Records and Top 10. Reid has been Chairman of IMSHOF’s Selection Committee and USMS Liaison to ISHOF from 2010- present.
The purpose of the IMSHOF is to promote a healthy lifestyle, lifelong fitness and participation in adult aquatic programs by recognizing the achievements of individuals who serve as an example for others. To be considered, honorees must have participated in Masters programs through at least four different masters age groups and are qualified by an objective point system based on world records, world top 10 rankings and World Championship performances. The IMSHOF is a division of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, please visit:
The International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc. (ISHOF), established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Recognized by FINA, the International Olympic Committee’s recognized governing body for the aquatic sports in 1968, its mission is to preserve the history of swimming, celebrate the heroes, promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all children and adults, and connect older generations of swimmers to youth.
For more information, call Meg-Keller-Marvin at 570 584-4367 or e-mail:

Friday, February 16, 2018

International Swimming Hall of Fame Announces Induction Class of 2018 and Annual Awards

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Induction Ceremony is shaping up to be a star-studded weekend with multiple events spread out over three days in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Make your plans now to attend the weekend of May 18-20, 2018!  ISHOF Members can purchase the Weekend Package and Save!
This year’s International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees include Swimmers: Rebecca Adlington (GBR), Amanda Beard (USA), and Libby Trickett (AUS); Water Polo Player: Brenda Villa(USA); Contributor: Andy Burke (USA); Diver: Irina Lashko  (USSR, RUS, AUS) ; Coach: Bill Sweetenham (AUS)Synchronized Swimmer: Miho Takeda (JPN);  Open Water Swimmer: Petar Stoychev (BUL)and Pioneer Synchronized Swimming Contributor: Joy Cushman (USA). Ian Crocker (USA) Honor Swimmer and Laura Wilkinson (USA) Honor Diver were part of the Class of 2017, but were unable to attend the induction due to Hurricane Harvey will be honored.  We will be officially celebrating their induction as part of the class of 2018.

Reserve Your Hotel Rooms and Purchase Your Tickets Today!

The Weekend Lineup

Friday, May 18th – Paragon & ISHOF Awards Night

  • 2018 Paragon Award Recipients:

    • Frank Busch for Competitive Swimming
    • Dr. Ben Rubin for Diving
    • Bob Corb for Water Polo
    • Jennifer Gray for Synchronized Swimming
    • David Bell for Recreational Swimming
    • Jill White for Water Safety
  • 2018 ISHOF Award Recipients:

    • Anthony Ervin – Buck Dawson Author Award: “Chasing Water: Elegy of an Olympian
    • Gay DeMario – ISHOF Service Award
    • Lana Whitehead – Judge G. Harold Martin Award
    • Johnny Johnson – Virginia Hunt Newman Award
    • Kathy Bateman – John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award
    • Bob Ingram – Al Schoenfield Media Award

Saturday, May 19th – Induction Day Schedule

  • Multiple Events Throughout The Day

    • Luncheon from 11:30-12:30 PM ISHOF Banquet Hall
    • ISHOF Clinic for Kids produced by Fitter and Faster with Olympian Cammile Adams 11-2 PM At Hall of Fame Pool
    • Autograph Session at the Hall of Fame Pool
    • Possible NISCA High School Coaches Clinic – (To Be Announced)
    • Possible CSCAA High School Recruiting Seminar – (To Be Announced)
  • Official 54th Annual International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

VIP Reception 6:00 PM, Induction Ceremony 7:00 –10:00 PM at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa

Honor Swimmers

Rebecca Adlington (GBR)
Amanda Beard (USA)
Libby Trickett (AUS)

Honor Water Polo Player

Brenda Villa (USA)

Honor Diver

Irina Lashko (USSR, RUS, AUS)

Honor Synchronized Swimmer

Miho Takeda (JPN)
Joy Cushman – Pioneer Contributor (USA) 

Honor Open Water Swimmer

Petar Stoychev (BUL)

Honor Coach

Bill Sweetenham (AUS)

Honor Contributor

Andy Burke (USA)

Special Recognition Inductees

Ian Crocker (USA) Honor Swimmer and Laura Wilkinson (USA) Honor Diver were part of the Class of 2017, but were unable to attend the induction due to Hurricane Harvey.  We will be officially celebrating their induction as part of the class of 2018.

Sunday, May 20th – Celebration Day



  • Host Hotel: Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa

    Four and a half star upscale retreat with private beach access, two pools, four restaurants, full service spa and Oceanside bar. Location
    of the Saturday evening induction ceremony. ¼ mile south of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach

    • 440 Seabreeze Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 (954) 524-8733;
    • Special ISHOF Guest Rate of $159 per night
    • Please call 954 524-8733 and mention Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree Ceremony for the special Rate of $159.
For more hotel or ticket Information contact Meg Keller-Marvin / 570-594-4367

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Rutemiller to Lead International Swimming Hall of Fame, Merge Swimming World Operations

In a dramatic move to assist the world of aquatics in keeping our history alive, the International Swimming World Magazine. The combination will provide the International Swimming Hall of Fame with a much needed outreach arm, that Swimming World can provide, to the athletes, coaches and volunteers around the world in aquatics.  Brent Rutemiller will become the Chief Executive Officer overseeing the merger, effective immediately.
Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is merging it’s operations with
Bill Kent, chairman of the ISHOF Board of Directors, made the announcement today in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
“ISHOF is entering into a new era with the retirement of Bruce Wigo and the merger with Swimming World.  With Brent Rutemiller as the new leader and with his generous gift of the Swimming World business to ISHOF, the combined organization will have a platform for sending the good message about the benefits of aquatic activities to the world at a new level,” said Kent.
Rutemiller, CEO of Sports Publications International and owner of Swimming World Magazine, will remain in Phoenix, Arizona.
“The driving force behind the merger is to combine the areas that ISHOF and Swimming World have in common. The merger is a synergy of strengths. Sports Publications International will remain a separate entity but will spin off its Swimming World Magazine division to become the marketing arm of ISHOF. The merger is a classic example of the whole being greater than its parts,” said Rutemiller.
Bruce Wigowho served as CEO for the last 12 years, will remain a part of the organization as its Historian, replacing Bob Duenkel, who retired after serving ISHOF for over 40 years.
“ISHOF has been a big part of my life.  My work is not over as there are many stories still to be told about the history of aquatics.  I look forward to supporting Brent and being part of the new ISHOF team as its Historian.” – Bruce Wigo

ISHOF and Swimmng World Areas of Synergy

  1. Swimming World Magazine (SWM) reports the news, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) archives the news.
  2. Swimming World owns the copyrights to one of the largest reserves of aquatic images and content in the world. ISHOF is the repository for historical items.
  3. SWM reports and ISHOF honors swimming, water polo, synchro, diving, open water, masters and Paralympic athletes on a worldwide level.
  4. ISHOF honors athletes, coaches, etc. with multimedia elements.  SWM produces multimedia news segments and documentaries about athletes, coaches, etc.
  5. SWM covers major events around the United States and the globe. ISHOF honors athletes and coaches during major events around the globe.
  6. SWM exhibits at major clinics and conventions. ISHOF exhibits at major clinics and conventions.
  7. ISHOF has a wealth of historical information for marketing. SWM can be the marketing arm for ISHOF.
  8. ISHOF has members and SWM has subscribers. Subscribers will become members of ISHOF with additional benefits.
  9. SWM has an advertising sales force and over 1200 advertising relationships in the industry.  ISHOF reaches out to the same industry clients. These relationships will move from advertisers to sponsors, bringing more value to everyone.
  10. ISHOF and SWM have relationships with almost every aquatic national governing body in the world. The merger will combine those relationships under one roof.

ISHOF and Swimming World Common Goals

  1. Invest heavily in the next generation of internet connectivity, expanded content, and interactive museum exhibits
  2. Merge worldwide relationships and contacts
  3. Find new media partners
  4. Consolidate marketing efforts
  5. 24/7 marketing and exposure (
  6. ISHOF representation at national and international events
  7. Focus on social media connectivity toward younger generations
  8. Provide ISHOF with a growth plan while new ISHOF leases are being negotiated or new museum   facilities are being built
  9. Increase sponsorship values by combining benefits, circulation and membership numbers, and advertising opportunities
  10. Increase event opportunities such as the crowning of High School Swimmers of the Year, High School National Champions, Swimmers of the Year, and Master Swimmers of the Year
“I welcome Brent to the ISHOF family.  It is a perfect fit.  We look forward to his vision, dedication and leadership knowing that Swimming World will ensure the future success of one of aquatics most valuable treasures – The International Swimming Hall of Fame.” – Donna Deverona, Past President of ISHOF, Olympic gold medalist, former world record-holder, and television sportscaster
“The history and future of swimming is enshrined at ISHOF, and Brent’s proven leadership will ensure its continued impact for all who love water sports globally ….and with Bruce Wigo’s enduring legacy assured.” – Dennis Carey, English Channel ‘80, ISHOF Board member
“I have been at every level of this community for over forty-five years and I have never been more excited about the impact that this will have on aquatics world-wide.  We will merge these institutions in a way that will benefit everyone in the swimming community.  I see many positive outcomes from this merger,” concluded Rutemiller.

Thursday, July 6, 2017


FORT LAUDERDALE – The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF), recognized by FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports as its official Hall of Fame, is proud to announce that Laurie Lawrence, a legendary swimming coach, entrepreneur, internationally renowned water safety advocate, will receive the organization’s Gold Medallion Award at ceremonies to be held in Fort Lauderdale, August 25-27, 2017.
“The purpose of the Gold Medallion Award is to provide positive role models for today’s youth,” said Bruce Wigo, ISHOF President/CEO.  “While Laurie Lawrence is a legend in the world of competitive swimming as a coach, he is less well known for his many entrepreneurial talents and the work he has done in collaboration with the government of Australia in the field of water safety and drowning prevention.  
His swimmers set over seventeen world records, and he coached Aussie teams to three Commonwealth Games and three Olympic Games. For these efforts, Laurie was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an honor coach in 1996.
Beyond his career in coaching he is many other things too - he is an extroverted entrepreneur, a patriot, poet, singer, humorist, best-selling author, dedicated family man and the most sought after motivational speaker in Australia.
But by all accounts his greatest accomplishment has been in the promotion of swimming and preventing the tragedy of drowning through his internationally acclaimed Water Safety Programs.
As in America, Australia’s political parties are often at odds with one another, and it is rare indeed when the parties unite behind a single cause.  But with the help of Australian Prime Minister John Howard, Laurie was able to get the government to support his “Kids Alive” and “Living with Water” drowning prevention programs.  Programs that provide the parents of every newborn child in his country with an educational packet of information about the importance of being water safe and learning to swim.
The program developed a Kids Alive website, bolstered by community service advertising and the Kids Alive Water Safety Show, the biggest touring free show in Australia. Not only has the show visit metropolitan areas, but country towns and even remote communities — to the entertainment and education of hundreds of thousands of Australian children.  
In addition to operating a chain of successful swim schools, Laurie also partnered with dataSolutions, to pioneer the design and build out of the world’s first cloud-based LMS (Learning Management System) that delivers unparalleled online training for swim instructors through his “World-Wide Swim School.”
Laurie attributes his early exposure to swimming and sports for providing him with the lessons and tools that have rewarded him with success as a coach, a multi-faceted entrepreneur and happiness in life. “Things of value,” he says, “don’t come by luck, they’re won by pain, persistence and sacrifices and success is the celebration of your preparation.”
ISHOF’s Gold Medallion has been conferred annually since 1983 upon an individual who has been a competitive swimmer, diver, water polo player or synchronized swimmer - who has achieved national or international recognition for accomplishments in the fields of science, government, entertainment, business or education, and whose life serves as a positive role model for youth. Past recipients of the award include: US President Ronald Reagan, US Senator Barry Goldwater, US Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young, H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco, Businessman and Secretary of the Treasury William E. Simon and Olympic and Baseball boss, Peter Ueberroth.  Lawrence will become the fifth recipient to also be in the Hall of Fame, joining, scientist Dr. James E. “Doc” Counsilman, journalist and gender equity pioneer Donna deVarona, entertainer Esther Williams, and businessman and water safety advocate Adolph Kiefer.
Others to be honored with the Class of 2017 include open water swimmer Maarten Van Der Weijden, swimmers Wu Chuanyu (CHN), Takeshi “Halo” Hirose (USA), Georges Vallerey, Jr. (FRA), Alain Bernard (FRA), Leisel Jones (AUS), Laure Manaudou (FRA) and Ian Crocker (USA), divers Zhang Xiuwei (CHN) and Laura Wilkinson (USA), long distance swimmer Walter Poenisch (USA), water polo players Osvaldo Codaro (ARG), András Bodnár (HUN) and Bridgette Gusterson (AUS), synchronized swimmer Anastasia Davydova (RUS), coach Dick Jochums (USA) and photojournalist Heinz Kluetmeier (USA).

For tickets or additional information, please call Meg Keller-Marvin at (570) 594-4367 or ISHOF at (954) 462-6536, or visit

About the ISHOF
The International Swimming Hall of Fame & Museum, was established in 1965 as a not-for-profit educational organization in the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was recognized by FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, in 1968. The Mission of ISHOF is to PRESERVE and CELEBRATE aquatic history, to EDUCATE the general public about the importance of swimming as the key to water safety, drowning prevention, better health and a better quality of life, and to INSPIRE everyone to swim. ISHOF’s collection of swimming memorabilia, art, photos and films, along with archival documents and rare books in the Henning Library, make ISHOF the premier repository and academic research resource for swimming and aquatic history in the world.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Job Opening: CEO, International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)

The International Swimming Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit educational museum located Fort Lauderdale, Florida since 1965. It is the official Hall of Fame and Museum of FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic sports of swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and diving. For more information:   The next leader of ISHOF should be a self-starter with a demonstrated background in museum/attraction development, with a preference to those who have been involved in a turnaround.  

The key result areas (KRAs) which will be measures of success for this position are:

1. The ability to create proactive, collaborative and positive relationships with the key organizations in the world of aquatics and local communities.
2. The ability to develop and work with a strong Board of Directors.
3. The ability to generate revenue streams from donations, products, services, events and programs which will generate annual, ongoing financial support for ISHOF.  These income streams could be in partnership with other organizations.
4. The ability to work with and provide management direction for staff and volunteers.
5. The ability to communicate with and cultivate key media outlets and individuals.
6. A passion for the mission of the organization.

Qualified applicants please apply in confidence: 
                   Email cover letter, 
                   Résumé (PDF document preferred), 
                   Salary requirement

Email to: t:


The International Swimming Hall of Fame is a 501 c 3 IRS Code approved not-for-profit,

Educational Corporation chartered under the laws of Florida, USA since 1965.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The End Of An Era, Remembering Adolph Kiefer - June 27, 1918 – May 5, 2017

Wadsworth, Illinois, Friday May 5. - Adolph Gustav Kiefer died at 6:00 o'clock this morning at his home in Wadsworth, Illinois. The great swimmer, lifesaver, innovator and entrepreneur whose passion for swimming was an inspiration to all who met him, was 98 years and 11 months old. At the time of his death he was

the world's oldest living Olympic gold medalist.

In recent years, the greatest all-round swimmer of his generation was afflicted by neuropathy (nerve damage that causes weakness, numbness, and pain) in his legs and hands that kept him in a wheelchair, except during his daily swims, where he was able to walk again in chest deep water. The water, he said, is what kept him alive, even after the loss of his beloved wife, mother of his four children, business partner and best friend, Joyce, to cancer in May of 2015. They had been married for 73 years. With the support of his incredible family, he emerged from grief and resumed his weekly bridge games and social life. In spite of his incredible life, he never dwelled on the past, but was always thinking about new ways to end drowning and promote swimming. In recent months, he had been hospitalized with pneumonia and longed to be reunited with his beloved wife. He was an incredible man and his passing is truly the end of an era - as the last of the immortals from the first golden age of American swimming that included Duke Kahanamoku,
Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Crabbe, Adolph Kiefer at 
ISHOF in 1965
Johnny Weissmuller, Gertrude Ederle, Eleanor Holm, Buster Crabbe and Esther Williams. 
As a child he hated getting water up his nose; so, he swam on his back. His father, a German born candy-maker died when he was only 12, but had encouraged his son to be the "best swimmer in the world". Working furiously to make this a reality, he swam in any pool he could find. On Sundays, when the Wilson Avenue YMCA was closed, he would hop onto trucks, jump streetcars, anything to get to the only available pool, which was at the Jewish Community Center. He firmly believed that the reason he became a world champion was simple, he loved swimming more than anyone else.
At the 1933 World's Fair, he worked as a lifeguard in the Baby Ruth pool, which hosted exhibitions by swimming champions. Kiefer pestered one recognizable figure in attendance Tex Robertson, captain of the University of Michigan swim team, until Tex finally agreed to coach him. That Thanksgiving, Adolph, then 16 years old, hitchhiked to Michigan where Robertson coached him. "Who's that kid in the pool?" asked Michigan's legendary coach, Matt Mann. Robertson replied, "Kiefer, I'm helping him." Taking out his watch, Mann said, "Let's see that kid swim a hundred". Kiefer swam it. Mann looked at his watch and said -- "I don't believe this ... do it again!" Kiefer did. Dumbfounded Mann replied, "You just broke the world record -- twice!"
A few months later, while swimming in the Illinois High School Championship meet. Kiefer made it official, becoming
the first in history to break one minute mark in the 100 yds backstroke. After the meet, his coach, Stanley Brauninger, of the Lake Shore Athletic Club, predicted that the six foot, 165 pound youth would put most of the world's backstroke records beyond reach of his competitors by the end of the year. His prediction proved right. As a rookie member of the USA National Team at a meet in Breslau, Germany, on November 10, 1935, Adolph smashed the world record for the 100m backstroke with a time of 1:04.9. 
Adolph winning the gold medal in the 100m backstroke at the 1936 Berlin OG
The listed world record was 1:08.2. One year later, he broke the world record three more times on his way to winning the gold medal in the 100m backstroke at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. It was one of only two events won by an American male swimmers that year. 
When Kiefer was ready for college after the Berlin Olympic Games, he chose the University of Texas, where Tex Robertson was the coach.
Leading up to the 1940 Olympic Games, as a college student at the University of Texas, Kiefer compiled one of the most impressive records in sporting history, winning National Championships not only in the backstroke, but in freestyle and individual medley races as well. Some of his records lasted 15 years or more. Kiefer's aquatic achievements earned him an audition for the movie role of Tarzan and answered the siren call of Hollywood, he got married and heeded the call of Uncle Sam and signed up for the U.S. Navy.
Because of his background as an athlete, he was commissioned directly as a Chief Petty Officer and assigned to Norfolk, Virginia, for "the Tunney fish program," nicknamed so for Gene Tunney, a former Navy man and heavyweight boxing Champion of the world. The program was aimed at fast recruitment of athletes to form a cadre of physical training instructors who would whip thousands of Navy recruits into condition as quickly as possible. 
Once in Norfolk, Kiefer discovered something odd about the Navy. He found that many of the officers and enlisted men he worked with couldn't swim. Norfolk was also where the survivors of merchant and naval ships torpedoed off the east coast by the Nazis, were brought and he was bothered by the stories they told. He started researching the matter on his own time at night and read a report on Pearl Harbor that said seventy-seven percent of all lives lost were due to drowning. The idea that most men in the navy couldn't swim well enough to save their lives bothered him. He couldn't sleep at night because he knew the navy was not training recruits properly to save themselves in the water.
He knew a Captain at the Naval Training Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and on his own, hopped on a train to tell him his concerns. A few days later the captain called, he arranged for Kiefer to meet with an Admiral. The Admiral listened attentively, but showed no emotion and asked no questions. Finally, he said, "I've heard enough. Why don't you take lunch and come back in two hours." Kiefer didn't know what to think. Because he so critical of the Navy, he even wondered if he might be court martialed for going over the head of his suppers at Norfolk?
 When Kiefer returned, the Admiral was all smiles. He said he'd like to know more about what the navy needed to do to protects its men. "When you get back to the base, go see the Commandant and he'll give you all the assistance you need to write up a program."
When he got back to Norfolk, he was relieved from teaching, given an office, a yeoman and secretary with a typewriter and devoted himself to reading every life saving manual and report on sinking and shipwrecks he could find. One thing he discovered while he had been instructing sailors to swim was that Fear and Poor Breathing methods were the main reasons why people couldn't swim. He thought back to his first experience in the water, when he was playing near a canal in Chicago and fell in. He survived by turning over on his back and somehow got to shore. It was not something he had been taught, but whether it was serendipitous or instinctive, that simple movement saved his life - and changed it forever. From that moment on, he felt comfortable and relaxed in the water, he said, because he could breathe naturally and didn't have his face and eyes in the water and could see. This was the genesis of a new program he called "The "Victory Backstroke."
Armed with the "Victory Backstroke," he outlined an intensive learn-to-swim and water survival program that required sailors to receive 21 hours of aquatic survival training. He was then transferred to the new Physical Instructor's School in Bainbridge, Maryland and oversaw the recruitment and training of over 13,000 naval swimming instructors, including seven "colored squads," of which there were 70% non-swimmers, yet qualified 100%. These instructors in turn taught over 2 million recruits how to swim and survive a sinking.
One of the many great swimmers Kiefer recruited to the instructors program was Julian "Tex" Robertson, who had mentored him while still in high school and who was his coach at Texas.
Now Kiefer was in charge and once Robertson passed the instructors course, Kiefer sent him to San Diego. After a year, Tex felt guilty about staying in the states and requested an assignment to the front lines. But Naval command had a different mission for him. His persona, training style and techniques had caught the eye of his superiors. He was promoted to Chief Petty Officer and reassigned to train members of an elite special forces unit being formed in Fort Pierce, Florida. Another instructor Kiefer had recruited and who had been selected for Fort Pierce was Tom Haynie, who swam with Robertson at Michigan. Instead of teaching raw recruits the "Victory Backstroke" they were now preparing experienced swimmers for the first Underwater Demolition Team "Frogmen" - known as UDTs - the forerunners of the Navy Seals.Tex and Haynie continued to train the swimmers, but the trainees were also trained in explosives and special warfare tactics and to accompany them on training missions in the most extreme and dangerous conditions imaginable. By the time the trainees graduated as Frogmen, they were some of the toughest commandos in the world, and would play a pivotal role in reconnoitering and clearing obstacles in advance of the invasion of Normandy.
Tex Robertson left the Navy after the war and returned to Austin, Texas where he continued to coach and establish an extremely successful summer camp. Since 1946, over 75,000 children have attended Camp Longhorn, including George W. Bush.
Adolph with Harold Henning

 After Tom Haynie became a very successful swim coach at Stanford University.
Another Kiefer instructor was Harold Henning, who later became a dentist and successful swim coach at North Central College in Illinois. He also rose to the position of President of FINA, the international governing body for the aquatic sports in the Olympics and was the founding father of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
In addition to his duties as officer in charge of the US Navy's aquatic warfare training program, Ensign Kiefer was also the coach and star swimmer for the Bainbridge Naval Training Base's swim team. It was at the AAU Nationals in 1943 that one of the longest winning streaks in all of sports came to an end when he was defeated by Michigan's Harry Holiday in the 150 yard backstroke. The loss closed out a reign that began back in 1935, through 22 national championships that included over 250 wins.
But he came back in 1944 and 45 to break more records and was the high point winner at the 1945 AAU Championships. One of the young sailors he discovered and trained at Bainbridge was Wally Ris, who would go on to win the 100m freestyle at the 1948 Olympic Games.
After establishing his program at Bainbridege, Kiefer turned his attention to the Navy's lifesaving devices: rings, buoys and lifejackets. It was this experience that led him to establish Adolph Kiefer & Associates in Chicago, when he returned to civilian life. It was a company that would focus on swimming, "making everything but the water."
 Kiefer's first successful product was the "Kiefer" suit. The silk shortage from WWII caused Kiefer to consider using nylon fabric for suits as the full body competitive suit requirement had just been lifted. Adolph offered a viable option to the wool suits still worn by many beach-goers. The "Kiefer" suits were great for swimmers, improved everyone's time, no matter how risqué for the era.
His next great product was the wave eating lane line. Kiefer got the idea for the
product from Yale's legendary coach, Bob Kiphuth, who was looking for something that would reduce the waves at Payne Whitney Gymnasium's pool. Up to this time, lane lines were made of rope with a cork ball spaced every three feet. Kiefer put his mind to work. He noticed the plastic mesh bags that were typically used for packing citrus fruits. He used the mesh idea to create a hard plastic mesh cylinder that became the first commercial wave eating lane line. 
In 1951 he co-authored a book targeting parents, "Teach your Children to Swim." based on his experience in the navy and from teaching his own children to swim.
Kiefer also was one of the first to distribute and make popular Duraflex Diving Boards for his friend Ray Rude. Duraflex is now the only competitive diving board used world-wide. 

Over the years, Adolph Kiefer & Co. has been an official supplier to both the USA Olympic Team and the Olympic Games. He has donated his time and money to efforts helping youngsters learn to swim - even supplying pools in impoverished neighborhoods. Into his early 90s Adolph Kiefer maintained an ambitious schedule of lecturing and promoting the benefits of swimming around the world.
Adolph is survived by his four children, Dale, Jack, Kathy and Gail, 14 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren.
"There will never be another like Adolph Kiefer," says Bruce Wigo, President of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. "Not only was he a great swimmer and businessman, but he was a great human being, husband and father whose memory will live on as a model and inspiration for future generations of swimmers and non-swimmers alike."
 The family has not made any arrangements for a celebration of Adolph's life at this time. 

 More details to follow as they become available.