Friday, February 24, 2017

RICHARD “DICK” JOCHUMS ELECTED TO THE HALL OF FAME - COACHED SWIMMERS TO 25 WORLD RECORDS & 12 OLYMPIC MEDALS

Fort Lauderdale- The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced today that
Dick Jochums in 1985
Dick Jochums, will become one of seventeen (17) honorees to enter the International Swimming Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017. Jochums is the seventh individual to be named for ceremonies to be held August 25-27, in Fort Lauderdale. Previously, photo-journalist/contributor Heinz Kluetmeier, and five

Pioneers have been announced, including:  swimmers Wu Chuanyu (CHN), Takashi Halo Hirose (USA);  diver Zhang Xiuwei (CHN), long distance swimmer Walter Poenisch (USA) and water polo player Osvaldo Codaro (ARG).  Jochums will enter the ISHOF as an Honor Coach.

Finally!, says Don Gambril, the legendary Olympic coach who selected Jochums to succeed him at the Long Beach Swim Club. I cant believe it has taken so long for him to get in. He is one of the great ones.

Dick Jochums coached at every level during his career: at swim schools, at colleges and with USS Clubs. He held assistant coaching positions at the University of Washington, the University of California at Berkeley and held his first head coaching position at Cal-State Hayward. Dick moved from Hayward to Long Beach State, while also coaching the Long Beach Swim Club, and then on to the University of Arizona in 1978. In his 20-year career in collegiate swimming, his teams had 12 top ten finishes. In 1995, he moved Santa Clara and returned the famed Santa Clara Swim Clubs mens team to the title of national champions in 1996, 1997 and 1998. He retired from full-time coaching in 2007.

Tim Shaw receiving the coveted
Sullivan Award in 1975.
In the era of American male swimming dominance, Dick Jochums became the USA’s middle distance guru and placed swimmers on every major USA international team from 1973 through 1988.  He was assistant or head coach of 8 major USA National Teams. Among his swimmers are two Hall of Famers: Tim Shaw and Bruce Furniss.  At one time, Shaw simultaneously held the world record in the 200m, 400, 800m and 1500m freestyle. At the 1975 World Championships, Shaw won 3 gold medals, for which he received the coveted the James E. Sullivan Award as the nation’s  At the same meet, his other swimmers, Greg Jagenburg won 2 gold medals and Steve Furniss one. Seven Jochums-coached swimmers swam in the 1976 Olympic Games:  Bruce Furniss, Tim Shaw, Dan Harrigan, Steve Greg and Jack Babashoff, winning a combined two gold, three silver and one bronze medal. At the 1978 World Championships, Bob Jackson won 2 gold medals, Jagenburg and Steve Gregg each won silver and Bruce Furniss one relay gold. In 1980, Bob Jackson had the fastest time in the world in the 100m backstroke and did not get to swim in the Olympic Games because of the US led boycott.  In 1984 George Di Carlo won gold in the 400m freestyle and silver in the 1500m, while breaststroke Peter Evans won double bronze medals swimming for Australia. In 2000, in 2000, he coached Tom Wilkens to a bronze medal in 200 IM.  His teams won 8 USA National Long Course Championships and one combined (men’s and women’s) National Title. In 1975, his Long Beach Swim Club team of Rex Favero, Bruce Furniss, Tim Shaw and Steve Furniss set the world record in the 4 x 200 freestyle relay.  It was the last club team to set a world relay record.
outstanding amateur athlete.



About ISHOF

The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children.  It accomplishes this through operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to preserving the history of swimming, the memory and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role models for people around the world. For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email bwigo@ishof.org

Thursday, February 23, 2017

ARGENTINE WATER POLO LEGEND, OSVALDO HORACIO CODARO ELECTED TO ISHOF


Cover of El Grafico,
September 15, 1950

FORT LAUDERDALE - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced today that water polo great, Osvaldo Horacio Codaro, of Argentina, will become one of seventeen (17) honorees to enter the International Swimming Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017. Codaro is  the sixth individual to be named for ceremonies to be held August 25-27, in Fort Lauderdale. Previously, swimmers Wu Chuanyu (CHN) and Takeshi Halo Hirose (USA), diver Zhang Xiuwei (CHN), long distance swimmer Walter Poenisch (USA) and photojournalist Heinz Kluetmeier have been announced. Codaro, a water polo player, will enter the Hall of Fame in the Pioneer category.  The Pioneer Category of Honoree Selection was established to recognize individuals whose careers were interrupted by war or politics, or whose great accomplishments or inspirational stories have been overlooked in the fog of time.


Affectionately known as Pacha, Osvaldo Horacio Codaro was born on December 9, 1930. He started to swim at age ten and began playing water polo at the age of 14 for his lifetime coach, Santiago Gentile, with Club Athletico Independiente. In 1954, he moved to Club Comunicaciones for seven years and Club Athletico Boca from 1962 to 1971.  He was the outstanding player in the Americas for more than a decade, and was recognized as one of the worlds best, he did not have the support of a great teambehind him.

1952 Olympic Water Polo Team
of Argentina, Codaro is Top row far left
Codaro participated in five Pan American Games, almost singlehandedly leading his team to gold medals over the team from the United States in both 1951 and 1955.  He played in three Olympic Games, the first as a 17 year old in 1948, at Helsinki in 1952 and at the 1960 Olympic Games of Rome, where in spite of his teams9th place finish, he was considered to be the third best player in the world.At the physical peak of his career, Argentina could not afford to send its team to the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne Australia.  Codaro was one of the first great Big Men- appreciated for his exceptional physical strength, ball handling skills  and understanding of the game.  Over his 27 years playing water polo, his teams won the Argentinian National Championships 22 times. Osvaldo retired from competition at the age of 42, after participating in the Pan American Games in 1971. He served as head coach of the Mens National Water Polo Team from 1975 to 1981 and was President of the Federation de Water Polo in Buenos Aires from 1985 to 1988.  Codaro becomes the fifth athlete from Argentina to join the ISHOF.



Receiving the Club Nation AtleticCup  from
future IOC President, Juan Antonio Samaranch in 1963.
Codaro began playing at a time when Europe was ravaged by war and when South America waterdead-time(later adopted by FINA) and counting ordinaryfouls as personalfouls - which was not. He was of the great players to emerge during this era and his induction into the ISHOF also gives recognition to the contributions of South America to the sport of water polo.











About ISHOF

The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children.  It accomplishes this through operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to preserving the history of swimming, the memory and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role models for people around the world. For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email bwigo@ishof.org


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SWIMMERTAKASHI “HALO" HIROSE ELECTED TO ISHOF FIRST JAPANESE-AMERICAN TO SWIM FOR THE USA

Add16 year old Halo returns from
Europe a hero in Hawaii, Honolulu
Advertiser, Sept. 29, 1938 
FORT LAUDERDALE - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced today that Takashi Halo Hirose will become one of seventeen (17) honorees to enter the International Swimming Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017. Hirose is  the fifth individual to be named for ceremonies to be held August 25-27, in Fort Lauderdale. Previously, swimmer Wu Chuanyu (CHN), diver Zhang Xiuwei (CHN), long distance swimmer Walter Poenisch (USA) and photojournalist Heinz Kluetmeier have been announced. Hirose will enter the Hall of Fame in the Pioneer category.  The Pioneer category was created to honor great achievements that have been overlooked by the fog of time or special circumstances that interfered with their careers, such as accidents, war or politics.

Its about time, says Richard Sonny Tanabe, a member of the 1956 US Olympic team and past president of the Hawaiian Swimming Hall of Fame. Halo made a tremendous contribution not only to Hawaiian swimming, but international Swimming as well.

“A fitting and deserving tribute,” says Olympic gold medalist Steve Clark. “In his day, ‘Halo” was one of the fastest swimmers in the world, and thanks to Julie Checkoway, author of the best selling book, ‘The Three Year Swim Club: The Untold Story of Maui's Sugar Ditch Kids and Their Quest for Olympic Glory’ his amazing story is being remembered.”

L to R:  Keo Nakama, Coach
Soichi Sakamoto, Takashi Hirose
Like many poor, Japanese-Americans kids whose parents worked as laborers on Hawaiian island of Mauis Pu'unene's sugar plantation, he began by swimming in irrigation ditches for fun, before joining Soichi Sakamoto's famed "Three Year Swim Club" in 1937.  It was Sakamoto’s dream to have some of his swimmers represent the United States, in the home of their ancestors, at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, in 1940. One year after joining the club, at the age 15, Hirose placed second in the 200-meter freestyle, just inches behind future Hall of Famer and 1936 Olympic Champion Adolph Kiefer, and fourth in the 100 free at the US National AAU meet. His performance earned him a spot on a US team that toured Europe and he was a member of the United States' 400-meter freestyle relay team that set a world record in Germany. Halo thus became the first AJA (American Japanese Asian) to represent the USA in international competition. In 1939 he was selected for the US team that toured south America. He was a shoe-in for the 1940 Olympic team, but his and Sakamoto’s dreams were dashed be cancellation of the Games. It was small consolation that he, along with his Maui teammates Keo Nakama and Fujiko Katsutani were selected for the USA’s Olympic Swimming Teams that never got to compete in 1940.  After winning the US National 100m title in 1941 came The Three-Year Swim Club has been optioned for possible film development. Along with Keo Nakama, Bill Smith, Jose Balmores, James Tanaka, Charlie Oda, Fujiko Katsutani and others who trained under Sakamoto, and used swimming to “get away from the plantations,” Halo Hirose brought national and international acclaim to Hawai'i swimming. Takeshi “Halo” Hirose passed away at the age of 79, on August 24, 2002.  He is survived by his daughter, Sono Hirose Hulbert, who will receive his award in August.
LtR:US Champion relay of Sakamoto’s Maui Swim Club;
Jose Balmores, Takashi (Halo) Hirose, William Neunzig and
Kyoshi “Keo” Nakama
Pearl Harbor and once Japanese Americans were permitted, he volunteered to fight in Europe as a member of the 442nd “Nisei” Regimental Combat Team. On the battlefield he gained almost as many honors as he had in swimming events in Hawaii, the USA, South America, Germany, Austria and Hungary. A member of a machine gun platoon through some of the heaviest fighting in France and Italy, Hirose received five battle stars, the combat infantry badge and a Presidential Unit Citation. In November of 1944, he contracted “trench foot” during deployment in France and was paralyzed from the hips down.  It was feared that he might lose his feet. Although he recovered the use of his legs after six months in rehabilitation, he would feel the effects of “trench foot” for the remainder of his life.  After the war, Hirose followed his Maui teammate, Keo Nakama to the Ohio State University where he became a three-time All-American for the Buckeyes. Although he was an NCAA champion in the 100 free and helped Ohio State win Big Ten, NCAA and AAU team titles, Hirose was denied his opportunity to swim in the Olympic Games in 1940 and 1944, and his war injuries no doubt affected his chances to make the US team in 1948. The story of Halo and the

About ISHOF
The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children.  It accomplishes this through operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to preserving the history of swimming, the memory and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role models for people around the world. For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email bwigo@ishof.org



PHOTOGRAPHER HEINZ KLUETMEIER BECOMES FIRST PHOTOGRAPHER TO ENTER INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME

FORT LAUDERDALE - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced today that legendary Sports Illustrated photographer Heinz Kluetmeier will become one of seventeen (17) honorees to enter the International Swimming Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017. Kluetmeier is the fourth individual to be named for ceremonies to be held August 25-27, in Fort Lauderdale. Previously, swimmer Wu Chuanyu (CHN), diver Zhang Xiuwei (CHN) and long distance swimmer Walter Poenisch (USA) have been announced. Kluetmeier will enter the Hall of Fame in the contributor category and will become the first photographer/photo journalist to be so honored. 

Heinz Kluetmeier was born in Berlin, Germany before moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He started his photo career early on, photographing professional football games in Green Bay, Wisconsin for the Associated Press at the age of 16. Upon his high school graduation, the AP offered him a full time job as a photographer, but his education took precedence. After a brief stint as engineer following graduation from Dartmouth College and as a staff photographer for the Milwaukee Journal, he was hired by Time, Inc., working for LIFE Magazine and Sports Illustrated until 1973, when LIFE magazine ceased as a weekly and worked full time for Sports Illustrated until 2014. He has shot over 125 covers for Sports Illustrated and twice served as the magazines director of photography.

While he has shot virtually every sport and has covered every Olympic Games, winter and summer except one since 1972, he, as a swimmer in high school, has always had a special affinity for the aquatic sports and photos of aquatic athletes are among his favorites. 

In 1988, Heinz donated his time and original photography to raise money for USA Swimming through a tabletop book, Swimming: A Collection of Photographs by Heinz Kluetmeier, Commemorating One Hundred Years of Amateur Swimming in America. A pioneer in underwater photography, he was the first to experiment with an underwater camera at international competitions during the 1991 FINA World Championship in Perth. The next year he became the first photographer to place a camera underwater to capture an Olympic swimming event, in Barcelona. Sixteen years later, he operated a remote underwater camera that landed the signature image of the Beijing Olympic Games:  Michael Phelps Miracle Finish in the mens 100 meter butterfly race - frame by frame. The photographs in sequence showed Michael Phelps touching the wall before Milorad Cavic, even as Cavic appeared to win from above the water.  The photo defined a moment in time that a lot of people did not believe. People don't trust things they cannot see and with his photos, people were able to see it and trust the electronic timing system.

In a career spanning almost fifty years, Heinz Kluetmeier's pictures have virtually defined what great sports photography is all about. He has photographed every great swimmer from Mark Spitz to Michael Phelps and a collection of his photos will be featured in a special exhibit on the history of swimming through photography that will make its debut during ISHOFs induction weekend in August.

About ISHOF

The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children.  It accomplishes this through operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to preserving the history of swimming, the memory and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role models for people around the world. For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email bwigo@ishof.org




Tuesday, February 21, 2017

LONG SWIMS OF WALTER POENISCH EARN SPOT IN THE INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HOF - FIRST TO SWIM FROM CUBA TO USA

FORT LAUDERDALE - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) today announced that Long Distance swimmer Walter Poenisch, of Grove City, Ohio will be one of seventeen (17) honorees to enter the International Swimming Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017. Walters is the third name to be announced for ceremonies to be held August 25-27, in Fort Lauderdale. Previously, the names of Wu Chuanyu and Zhang Xiuwei were announced.

Lost in time and in the avalanche of publicity surrounding attempts by others to swim from Cuba to the USA over the past 40 years is the remarkable story of Walter Poenisch and his Swim for Peace.’” says Bruce Wigo, ISHOFs President and CEO. Walter will enter the ISHOF as a Pioneer and I want to commend the selection committee and its Chairman, Camillo Cametti, of Verona, Italy, for recognizing Walter, who was one of the first to use his swimming talents to promote a greater cause. The Pioneer category was created to honor great achievements that have been overlooked by the fog of time or special circumstances that interfered with their careers, such as accidents, war or politics.

Born on July 11, 1913, Walter Poenisch was a baker, rodeo competitor, strongman and swimmer, who entered his first competitive swim in 1963, to show that a 50 year old man could be as active as young fellows. It was the 60-mile Jim Moran[1] professional marathon swim in Lake Michigan.
Walter failed to finish but was hooked on the sport and was determined to swim even greater distances. Troubled by the Cuban Missile Crisis that brought the world to brink of nuclear catastrophe, he conceived of the idea of swimming the 90 miles from Cuba to the USA for world peace. To further better relations between my country and Cuba, he said. As the USA had no formal relations with Cuba, Walter started a letter writing campaign to governments that had contact with Havana. With optimism and onfidence in his cause, Walter immediately began serious training. But the required permissions were not forthcoming. For years he continued to write letters, make calls and worked with Rene Mujica of the Cuban Interest Section in Washington, DC. All the while, he continued to train, setting up training camps in Fort Lauderdale and keeping his dream alive in the media with stunts like towing boats filled with passengers and setting long-distance records in the Florida Straits. In 1976 he swam -- certifiably  into the Guinness Book of World Records -- 122 1/2 miles from Key West to the tip of the Florida peninsula, at the time the world's longest ocean swim. In 1976, he received permission from the Cuban government to apply for a visa, which was finally
granted in March of 1978. The swim was planned to begin on July 11th, 1978, a date coinciding with Walters 65th birthday. On hand to personally celebrate Walters birthday and wish him success on his Swim for Peace was Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Before entering the water, Castro proposed a toast honoring Walters efforts and his dream of peace between their two nations. Walter was the first person to attempt to swim from Cuba to the USA for sport and rules were drawn up by an authenticating organization, The International Federation of Ocean Swimmers and Divers.  These rules, announced before the swim, permitted him to use a shark cage, fins to protect his feet from the cage, and a snorkel. He was also permitted to get out of the water up to four times for a period of no longer than five minutes to administer emergency medicine treatment, receive critical nourishment or for any reason that directly threatened the life of the swimmer. Walter followed these rules to the tee and thirty-four hours after leaving Cuba, Walter completed his dream, culminating on the shores of Little Duck Key, Florida. According to legendary sports reporter and author David Heeren, who covered Walters swim for the Fort Lauderdale News, His (Walters) accomplishment was greater, in my opinion, than the climb of Everest. There have been many Everest climbers, but only one (legitimate) Cuba to U.S.A. swimmer.

Walter Poenisch passed away on June 6, 2000, never having received the recognition due him for inspiring generations of swimmers and others with his persistence, perseverance and courage.  He is survived by his wife, Faye, who will accept his honor on his behalf.

About ISHOF
The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children.  It accomplishes this through operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to preserving the history, memory, and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role models for people around the world. For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email bwigo@ishof.org




[1] Jim Moran was a famous car dealer and philanthropist who received ISHOFs Gold Medallion Award in 1995.  see: http://www.ishof.org/jim-moran.html

Friday, February 17, 2017

LEGENDARY AQUATIC STARS FROM CHINA TO ENTER THE HALL OF FAME - Ceremonies Return to Fort Lauderdale in 2017

FORT LAUDERDALE - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) today announced the first two Honorees of the seventeen (17) member Class of 2017.  Future announcements will be made daily until all members of the Class are named.  The 53rd Annual ISHOF Induction Weekend will be held in Fort Lauderdale, August 25-27.

It is always a difficult process because there are so many worthy candidates, said Donna de Varona, ISHOF's Board Chair.  “But once again, our committee members from all over the world have done an outstanding job. Among this years honorees are athletes, coaches and contributors from eight different nations (Argentina, Australia, China, France, Hungary, the Netherlands and Russia) selected from the Olympic sports of swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo.  On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to thank Camillo Cametti, of Verona Italy, Chairman, and all the members of the International Selection Committee for a job well done.

The first two honorees to be named, representing the Peoples Republic of China, are WU Chuanyu, a swimmer, and diver ZHANG Xiuwei.  Both Wu and Zhang will enter the ISHOF in the Pioneer category.  The Pioneer category was created to honor great achievements that have been overlooked by the fog of time or special circumstances that interfered with their careers, such as accidents, war or politics.

Although Wu Chuanyu died in a plane crash over sixty years ago, he was arguably the most famouss national anthem played outside of the motherland. Returning to training in Budapest and with his times nearing the 100m backstroke world record, a bright future was anticipated.  In September of 1954, Wu received another honor when he became the first and only athlete named as a representative to the First National Peoples Congress (NPC).  A month after his appointment to the NPC, at the age of 26, he tragically died in a plane crash while on his way to resume training in Hungary. His death put the entire nation in mourning and  he is revered today as the father of modern Chinas swimming.

Chinese athlete of the 1950s and remains one of the most significant and revered figures in the People's Republic of China today. Born and raised in Indonesia, Wu was ethnically Chinese and was recruited in 1951 by the new communist Chinese government that had come to power two years earlier. In 1952, he became the first athlete to represent the People’s Republic of China in the Olympic Games and after training in Russia and Budapest the next year, he won the 100m backstroke at the 4th World Festival of Youth and Students, in Bucharest. His victory was the first for a Chinese athlete in a major international competition in any sport and the first to have the 5-star red flag and PRC

Zhang Xiuwei dove at a time when the People’s Republic of China was not a member of FINA and could not compete in the Olympic Games or other “sanctioned” events. Her first coach in diving was Wang Shaogang, but in 1958 she joined the Tianjin Diving Team where she was trained by Coach Wu Chengxi. At the first GANEFO Games in Indonesia, in 1963, Zhang won the 10m platform with a bronze medal on the 3m springboard. Jeng Jeng, a reporter at the time for a Tianjin newspaper, wrote a novel and produced a film based on Zhang’s story and victory. The movie,  “Diving Girls” had an immense influence and inspired generations of young girls to consider diving and the public to appreciate the sport. In fact, it can be said she is at least partly responsible for the positive and highly respected image the sport of diving enjoys in China today.  She was dedicated at Tianjin Athletic Institute as a professor.  Her coaching career took off in 1973 when Wang Min won China’s 10m platform and 3m springboard championships.  Many of her divers became regional and provincial coaches in China.

About ISHOF

The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children.  It accomplishes this through operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to preserving the history, memory, and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role models for people around the world. For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email bwigo@ishof.org

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Richard “Tod” Spieker To Receive ISHOF’s 2016 Gold Medallion Award

FORT LAUDERDALE – The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is proud to announce that Richard “Tod” Spieker, a Silicon Valley real estate investor and entrepreneur, will receive ISHOF’s Gold Medallion Award at ceremonies to be held in Santa Clara, Calif., on Saturday evening, October 29th, 2016. 
ISHOF’s Gold Medallion is the organization’s highest honor. It 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 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, Olympic and Baseball boss, Peter Ueberroth and entertainer, Esther Williams, to name a few. 
“The purpose of the Gold Medallion Award is to provide positive role models for today’s youth,” said Bruce Wigo, ISHOF President/CEO.  “While Tod may not be as well known to the public as some of our prior Award recipients, we are honored to be able to share the story of this humble and reserved man’s path to success in life and in business, which he attributes to the lessons he learned in his formative years as a swimmer.” 
Tod Spieker began swimming competitively at the age of eight, but it was not until he was twelve that he won his first race.  Trained and mentored by legendary coaches Al and Della Sehorn, Bob Gaughran, Nort Thornton and Bob Horn, he became an All-American Swimmer at Menlo Atherton High School and later at UCLA.
Unlike many athletes, Tod started planning for his post-athletic career while he was still competing. A geography major at UCLA, Tod signed up for extra courses in real estate at nearby Santa Monica College, during his senior year.  After graduating in 1971, and spending the next ten years gaining experience, he set out on his own to form Spieker Companies, in 1981, and bought his first apartment building, a 34 unit rental property in Campbell, California. Today the Palo Alto based, wholly owned and privately-held company is an investment and property management engine that has an inventory of almost 4,000 rental units, mostly in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, with over 200 employees. 
In 1977, Tod discovered adult age group swimming and returned to the pool where he burned his way through the FINA Masters world record books for the next quarter of a century and swam his way into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in 2005.  
Although he since stopped competing, he still begins each morning with a swim workout before heading to the office.  He attributes his years in swimming for providing him the lessons and tools that have made him successful in real estate, as a father, husband and now a grandfather.  It has also endowed him with the desire to give back. Over the years he has actively and generously supported a variety of aquatic projects and organizations, including the Spieker Aquatic Center on the Campus of UCLA, USA Masters Swimming and the International Swimming Hall of Fame.  He also serves on a number of Boards, including the Ziman Center for Real Estate and the UCLA Foundation.
The presentation will take place on Saturday evening, October 29, during the 2016 International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Honoree Induction Dinner, starting at 6:30 PM, at the Santa Clara Convention Center.     
For additional information, please call Meg Keller-Marvin at (570) 594-4367 or ISHOF at (954) 462-6536, or visit http://www.ishof.org

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. www.ishof.org