Thursday, November 19, 2015

INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES THE CLASS OF 2016

FORT LAUDERDALE - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF), recognized by FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, has announced the names of 16 athletes, coaches, contributors, pioneers and one team - representing six aquatic disciplines (swimming, open water swimming, marathon swimming, synchronized swimming, diving and water polo) from eleven different nations, who will be honored during ISHOFs 52nd Annual Honors Weekend, June 3-5, 2016, in Santa Clara, California.

This is an exceptional class of honorees, said Camillo Cametti, of Verona, Italy, Chairman of ISHOFs International Selection Committee, and one of the largest classes in recent years. It will also mark the first time in ISHOFs history that we will recognize an entire team in the sport of water polo, but what a team - the three time Olympic champions from Hungary. This class also includes many stars well known in their own countries and around the world, and five pioneers, who have long been overlooked for their accomplishments.
This is truly a great class and I want to personally congratulate all Honorees and thank Mr. Cametti and the selection committee for their commitment to honor the best in our sports, said Donna de Varona, ISHOFs Chairman of the Board.  We recognize that this was a difficult task, particularly this year, as the committee started with over 175 nominees from all over the world and many exceptional candidates did not make the final list.
The ISHOF Class of 2016 includes Swimmers Aaron Peirsol (USA), Camille Muffat (FRA) and Dara Torres (USA); Open Water Swimmer Larisa Ilchenko (RUS); Divers Dmitry Sautin (RUS) and Guo Jingjing (CHN); Synchronized Swimmer  Yelena Azarova (RUS); Water Polo Players: Seven members of the 2000-2008 Hungarian Olympic water polo team (HUN); Marathon Swimmers Desmond Robert Des Renford (AUS) and Monique Wildschut (NED); Swimming Coach Bob Bowman (USA);  Contributor Sir Peter Heatly (GBR); Pioneers Simeon Boychenko (RUS), Horst Gorlitz (GRD/ITA/FRG), Frank Gorman (USA), Hilda James (GBR) and Leonid Meshkov (RUS).

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 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, a better quality of life, and to INSPIRE everyone to swim. ISHOFs 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.

The International Swimming Hall of Fames Class of 2016
Swimmers:
LARISA ILCHENKO (RUS)
Russian long distance swimmer, Larisa Ilchenko has won eight World Championships and gold at the 2008 Olympic Games at age 19. She has dominated long distance swimming since her first World Championship in Dubai in 2004, where, aged just 16, she won by over 30 seconds. She won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the 10 km, using her trademark closing kick after being behind the leaders for 9,900 of the 10,000 swim.

AARON PEIRSOL (USA)
Aaron Peirsol is one of the greatest backstrokers in swimming and Olympic history.  He participated in three Olympic Games (2000, 2004 and 2008), winning five gold and two silver medals and still holds three long course world records - as part of the USAs 4 x 100 meter medley relay, and in the 100 and 200 meter backstroke events.  During his career, he won a total of 36 medals in major international competitions, 29 gold, six silver and one bronze. He retired in 2011 saying, I ended up doing everything I set out to do.

CAMILLE MUFFAT (FRA)
Camille Muffat was a three time Olympic medalist from the Olympic Nice Natation Club. She specialized in the IM and freestyle events and her career expanded from 2005 to 2014.  At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she won gold in the 400 meter freestyle, silver in the 200 meter freestyle and bronze in the 4x200 meter freestyle relay.  In doing so, she became only the fourth French swimmer to win three Olympic medals at a single edition of the Olympic Games. Camille Muffats brilliant career was tragically cut short on March 9, 2015 when she was killed in a helicopter crash during the filming of a French TV Reality show, and will be enshrined posthumously.

DARA TORRES (USA)
Dara Torres won her first US National title at the age of 14 and her last at the age of 42, proving Age is Just a Number (which also happens to be the title of one of her best selling books). She is the first and only swimmer to ever represent the United States in five Olympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2008), during an Olympic career that spanned an incredible 24 years. She won a medal in each of her Olympic appearances and has twelve Olympic medals overall (four gold, four silver and four bronze).

Divers
DMITRY SAUTIN (RUS)
Competing in five Olympic Games, Dmitry Sautin has won medals in all four mens diving events and more medals than any other diver in history (two gold, two silver and four bronze). He started diving at age seven, but his diving career almost ended in 1991 when he was stabbed multiple times in an attack. After spending two months in the hospital he represented Russia in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, where he won a bronze medal in the three meter springboard event. In 1996, he won gold in the mens 10 meter platform and in 2000, gold and silver medals in both synchronized events.

GUO JINGJING (CHN)
Guo Jingjing, known in China as the Princess of Diving, began diving for the Chinese national team in 1992 and competed at her first Olympic Games in 1996.  At the 2000 Olympic Games she won two silver medals, the individual and synchronized events in the three meter springboard. In 2004 and 2008 she was perfect, winning two individual titles and teaming with partner Wu Minxia to win gold in the synchronized event, all in the springboard. Her six medals made her the most decorated female Olympic diver in history.

Synchronized Swimmer:
YELENA AZAROVA (RUS)
Yelena Azarova, at the tender age of 14, was the first Russian synchronized swimmer to win solo and duet titles at the European Juniors. Always strong technically, she was one of the original members of the Russian team that won its first gold medal at the World Cup in 1997, its first Championship in 1998 and its first two Olympic team titles in 2000 and 2004. She eventually established her own synchronized swimming club in Moscow.

Water Polo Players:
TEAM HUNGARY 2000-2008
During a ten year period, from 1998 to 2008 the Hungarian mens water polo team built a dynasty unmatched in modern FINA history. Of the twenty players who won gold medals at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, this team will be represented by Tamas Molnar, Tamas Kasas, Tibor Benedeck, Gergely Kiss, Peter Biros, Zoltan Szecsi and coach Denes Kemeny (already a member of the Hall of Fame). Team Hungary will be honored as three-time Olympic Champions and the greatest team in water polo history.
Marathon Swimmers:
MONIQUE WILDSCHUT (NED)
Monique Wildschut, a tall and powerful swimmer from the Netherlands, was the six-time World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation champion from 1983 to 1988. In 1983 she was the overall winner of the Atlantic City Marathon and was second overall in the 64 km Traversée Internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada. As a solo swimmer, she crossed the English Channel twice and had the fastest swim of the year in 1984.
  
DESMOND ROBERT RENFORD (AUS)
Desmond Robert Des Renford, M.B.E., was born in Australia on the 52nd anniversary of the very first Channel swim, achieved in 1875 by Matthew Webb.  He took up marathon swimming only at the age of 39 and from 1975 to part of 1980he crossed the English Channel 19 times in 19 attempts and wore the title King of the Channel, which is accorded the swimmer with the most crossings.  For his exploits in the Channel, he was awarded the MBE, Order of the British Empire.  Australians remember their Channel swimming sporting legend, who died in 1999, through the Des Renford Aquatic and Leisure Center in Marouba, a suburb of Sydney. He will be enshrined posthumously.

Coach:
BOB BOWMAN
Bob Bowman is probably best known as the long-time coach of Michael Phelps, however, he has done much more than that.  He has been the assistant coach of the USA swim team for three Olympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012) and has just been named the Head Mens Coach for the 2016 USA Olympic Team. He has been a three-time World Championship Head Coach (2007, 2009, 2013) and four time Assistant World Championship Coach (2001, 2003, 2005, 2011). Bob is an ASCA Hall of Fame Inductee, a five-time ASCA Coach of the Year, and the most honored Coach in the 40+ years of the award.  He is a six-time USA Swimming Coach of the Year, four-time USA Swimming Foundations Golden Google Award Recipient and the 2002 USA Swimming Developmental Coach of the Year. 

Contributor:
SIR PETER HEATLY (GBR)
For over 70 years, Sir Peter Heatly has contributed to the sport of swimming and diving at the local, national and international levels as competitor, team manager, official and administrator.  He was a member of both the FINA and LEN Diving committees from 1966 to 1988, Honorary Secretary of the FINA Committee from 1972 to 1984 and Chairman from 1984 to 1988. He was Chairman of Great Britains Swimming Federation in 1981 and again in 1992.  In 1990, he was installed as a Knight of the Realm by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Sir Peter Heatly will be enshrined posthumously.

Pioneers:
SIMEON BOYCHENKO (RUS)
A legendary figure in early Soviet era swimming, Simeon Boychenko was the fastest breaststroke-butterfly swimmer in the world, but because the USSR was not a member of FINA, Boychenko did not get to compete in the Olympic Games.  However, at the third International Workers Olympics in Antwerp (Belguim) in 1937, he considerably outstripped the winners times from the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin in the 200 meter breaststroke, earning the first victory of Soviet swimming on the international level.  His lifetime best of 1:05.4 and 2:29.8 in the 100 and 200 meter breast-butterfly would not be touched until after the rules changed permitting butterfly in the mid 1950s.  Boychenko will be honored posthumously.

HORST GORLITZ (GDR, ITA, FRG)
Horst Gorlitz began coaching in the German Democratic Republic and after he could no longer agree with the policies of sport in his country, he escaped the GDR in 1955.  He became the National Team Coach of Italy in the sport of diving in 1957. In 1964, he coached Hall of Famer Klaus Dibiasi to Olympic gold on the platform and during the next three Olympic Games, Mexico City, Montreal and Moscow, Dibiasi and Giorgio Cagnotto won two gold, four silver and two bronze medals between them.  In 1969, Gorlitz went back to the Federal Republic of Germany to once again coach back in his homeland. He also coached divers in Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Finland and South Africa, and is credited with creating the foam rubber mattress used to create a soft, dry landing for a sitting, standing or back position. Gorlitz will be honored posthumously.

FRANK GORMAN (USA)
Frank competed in an era when there was only one chance in four years to be seen internationally and when male divers from the United States dominated the sport. Diving for Hall of Fame Coach, Dick Smith, Frank just missed the 1960 Olympic Team for the United States, but returned four years later to win the United States Olympic Trials and then the silver medal in the 3 meter springboard at the Tokyo Olympics.  While at the Tokyo Games, he outscored everyone on nine out of ten dives, but missed one badly to take second place. Competing at Harvard University, he never lost a dual meet and was an All-American Diver for all four years, 1957-1960.

HILDA JAMES (GBR)
Hilda James is credited with introducing the six beat crawl stroke to England, a measure which made swimmers much faster. Nicknamed the English Comet she held every British freestyle record, 100 yards to the mile.  She became a darling of the press and was expected to win three gold medals, all in the freestyle at the 1924 Olympic Games. Unfortunately, living in the Victorian era, Hildas parents controversially prevented her from competing in the Games. After her swimming career, Hilda spent much of her time coaching and giving demonstrations. James will be honored posthumously.

LEONID MESHKOV (RUS)
Like Simeon Boychenko, Leonid Meshkov is a legendary figure in Russian swimming history who also broke the recognized world record in the 100 meter butterfly-breaststroke, and European records in the 200 and 400 meters freestyle, prior to the outbreak of WWII.  And like Boychenko, his accomplishments were not recognized.   During the defense of Stalingrad, he earned hero status, but also sustained severe injuries to his shoulder and arm that were thought to end all hopes of resuming swimming.  However, after demanding rehabilitation that lasted many years, he became the first Soviet swimmer to claim a FINA recognized world record, when he swam the 100 meter butterfly-breaststroke in 1:07.2, in 1949. He later broke his record five more times and held it until February 1952.  Well past his peak, Meshkov participated in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, at the age of 36. Meshkov will be honored posthumously.


For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email bwigo@ishof.org

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Greta Andersen To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award From the International Swimming Hall of Fame During “Marathon Swimmers Weekend”


FORT LAUDERDALE – The International International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) will present Greta Andersen, one of the greatest Olympic and Open Water swimmers in history, with its Lifetime Achievement Award on Friday evening, November 6th, in the Ballroom at the Doubletree/Hilton Hotel, San Pedro California. The Award will be presented in conjunction with the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame’s (IMSHOF) 53rd Annual Induction Ceremonies. The IMSHOF ceremonies are part of a “Marathon Swimmers Weekend” which includes the Annual Banquets of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation (CCSF), and the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association on Saturday. For tickets and more information: www.imshof.org
The individuals and organizations to be honored by the IMSHOF on Friday night include: Swimmers: Forrest Nelson (Long Beach, CA, USA), Antonio Argüelles Díaz-González (MEX), Martin Strel (SVN),George Park (CAN) 1978; Administrator Marty Veen (NED); Organizations: Varne Ridge Channel Swim Park (GBR) and the Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club (GBR). Dennis Miller of Fiji will receive the The Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award from the ISHOF. For more information about the Class of 2015: www.imshof.org
Danish swimmer Greta Andersen burst on the world's stage when she won the gold medal for the 100 meter freestyle at the 1948 London Olympics. When she returned home to Copenhagen she was a national hero. She was the best women’s swimmer in the world over the next four years, but an injury to her leg weeks prior to the Helsinki Olympic Games in 1952 prevented her from repeating her London success. In 1953 she emigrated to Long Beach, California, where she met Tom Park, a record setting Catalina Channel swimmer, who convinced her she could make a lot of money as a professional marathon swimmer.
In 1956 Greta won the first of seven Around Atlantic City World Championship Marathon swims and then the 50 mile Lake Michigan race from Chicago to Kenosha, Wisconsin, finishing 10 miles ahead of her nearest competitor to capture the $25,000 first place prize money. The next year she entered her first Sir Billy Butlin Cross English Channel Marathon race. She won again in 1958 and after her third swim, in 1959 Sir Billy gave her the perpetual trophy.
During her career, Greta broke 18 world marathon records. She was the first woman to complete five crossings of the English Channel - set speed records in both directions - and was the first person to swim the Santa Catalina Channel both ways…nonstop! She earned first, second, or third place in every event competing with men head to head and never lost to another woman. She was the largest money winner in women's professional swimming history. In 1960, she opened the Greta Andersen Swim School in Los Alamitos, California and has devoted her life teaching children how to be water-safe and confident swimmers ever since - and is still teaching today at the age of 88 years. “For her life in swimming,” says Bruce Wigo, President of the ISHOF, “as Olympic Champion, World Professional Marathon Champion, multiple world record holder from one-hundred yards to fifty miles, business woman, teacher and inspiration to men and women around the world, the International Swimming Hall of Fame is honored to recognize Greta Andersen Verres with the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.”

About the CCSF
The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation (CCSF) is a non-profit athletic organization serving the marathon swimming community. The CCSF was founded in 1980 to promote the sport of open water swimming and to keep records of swims across the 20-mile wide shipping channel that separates the California mainland and Catalina Island. The CCSF has now observed and authenticated hundreds of crossings. The Catalina Channel is known for its chilling water temperatures, difficult currents, and vast marine wildlife, including the seasonal migration of gray whales. For more information: http://swimcatalina.com

About IMSHOF
International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) is an affiliate organization to the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF). IMSHOF was established in 1961 to recognize the marathon swimmers throughout the world and is governed by an international selection committee of marathon swimming experts to immortalize the achievements and contributions of those who have distinguished themselves in this sport. For more information, please visit http://openwaterpedia.com/index.php?
title=International_Marathon_Swimming_Hall_of_Fame#International_Marathon_Swimming_H
all_of_Fame_Inductees

About ISHOF
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 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. For more information please visit http://www.ishof.org

Monday, October 5, 2015

Marion Kane Elston, passed away August 10th, 2015 at age 81

Marion Kane Elston, one of the most successful and influential coaches in the history of synchronized
swimming, passed away August 10th at the age of 81.  IN the 1960’s and early 1970’s, her San Francisco Merionettes displayed technical skill and artistic flair in winning 67 U.S. National AAU titles (18 solo, 27 duet, 22 team) and 29 major international titles, including the 1971 Pan American Games.
Elston began swimming by playing in the Russian River in Northern California at age 3.  She was very successful as a speed swimmer when she was young, but wanted a more creative endeavor and turned her attention to synchronized swimming.  Elston’s routines were known for their innovative choreography, suberb showmanship and a great blend of music and movement.  She pioneered the “support scull” that is an essential part of synchro to this day, allowing the swimmers to remain at a high level while upside down in the water.
She was instrumental in developing synchro around the world by giving numerous clinics and demonstrations all over the globe.  Her National Champion swimmers Margo McGrath and Carol Redmond spent almost a year teaching and touring in Europe in 1967-68, greatly advancing the sport there.  She authored the first Judges’ Training Guide in 1964 to help develop standards for judges in the United States, and the first Meet Managers’ Guide that same year to aid in hosting an AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) meet.  She choreographed 32 former synchro swimmers for the aquacade sequences in the film Funny Lady, starring Barbra Streisand.  She also directed 35 swimmers for the 1984 World’s Fair Aquacade in New Orleans that was seen by more than 3.5 million people.
After years of being “retired” from coaching, she returned to coaching masters in the mid-1990’s.  She quickly was back in the full swing of coaching, with her Oak Park, CA, based team ranging from young age group swimmers to masters.  Her death was discovered when she did not arrive at a masters’ morning practice.

She was inducted into the United States Synchronized Swimming Hall of Fame as a contributor in 1967 and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1981.  A memorial service will be held October 10th.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

In Memorium: Galina Prozumenschikova (November 26, 1948- July 19, 2015)

From Russia comes the sad news that Galina Prozumenschikova has passed away at the age of 66.  In
Olympic pool of Tokyo-1964, she was a 15-years-old blonde Mermaid from Sebastopol who surprised the world by winning the final of 200 m in breast. She thus became the first Olympic swimming gold medalist for the Soviet Union at the Olympic Games.

Galina Prozumenshikova, was not the only European gold medal winner at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo but 8 years later at Munich, with a three year old son, she was still a medalist. At Mexico City, in between her medals at Tokyo and Munich, an appendectomy a month before the meet and the altitude took its toll as Galina collapsed after the 200 (3rd) and lost the 100 by .001 to Bjedov of Yugoslavia (2nd) and Sharon Wickman of the USA (1st).

After the end of her prominent sporting career, she graduated from MoscowUniversity and taught at the Swim school of Soviet Army for children for many years.  

Prozumenschikova was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1977 and
in 2013, she was recognized as one of the "100 Greatest Swimmers in History" in a book by swim journalist John Lohn.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME Enshrinement Weekend A Success In Santa Clara

FORT LAUDERDALE - The International Swimming Hall of Fames (ISHOF) held its first Enshrinement event in the City of Santa Clara, CA,  Thursday through Sunday, June 18 - 21.  The weekend kicked off on Thursday morning, when ISHOF assisted the Santa Clara Swim Club in hosting the Worlds Largest Swim Lesson.  Among the instructors were World and American record holders Aaron Peirsol, Conner Jaeger, Alia Atkinson and Tom Shields.  The lesson was part of an effort to promote the importance of learning to swim and to break the Guinness Book of World records for a mass swim lesson.  On Friday, the ISHOF Class of 2015, along with a group of Olympians and Hall Famers were introduced to the crowd on hand at the George Haines International Swim Center to watch the USA Swimming/Arena Pro Swim Series.  Later that evening witnessed the 20th Annual Paragon Awards, sponsored by Pentair Aquatics, at the nearby Santa Clara Hilton Hotel. ISHOF CEO Bruce Wigo and 4 time Olympian and Olympic gold medalist Sheila Taormina acts as Masters of the Ceremony. On hand to welcome the assemblage and pay special tribute to ISHOFs Service Award recipient, Kevin Moore, was Jamie Mathews, Mayor of Santa Clara.  Others receiving awards on Friday night included: Julie ONeill, Jim Stilton, Mary Ann Reeves, Dan Sharadin, Lori Thompson, Petere Wernicki, Cindy and Johnny Johnson, Dr. Sam Britten and Jim Reiser. Jeff Farrell, Sheila Taormina and Barb Rosenstock received Buck Dawson Author Awards.
On Saturday afternoon there was a luncheon for the honorees, award recipients and for participants of the 1955 and 1975 Pan American Games and 1975 World Championships at Mission College.  Highlights were shown of the competitions and amazingly, the entire 1955 US Synchro Swimming team that brought home the gold medal in the first FINA sanctioned synchro competition were on hand.
Saturday evening, five hundred attendees packed into the Santa Clara Convention Center for the 51st Annual Enshrinement Ceremonies and dinner, presented by Speedo.  Olympic and Hall of Fame Great John Naber did a marvelous job as Master of Ceremonies for the Class of 2015, which included: swimmer Enith Brigitha (NED), synchronized swimmer Anastaysia Ermakova (RUS); water polo player/coach Ivo Trumbic; open water swimmer Irene Van Der Laan (NED); coaches James Gaughran (USA) and Don Watson (USA), contributor Bartolo Consolo (ITA) and Masters Swimmer Karlyn Pipes (USA).  Highlights included Hall of Famer Shirley Babashoff presenting the award to Enith Brigitha, nearly 80 former Hinsdale High grads on hand to support Don Watson and an inspiring speech by ISHOF Gold Medallion recipient Anne Warner Cribbs.
A Sunday farewell brunch at the Hilton saw a preview trailer for the upcoming documentary film, The Last Gold being produced by USA Swimming, which tells the story of the 1976 USA Womens Olympic team and the final event at the Montreal Olympics: the 4 x 100 freestyle relay which has become one of the most dramatic events in all of Olympic swimming history.
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. The VISION is EVERY CHILD A SWIMMER. ISHOFs 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.
For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or brucewigo@yahoo.com 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Legendary ISHOF Honor Diving Coach Ron O’Brien to receive stone on Fort Lauderdale's Walk of Fame on Saturday May 23, 2015 at 6.00pm

On Saturday May 23rd, from 6.00-6.45pm, the City of Fort Lauderdale will recognize 4 Fort Lauderdale icons for their lifelong accomplishments with their induction into the City’s Walk of Fame. ISHOF Honor Coach Ron O’Brien is one of the distinguished inductees and his stone will be placed in the city’s Walk of Fame along the boardwalk. We invite all of our former divers, fellow coaches and friends to join in the festivities via live stream. We hope you will join us. Please click here to watch the event live tomorrow at 6.00pm





Ron O’Brien obrien
Diving Coach Ron O’Brien has had a long and distinguished career coaching eight United States Olympic teams and training numerous Olympic Medalists and World Champions at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex from 1990 to 2006.  O’Brien produced a United States National Champion in 25 of his 30 years as a diving coach and had a National Champion for 24 consecutive years from 1973 through 1996.  In the 1988 Olympic Games, O’Brien coached Greg Louganis to his second double gold medal performance in the springboard and platform events, making Louganis the only man to accomplish back-to-back double gold medals in Olympic diving history.  In 1986, all 12 United States Diving individual National Titles were won by divers coached by Ron O’Brien.  In 1984, O’Brien’s team of divers made history when the United States swept all four gold medals at the World Championships, the only time this feat has ever been accomplished and the first time since 1952 that any country had ever swept a major international world class event. 

For more information on the event, please visit: 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES ANNE WARNER CRIBBS AS 2015 GOLD MEDALLION RECIPIENT

FORT LAUDERDALE - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) today announced Anne Warner Cribbs as the 2015 ISHOF Gold Medallion Recipient.  The Gold Medallion is ISHOFs most prestigious honor and it will be presented at the 51st Annual Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremonies at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, California, on Saturday evening, June 20, 2015.  For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit www.ishof.org, www.facebook.com/ishof, or call 954-462-6536.
Because we believe young women athletes need role models to look up to, not only for their athletic careers, but for their their post athlete careers,  we are ecstatic that Anne has agreed to accept this honor from the International Swimming Hall of Fame, says Donna de Varona, ISHOFs Chairwoman of the Board. 
Swimming for world renown coach George Haines, at the Santa Clara Swim Club, fourteen year-old Anne Warner won a gold medal in the 200 meter breaststroke at the 1959 Pan American Games.  A year later, she was part of the USAs gold medal winning medley relay at the Rome Olympic Games.  While the mens Olympic team went off on a celebratory European tour, the women were sent home and without having any college scholarship opportunities in the pre-title IX era, she retired from competition.  By the time she was 24, with the youngest of her two children in kindergarten, she decided to go back to school, eventually graduating from Stanford University in 1979. After years of coaching & teaching swimming in the Bay Area, in 1985 Anne went to work for the City of Palo Alto in the Community Services Department. In 1991, she joined CJC Communications which became Cavalli & Cribbs, a full-service Advertising and public relations firm that specialized in sports, business and non-profit communications.  She was a pioneer in womens professional sports as a co-founder of the American Basketball League in 1996.  In 1999, she was selected to be the CEO of the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee and became the first female to lead a major US Olympic Bid Committee: San Francisco 2012.  While the bid ultimately lost to New York, it had a 90% approval rating from the public.  She continues today as the President/CEO of BASOC, which over the past seventeen years has hosted or helped to organize many events, including the 2006 FINA World Masters Championships, and she was Director of 2011 USA Swimming National and Junior National Championships at Stanford. Cribbs produced the 40th Anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy with USA & China table tennis Olympians and was chair of the 2009 Summer National Senior Games. Anne currently serves on the USA Table Tennis Board of Directors and was elected to the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame as a trailblazer. She is Chair Emeritus of the Northern California Olympians and Paralympians Chapter.
Anne will receive the Gold Medallion as part of the 51st ISHOF Enshrinement weekend, honoring the Class of 2015, which includes: swimmers Enith Brigitha (NED), Jodie Henry (AUS) and Diana Macanu (ROM); Diver Lao Lishi (CHN); Synchronized Swimmer Anastaysia Ermakova (RUS); Water Polo Player/Coach Ivo Trumbic (CRO/YUG/NED); Coaches James Gaughran (USA), Don Watson (USA) and Masako Kaneko (JPN); Contributor Bartolo Consolo (ITA); Pioneer Liang Boxi (CHN), and Masters Swimmer Karlyn Pipes (USA).  
About the Gold Medallion
The International Swimming Hall of Fame Gold Medallion Award is presented each year to a former competitive swimmer for his or her national or international significant achievements in the field of science, entertainment, art, business, education, or government. There are no restrictions other than the recipient must be an outstanding adult whose life has served as an inspiration for youth.  For more information and a list of past recipients 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. ISHOFs 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.  Earlier this year, ISHOF announced it will be relocating to Santa Clara, California.

For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or email bwigo@ishof.org