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