Monday, July 6, 2020

Laurie Lawrence Takes A Jab At Jacco: Aussie Olympic Tough Cuts Would Have Left Armstrong & Sieben At Home

Laurie Lawrence has never been shy about letting the world of swimming know how he’s feeling, as we came to learn from watching him slap a reporter across the chops several times in the heat of the moment after his Australia charge Duncan Armstrong caused upset with gold in the 200m freestyle at the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988.
Now 78, Coach Lawrence is not mellowing with age, it seems: he’s just labelled Swimming Australia’s departing head coach Jacco Verhaeren “a w****r” for implementing what’s been described as a “ruthless” selection policy for the Tokyo 2020ne Olympic Games, delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The language is what it is. The point is this: the first two swimmers home inside qualifying time get to represent Australia at the Olympic Games. Usually.
For next year, when the trials will be held late and in the same week as the United States Olympic Trials, there’s a new twist: the top two inside the time cut must also swim inside what could be a sharper target: the time it took to make finals at the 2019 World Championships.
“This policy is absolutely ridiculous, it makes me want to spew. It should be first and second and away you go. It’s cutthroat enough to finish first or second at the trials but plenty of swimmers are pure racers that will improve when they get to the Olympics.”
Laurie Lawrence, whose successes include two of the greatest upsets in Olympic racing, Armstrong’s effort couple by Jon Sieben‘s 200m butterfly victory over Micheal “The Albatross” Gross after entering the Games as No25 in the world. Says Lawrence:
“If we have the same policy then, neither Sieben or Armstrong would have even gone to the Olympics so neither would have won gold medals for Australia. The Olympics is about racing, it’s not about what time they swim because times change depending on the situation. You want racers so the trials should be about finding out who are the best two racers, then let them race again at the Olympics.”
Linden notes that, under the higher criteria, 2016 Olympic champion Mack Horton would not have been in the 400m freestyle at the 2019 World Championships had it not been for a let-out clause allowing him access to solo events if he made a relay.
Jacco Verhaeren
Jacco Verhaeren – Photo Courtesy: SwimmingWorld.TV
Verhaeren, of course, also has significant Olympic success under his belt, as does Alex Baumann, the 1984 double Olympic medley champion for Canada and now Swimming Australia high performance boss. Baumann takes a different view to Laurie Lawrence at least for 2021, telling Linden:
“Our philosophy is to win when it matters to inspire a nation. That’s our vision and whether we like it or not, it is about medals. That’s what high performance is all about, you‘ve got to perform when it matters and you have to perform to make the team. Obviously that puts pressure on athletes during the trials but when you get to the Olympics, it’s a pressure cooker and you have to be able to deal with a lot of distractions and perform under those conditions.”
Whether through hearing the concerns off Laurie Lawrence and others or for other reasons, Baumann discussed the possibility of changing the policy with Verhaeren and the man who will take up the head coach reigns, Rohan Taylor.  All agreed the higher bar would stay in place for 2021 Olympic Trials, set for Adelaide from June 12-17, pandemic allowing.

Helene Madison – 90th Anniversary Of The Advent Of The ‘Queen Of Waves'

Monday, June 29, 2020

JASON LEZAK is One in A Thousand !!!





Jason Lezak, ISHOF Honoree and called the man who made the greatest relay swim of all time, is special.  He is One in a Thousand!

When asked why he wanted to join the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s One in A Thousand Club, Lezak said, “I made my first trip to the Hall of Fame when I was 18.  Although I already had Olympic dreams, this added inspiration to want to achieve like so many of the greats from our past.  No matter what sport I did, I was always appreciated the history that created the opportunities for me to succeed. 

It was an honor to be inducted last year and to now have a display for all the visitors to see.  It’s very humbling to be a small part of swimming history.”

Join the One in a Thousand Club by helping ISHOF on a monthly or one-time basis.


·         $10 Monthly Commitment
·         $25 Monthly Commitment
·         $50 Monthly Commitment
·         Make a One-Time Commitment

More about……JASON LEZAK
From the beginning, Jason Lezak showed great promise in the pool, but he constantly butted heads with his coach, Dave Salo, over his commitment to training. Recruited to swim at UC Santa Barbara, Jason’s problems with authority continued until coach Gregg Wilson finally dismissed him from the team. This was the wake-up call he needed. He loved to swim and compete, and after promising to improve his training habits, Jason rejoined the team. In his Senior year, Lezak was named Big West Conference Swimmer of the Year.

At the 2000 Olympic Trials, Jason finished fourth in the 100m freestyle. While he failed to qualify individually, his result was good enough to make the 4x100m freestyle relay team, an event Team USA had never lost in the Olympic Games.  In Sydney, the Australians pulled off the unexpected upset in their home pool and the USA settled for the silver.

Over the next four years, Jason was the top sprinter in the world, and at the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials in Long Beach, he qualified for the Olympic Games in both the 50m and 100m freestyle.

In Athens, the US freestyle relay team was trying to win back the title it had lost in Sydney four years earlier. Instead, they finished third behind South Africa and the Netherlands. The next day Jason did not swim as well as expected and failed to reach the semi-finals. Individually Jason finished fifth in the 50 meter freestyle. Success came when he swam the freestyle leg behind Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen, and Ian Crocker to win the medley relay gold medal, in world record time.

In 2006, Dave Salo left Irvine to take the coaching job at USC, leaving Jason without a coach. He began coaching himself and proved by qualifying for his third Olympic Games that he had the discipline to train daily without a team or trainer at his side.
When he finished second in the 100m freestyle at the Olympic Trials in Omaha, he was 32 years old, the oldest male swimmer to make the team and was selected by his teammates as a captain.

At the 2008 Games in Beijing, his first event was the 4x100m freestyle relay. The USA hadn’t won this race since 1996 and this time the USA was not the favorite. That distinction belonged to the team from France, with 100m world record holder, Alain Bernard as its anchorman. Swimming last, and starting nearly a fully body length behind, Jason chased down Bernard in the final 20 yards to win the gold medal by eight-one-hundredths of a second. Jason’s split time of 46.06, is still the fastest 100m split in history.

The next day, Jason won bronze in the 100m freestyle for the first individual Olympic medal of his career. On the final day of competition, he anchored the USA’s world record setting medley relay that gave Michael Phelps his historic eighth gold medal.

Continuing to swim on his own after Beijing, Jason passed up the opportunity to compete in the World Championships to participate in the Maccabiah Games in Israel, where he won four gold medals and celebrated his heritage as a Jewish athlete.

In 2012, at the age of 36, Jason qualified for his fourth Olympic team by finishing sixth at the Olympic Trials in the 100 free. In London, he swam in the preliminaries and helped earn a spot in the final for the silver medal winning U.S. team. In doing so, he became the first male swimmer in Olympic history to win four medals in the same event, in the 4×100m freestyle relay, in four consecutive Olympic Games.

Jason ended his Olympic career with a total of eight medals, four gold, two silver and two bronze.  Today Jason is a proud husband and father of three and a popular motivational speaker who is balancing his family life with business opportunities.



The International Swimming Hall of Fame nts to know if you are One in a Thousand?  We think you are!  Show how special you are and become a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s “One In A Thousand” Club.  Help keep the International Swimming Hall of Fame moving forward toward a new vision and museum by joining now!


During these unprecedented times, the ISHOF Board is calling on every member in the aquatic community to make a small monthly commitment of support to show how special you are and how special the International Swimming Hall of Fame is to everyone. 

Our goal is simple. If we get 1,000 people to simply commit $10, $25 or $50 per month, we will generate enough revenue to go beyond this Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis.” – Bill Kent – Chairman of the ISHOF Board

Those that believe in our vision, mission, and goals can join us in taking ISHOF into the future and be a part of aquatic history.”  – Brent Rutemiller – CEO and President of ISHOF

Since 1965, ISHOF has been the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports. ISHOF’s vision for the future is to build a new museum and expand its reach by offering its museum artifacts digitally through a redesigned website.

The ISHOF Board of Directors is calling on all members of the aquatics community to make a small monthly commitment to show their dedication to aquatics and how special the International Swimming Hall of Fame is to everyone.

About ISHOF   Take a Virtual Tour

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) museum opened its doors to the public in December of 1968 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That same year, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) – the governing body for Olympic aquatic sports – designated the ISHOF museum as the “Official Repository for Aquatic History”.   In 2018, Sports Publications Inc, publisher of Swimming World Magazine and its multi-media platforms, merged with ISHOF to expand the museum’s reach and impact.  Today, ISHOF’s vision is to be the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports.  Show your support for the sport of swimming by becoming a member of ISHOF.

ISHOF Vision Statement
To be the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports.


ISHOF Mission Statement
To collaborate with aquatic organizations worldwide to preserve, educate and celebrate history, showcase events, share cultures, and increase participation in aquatic sports.


The International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc. is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, incorporated in the State of Florida. Contributions to ISHOF are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. ISHOF’s tax identification number is 59-1087179. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR FROM THE WEBSITE, www.800helpfla.com. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. You can find out more about us on guidestar.org under International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc.



Monday, June 22, 2020

KLAUS DIBIASI is One in A Thousand !!!




Klaus DiBiasi, ISHOF Honoree and triple Olympic medalist is special.  He is One in a Thousand!

When asked why he wanted to join the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s One in A Thousand Club, DiBiasi said, “ What I remember most about the Hall of Fame is the first time I came to compete in the early 1970’s and the important people who really showed a big friendship to all of us.   I feel a huge gratitude to all of them who really stepped in for our sport, and organized the International Hall of Fame Diving Meet so we could come to Fort Lauderdale all those years.

I remember my induction in 1981 and then again in 2006 for the induction of my father, Carlo "Papà" DiBiasi.  The museum is a wonderful historical contribution to the sport of swimming and diving worldwide.  With the induction ceremonies of the famous divers and swimmers every year, the Hall of Fame is the most famous water sport historical collection in the world.

All this is why I am proud to be One in a Thousand, and give back to help keep this fantastic project alive.   I am anxious to return when the new pool construction will permit competition again in this historical environment.”

Join Klaus in the One in a Thousand Club by helping ISHOF on a monthly or one-time basis.

·         $10 Monthly Commitment
·         $25 Monthly Commitment
·         $50 Monthly Commitment
·         Make a One-Time Commitment

Klaus DiBiasi. No other man or woman has won an Olympic diving title in three consecutive Olympic Games.  He very nearly won four, missing the first of what would have been four consecutive 10-meter platform titles by 1.04 points to Bob Webster (USA) at the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games.  This Austro-Italian from Bolzano, Italy was king of the tower from 1964 through his retirement in 1976.  He was coached by his father, Carlo, fondly known as “Papa”, and Olympian himself, 1936 Olympics.  Klaus succeeded his father as National Coach when he retired after his third gold medal in Montreal. 

  At the first two FINA World Aquatic Championships, in 1973 and 1975 he won four medals, two gold on the platform and two silver on the springboard.  Klaus was a three-time European Champion, twice on the platform and once on the springboard. Nationally DiBiasi won 11 platform and seven springboard titles.  DiBiasi was named Platform Diver of the Year nine times.

DiBiasi and the Italian team were staples at ISHOF’s International/Can-Am-Max Meet in Fort Lauderdale.  They came every year in the 1970’s until Klaus retired.  DiBiasi returned to Fort Lauderdale in 1981, when he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Diver.
 Klaus DiBiasi is “One in a Thousand.  
The International Swimming Hall of Fame wants to know if you are One in a Thousand?  We think you are!  Show how special you are and become a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s “One In A Thousand” Club.  Help keep the International Swimming Hall of Fame moving forward toward a new vision and museum by joining now!

During these unprecedented times, the ISHOF Board is calling on every member in the aquatic community to make a small monthly commitment of support to show how special you are and how special the International Swimming Hall of Fame is to everyone.

Our goal is simple. If we get 1,000 people to simply commit $10, $25 or $50 per month, we will generate enough revenue to go beyond this Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis.” – Bill Kent – Chairman of the ISHOF Board

Those that believe in our vision, mission, and goals can join us in taking ISHOF into the future and be a part of aquatic history.”  – Brent Rutemiller – CEO and President of ISHOF

Since 1965, ISHOF has been the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports. ISHOF’s vision for the future is to build a new museum and expand its reach by offering its museum artifacts digitally through a redesigned website.
The ISHOF Board of Directors is calling on all members of the aquatics community to make a small monthly commitment to show their dedication to aquatics and how special the International Swimming Hall of Fame is to everyone.

About ISHOF   Take a Virtual Tour

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) museum opened its doors to the public in December of 1968 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That same year, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) – the governing body for Olympic aquatic sports – designated the ISHOF museum as the “Official Repository for Aquatic History”.   In 2018, Sports Publications Inc, publisher of Swimming World Magazine and its multi-media platforms, merged with ISHOF to expand the museum’s reach and impact.  Today, ISHOF’s vision is to be the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports.  Show your support for the sport of swimming by becoming a member of ISHOF.

ISHOF Vision Statement
To be the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports.

ISHOF Mission Statement
To collaborate with aquatic organizations worldwide to preserve, educate and celebrate history, showcase events, share cultures, and increase participation in aquatic sports.


The International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc. is registered as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, incorporated in the State of Florida. Contributions to ISHOF are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. ISHOF’s tax identification number is 59-1087179. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800-435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR FROM THE WEBSITE, www.800helpfla.com. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. 

You can find out more about us on guidestar.org under International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc.