Friday, December 14, 2018

International Swimming Hall of Fame and Lynne Cox Featured on Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Museum”

Lynne Cox Photo Courtesy: ISHOF Archives
Have you ever wondered why is the International Swimming Hall of Fame is so important?
The answer is simple.  It is the only entity that archives important aquatic related memorabilia in order to preserve history and educate the next generation.  Nothing demonstrates this fact more than the recent Travel Channel’s show Mysteries at the Museum. The episode was filmed at the International Swimming Hall of Fame and documented the journey of Lynne Cox, who was the first swimmer to swim the Bering Strait from Alaska to the Soviet Union in the summer of 1987.  Her swim demonstrated how close the Soviet Union and the United States were to each other and was instrumental in ending the Cold War between the two super powers.
“I wanted to open the border so we could become friends,” says Cox, who first conceived of the idea of the swim in 1976 and spent years lobbying Soviet officials for permission to enter their waters.”The difficulty was that nobody believed it could happen.” – Not just swimming in freezing water, but to bring an end to the cold war.
After being ignored at every turn, Cox finally decided to use “every last penny” of her savings to do her swim. On the eve of the swim, there was still no word from Moscow, and the military on both sides of the Cold War were jittery.
But at the last minute, the Soviets had sent a top-level delegation, including KGB officials and sports stars. They had even prepared a small beach party. The swim turned Cox into a Cold War celebrity in the United States and the Soviet Union.
When President Gorbachev traveled to Washington to sign a nuclear weapons treaty later that year, he and President Reagan raised a glass to toast the swimmer.
“She proved by her courage how close to each other our peoples live,” Gorbachev said.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Passages: Remembering Rogers “Tiger” Holmes – Nov. 13, 1921 – Nov. 28, 2018

“Whatever you do, do it well.  Go hard. Go at it 100%” - Rogers B. Tiger Holmes
The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is saddened to report the passing of Rogers Baldwin “Tiger” Holmes, at the age of 97.  Tiger served as member of ISHOF’s Board of Directors from 1991 to 1996, as Chairman of the Board from 1996 to 1998 and was the recipient of the organization’s Gold Medallion Award in 1998.  Here are some thoughts from a few who were impacted by his life.
“Tiger Holmes represented everything that is right about swimming. He had a pure love for the sport and the people in swimming. He had a sharp sense of humor and I could sit and listen to him for hours as he spun one incredible tale after another. There are some other amazing Tigers out there but for me, there will be only one. Tiger Holmes”  – Rowdy Gaines: Olympic Champion/Olympic Commentator, ISHOF Hall of Fame
“I loved that man! When I first met Tiger, I was just 18 and he was this very accomplished and successful 62-year-old businessman.  Yet you would have thought you were meeting royalty.  So enthusiastic, so welcoming and so happy to have me swimming for Florida and his Holmes Lumber Gators.  For a kid 3,000 miles from home his support and friendship meant so much to me. He made me feel like he was my biggest fan but he treated all the other swimmers the same way.  Over the years he never changed. He was still so enthusiastic, with incredible energy that was conveyed through his clear, sparkling blue eyes.  I was so proud to wear sweats with a tiger tail on them and am so grateful for having had him as a friend.” – Mary Wayte Bradburne: Olympic Champion, ISHOF Hall of Fame
“Tiger was such a wonderful human being and he definitely bled orange and blue. I’ve never seen anyone so dedicated to swimming as Tiger was to swimming and the University of Florida. He was our biggest cheerleader and truly epitomizes what giving back means.  I’m sure all Florida Gators and everyone who knew him are mourning his passing.” – Dara Torres: Olympic Champion, ISHOF Hall of Fame
“He was just a tremendous backer of the sport of swimming.  Not just my program but the sport of swimming.  I doubt there are many people who loved swimming as much as Tiger Holmes.” – Randy Reese: Head Coach, University of Florida and Holmes Lumber Gaters, ISHOF Hall of Fame
“Tiger Holmes was larger than life in so many levels, but with all that he was he was the most humble person and underneath his “good old boy” veneer he was whip smart.  It was apparent to me right away, that Tiger cared about us not just as swimmers, but that he wanted us all to be happy and successful in life beyond swimming and in return we all wanted to make him proud of us.  I was blessed to be a small part of Tiger’s life.” – Craig Beardsley: World Champion, World Record-holder, 1980 Olympian
“Tiger was a warm and delightful man who loved swimming and the “Every Child A Swimmer” goal of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.  In addition to supporting ISHOF, Tiger’s Holmes Lumber Company sponsored a program to teach disadvantaged children in his hometown of Jacksonville how to swim.  Many of the children didn’t even have bathing suits, but from 1990 to 1992 he  managed to teach 12,000 kids to swim! That was just in the summer. A great man and a friend of swimming who will be missed by all who knew him.” – Dr. Bill Kent: ISHOF Chairman of the Board

“It got me to 93! My doctor told me if I hadn’t swum I’da been dead ten years ago. So I keep at it.” – Tiger Holmes

Photo From His 97 Birthday Last Week… Celebrating With Daughters Leighton and Mary (L to r)

Overview of Tiger Holmes

  • International Swimming Hall of Fame, Gold Medallion Award (1998)
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame, Chairman of the Board (1996-98)
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame, Board Member
  • Holmes Lumber sponsors Jacksonville “Every Child A Swimmer” learn to swim initiative (1991 – 1992)
  • Charles McCaffree Award, American College Coaches Association (1989)
  • Jacksonville Area Sports Lifetime Achievement Award (1996)
  • Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame inductee
  • Southeastern Conference champion, 50 freestyle (1942)
  • World Masters champion, 50 butterfly (1990, 1992, 1994)
  • USMS national champion (14 titles)
  • University of Florida Hall of Fame
  • University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame
  • Founder of the Holmes LumberJax Masters Team
  • Sponsor of the Holmes Lumber Gators, University of Florida club team (1984-88)
In 2015 Tiger made swimming history when he teamed up with three other masters swimmers, whose average age was 90.5 years to set a world 4 x 200 meter relay record that may never be broken.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Give today to help preserve the history of swimming, celebrate the heroes, and promote the benefits of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, water safety, and quality of life!

For the first time, International Swimming Hall of Fame has joined the #GivingTuesday movement, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of people giving back and supporting causes that improve their local communities and make a difference worldwide. Through Giving Tuesday, ISHOFs goal is to raise funds to support its purpose of promoting the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, and quality of life. ISHOF also strives to teach the importance of water safety for children and recognize the critical role coaches and educators make to the sport of swimming. “Swimming has given me so much in my life,” says Steve West, current masters swimmer, and former collegiate swimmer for the University of Michigan, NCAA champion, and U.S. National Team member. “Through swimming, I have first and foremost been able to enjoy a sport that keeps me healthy and is something I can do forever! Competing in swimming has taught me important life skills; discipline, hard work, dedication, and teamwork. The people in this sport are a family, taking care of and supporting each other. I owe my life to the sport of swimming and that’s why I will donate to ISHOF on #GivingTuesday,” added West.

  #GivingTuesday logo  

 As a not-for-profit educational organization, ISHOF fulfills its purpose through the operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The museum is a unique display dedicated to the history, memory, and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers, and persons involved in life saving activities and education throughout the world. These athletes and their accomplishments inspire, educate, and serve as role models for all those who experience the hall of fame. To make a donation to the International Swimming Hall of Fame, please visit the ISHOF website. Donations can be made in any dollar value and can be made in the name of a loved one who is a swimming enthusiast. To be a part of ISHOF all year long, become an ISHOF member! Membership benefits include mention in our annual yearbook, access to Swimming World Magazine online vault, an opportunity to attend the annual induction ceremony in Ft. Lauderdale, ISHOF swag, and more.

 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, REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE. You can find out more about us on under International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Call for nominations for the 2019 Annual Paragon Awards at the International Swimming Hall of Fame

The International Swimming Hall of Fame announces the
call for nominations for the 2019 Annual Paragon Awards at the International Swimming Hall of Fame,
to be presented on the occasion of the Hall of Fame Honors Weekend, May 17-19, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale.
Candidates may be nominated in the following categories
  1. Competitive Swimming
  2. Competitive Diving
  3. Competitive Synchronized Swimming
  4. Competitive Water Polo
  5. Aquatic Safety
  6. Recreational Swimming
The Awards are presented for outstanding contributions and leadership within the category.
Kindly submit your nominees by December 1, 2018. Please include data to support your nomination as well as a brief biography of each individual.           
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Nominations may be sent to:
Dr. Ivonne Schmid
International Swimming Hall of Fame
1 Hall of Fame Drive
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: 954-462-6536 ext. 210
Fax:     954-525-4031

Friday, November 2, 2018

Michael P. Read, MBE to Receive the 2019 Poseidon Award

FORT LAUDERDALE The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) will recognize

Michael P. Read, MBE for his high-level achievement in marathon swimming with the 2019 Poseidon Award.  The Award will be presented to Michael, on Saturday evening, during the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, on March 9th in Melbourne Australia.  The Poseidon Award is presented annually by International Swimming Hall of Fame to the organization or individual for high level achievement from personal effort or initiative in a field of endeavor that contributes to the performance of marathon swimmers or to the development and status of Marathon Swimming to the world.
This year’s award honors Michael P. Read, MBE.  As a swimmer he has competed more than 130 epic marathons including 33 crossings of the English Channel.  Michael’s first ever swims include a 67 km (42-mile) quadruple-crossing of Lake Windermere.   His longest 96.5 km (60 miles) around Isle of Wright in 24+ hours and his coldest 38km (24-mile) Loch Ness in 14+ hours in 6° to 7°C (42.8° to 44.7°F) water.  Other International swims include:   40 km (25-mile) Nile International Championship, 40 km (25 miles), Manhattan Island and Lake Zurich.  A member of Great Britain’s 1960 Olympic team, he is still active, having completed the Gulf of Toroneos 26km marathon in 2018 and winning the European Masters 5km Championship in 2018. 
Read has served as a swimming administrator in one capacity or another for over 60 years.  For nearly 45 years he has helped direct the Channel Swimming Association, becoming Chairman in 1993 and President in 2007.  During this time the popularity of open water and Channel swimming has exploded. 
He was inducted as an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) in 1978, honored by the ISHOF with the Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award in 2009 and inducted as an Honor Swimmer in 2011.  For his singular contributions to marathon swimming on the international stage, Michael has been awarded the 2019 Poseidon Award.
For additional information, please call Ned Denison in Ireland at (+353) 87-987-1573 or ISHOF at (954) 462-6536, or visit

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sue Guesdon to Receive the 2019 Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award

FORT LAUDERDALE – The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) will recognize Sue Guesdon, for her extensive contributions to the administration of open water swimming with the 2019 Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award.  The Award will be presented to Sue, on Saturday evening, during the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, on March 9th in Melbourne Australia.  The Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award is presented annually by International Swimming Hall of Fame to the organization or individual who has contributed the most to the administration of open water swimming.

This year’s award honors Sue Guesdon, an open water swimming administrator from Australia who has served the sport for more than 50 years.  She has contributed in a wide range of roles and assisted at many events across the world.   Sue’s roles included:  Race Director, Organiser, Coach Handler, Administrator, Team Official, Lecturer, Judge, Health & Fitness Advisor, Licensed Boat Captain, Writer and Open Water Official. 
Over this half century she assisted at marathon swimming events in the following countries:  Australia, Canada, Cook Islands, Fiji, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Italy, Papua New Guinea, United Kingdom and USA.  Selected examples help illustrate the range of Sue’s contribution:
Official - 40km Port Philip Bay Big Swim 1968; Coach handler - English Channel 1970, 1975 and 1977; Escort handler - Hong Kong Repulse Bay Marathon October 1977; Australian Team coach handler- silver medal- Capri Napoli World Championship 1975; Official Clerk of Course & Judge Fiji Open Water Championships 2001; FINA OWS Certificate - Technical Officials Clinic Cook Islands 2007 and Clerk of Course/Official South East Asian Games OWS event 2009.
Her ability in so many aspects of the sport gives her an understanding of the athletes and officials and was paramount in her success as a technical official lecturer and teacher and was a driving force toward the positioning and development of marathon swimming in the world. 

For additional information, please call Ned Denison in Ireland at (+353) 87-987-1573 or ISHOF at (954) 462-6536, or visit

Friday, October 12, 2018

The International Swimming Hall of Fame Is Accepting Nominations For 2019 Inductees

Fort Lauderdale, Florida: — The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is accepting nominations for the 2019 class of inductees, which honors individuals who have achieved tremendous success in the aquatic disciplines and/or made a significant impact on the sport of aquatics through their lifelong efforts.
The 2019 Inductees will be honored at ISHOF’s annual Induction Ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA on Saturday May 18, 2019.
Nominations can be made by anyone in any of the following ten categories:
  • Swimming
  • Open Water Swimming (FINA Events)
  • Marathon Swimming (Non-FINA Events)
  • Diving
  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Water Polo
  • Coach
  • Pioneer
  • Contributor
  • Masters (Swimming, Diving, Water Polo, Synchronized Swimming, Coach, Contributor)
Nominations must be submitted along with supporting materials by October 19, 2018. Nomination forms can be found at:—honoree-nomination-form.pdf. Nominations may be emailed to or faxed to 954.525.4031.
Each nominee must meet the following minimum criteria to appear on the ballot:
Athletes in Olympic Sports shall not be chosen unless retired from elite competition for at least one Olympic quadrennial. “Athletes in Olympic Sports” refers to swimmers, open water swimmers, divers, water polo players and artistic (synchronized) swimmers. Marathon swimmers and Masters athletes do not need to be retired from competition.
To achieve selection to the ISHOF, nominees are judged on their extraordinary success at the international levels, not just within his or her own country.
A coach must have a significant international record and have been coaching at least 25 years.
A contributor must have been involved in swimming for at least 20 years and have had a significant international impact. Athletic achievement should NOT be considered. Contributors are those who have advanced the sport internationally through leadership, journalism, invention, events and overall promotion of great, outstanding impact.
The Pioneer category was created to honor great achievements that have been overlooked over time due to special circumstances, such as interruptions caused by, for example, war or politics.
Nominees must also meet the ISHOF ethics guidelines. With any ethical violations of the spirit and principles of Olympism, the ISHOF relies upon the legal system (civil and criminal), National and
International governing bodies along with organizations responsible for registering, certifying and disciplining coaches and athletes to make determinations regarding allegations of criminal and unethical behavior in a way that ensures constitutionally guaranteed due process protection for all parties involved.
If and when ISHOF is presented with substantial or compelling evidence, a determination, a criminal charge, conviction or admission of guilt, the ISHOF board of Directors will consider all options within our means and resources that will enable us to ensure the integrity of our Hall of Fame.
For more information please email Ivonne Schmid at or call 954.462.6536 ext. 210


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, its goal 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.
The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF). For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact