Friday, October 16, 2020

Happy Birthday Sue Pedersen !!!


SUE PEDERSEN (USA) 1995 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD:  1968 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (4x100m freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay), silver (100m freestyle, 200m individual medley), 4th (400m individual medley); 3 WORLD RECORDS: (200m freestyle, 4x100m medley relay, 4x200m freestyle relay); 1967 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: silver ( 800m freestyle, 200m , 400m individual medley); 6 U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS; 4 U.S. NATIONAL RECORDS; 9 AMERICAN RECORDS.

At the age of three, Sue Pedersen had so much extra energy that her family doctor instructed her parents to "find something for her to do."  Following the doctor's advice, they introduced her to a swimming pool where her tremendous energy became loads of talent, making history.

Sue became the greatest age group swimmer of her era.  She was the first 10 and under age group swimmer to break a minute in the 100 yard freestyle.  The following year she shocked her audience by becoming the youngest girl to set a senior American record.

Her parents, who regarded her swimming as a "family affair," often had to present proof of age to judges who had a hard time believing that one so young could swim so fast.

In her first senior level meet at the AU Swimming Championships, Sue humbled the world's top swimmers by capturing the 500 yard freestyle event.  Her record-breaking style continued at the 1968 Olympic Trials when she came out No. 1, smashing the American record and found a spot as "Baby Sue" of the Olympic team.

Celebrating her 15th birthday at the Olympics, she received many gifts including a few from herself: two gold medals in the 4x100 meter freestyle relay and the 4x100 meter medley relay and two silver medals in the 100meter freestyle and the 200 meter individual medley.

Shortly after the Olympics, Sue decided to retire while still a champion.  Throughout the years, Sue has instilled in her daughter, Trish, the values she learned through swimming.  Trish is an accomplished equestrian rider and is now in her first year of medical school.  Sue lives in Tacoma, Washington and works as a certified public accountant.

Happy Birthday Melissa Belote !!!

MELISSA BELOTE  (USA) 1983 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD:  OLYMPIC GAMES: 1972 gold (100m, 200m backstroke; 400m medley relay); WORLD RECORDS: 4 (200m backstroke; medley relay); WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1973 GOLD (200m backstroke), silver (100m backstroke; relay); AAU NATIONALS: 6 (1972, 1973, 1975); AMERICAN RECORDS: 9 (100m, 200m backstroke; relays); WOMEN'S NATIONAL COLLEGIATE Titles: 3 (1977: 100yd, 200yd backstroke; 400yd individual medley).

What American girl swimmer won three gold medals in the 1972 Munich Olympics?  The answer is Melissa Belote.  What American girl swimmer won one of our only two gold medals against the East Germans in the First World Championships?  The answer, again, Melissa Belote.  

Miss Belote came from nowhere in the 1972 Olympic Trials to beat the reigning queen of the American Backstroke, Susie Atwood.  In Munich they again finished one, two, as Melissa set a World and Olympic Record to win the 200m Back.  Nominated twice for the Sullivan Award, in 1972 & 1973, she again made the team for the 1976 Montreal Games.  

During the 1976-77 season, Melissa finished first in College All-American ratings for the 200yd & 400yd I.M., and the 200yd Back.  For this season she also won the AIAW & Broderick Awards as "Outstanding Female College Swimmer."  Melissa retired in 1979 and was inducted into the Arizona State University Hall of Fame in 1981.  Following the retirement of her longtime mentor, Ed Solotar, she is now co-coach of the Solotar Swim Team.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Happy Birthday to the Great Laurie Lawrence !!!

 LAURIE LAWRENCE (AUS) 1996 Honor Coach

FOR THE RECORD: 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES: Team Coach; 1982, 1986 COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Team Coach; Swimming Coach since 1966; Coach of swimmers Jon Sieben, Duncan Armstrong, Julie MacDonald, Glen Buchanan, Justin Lemberg, Glen Houseman, Helen Gray, Steve Holland and Tracy Wickham; Author of Lawrence of Australia, Sink or Swim and Babies Can Swim videotape.

His own voice beams with enthusiasm, pride and with the feeling that nothing easy is worth doing.  It is defying the odds...doing the impossible that excites Laurie Lawrence.  He is the master innovator.  He inspires confidence and belief.  No challenge is too great, no task is impossible.  Everyone around him soaks in his enthusiasm.

And that is just what Laurie has done - create the atmosphere for his swimmers to succeed.  To some people, Laurie Lawrence is a crazy, over-competitive mad man.  But his shining side, his greatest asset, is his ability and attitude in helping young Australians achieve their goals.  He is the kind of coach who could have coached in any sport and been successful.  Lucky for us, he chose swimming.  Even from his own competitive days as an athlete playing rugby for his country, it was winning for Australia that counted for Laurie.

Win and produce winners is what he did, and in a way that only Laurie Lawrence could do.  His first big charge was Helen Gray, whom he shocked in 1970 by throwing her Queensland silver medal over the fence as his way of saying, "Don't be complacent.  You can be a medalist at the Commonwealth Games if you re-focus, work hard."  She did, winning a silver medal in the 800m freestyle and a berth on the 1972 Olympic Team.  His swimmers include Hall of Famer Steve Holland, the skinny little youngest ever world record holder at age fifteen who set eleven world records in the 800m and 1500m freestyles, and was a World Championship and Commonwealth Games gold medalist, and an Olympic bronze medalist; Hall of Famer Tracy Wickham, five time world record holder for nine and one-half years in the distance freestyle events, World Championship and Commonwealth Games gold medalist; Glenn Buchanan the 1984 100m butterfly double bronze medalist and his teammate Jon Seiben who at the Los Angeles Olympics beat Michael Gross of Germany in the 200m butterfly, setting a new world record; Julie MacDonald, Pan Pacific's gold medalist and Commonwealth medalist and Australia's only 1988 Olympic female medalist, bronze in the 800m freestyle; Hall of Famer Duncan Armstrong, Seoul's 200m freestyle gold medalist and 400m silver medalist and world record holder in the process.  There will be others who will benefit from his iron-hard philosophy of success.  Said Duncan Armstrong, "He had that gift of inspiration.  He could reach into you and you could feel the strength from him."

Most of Laurie's Olympic swimmers learned to swim under his guidance and in his now famous Learn to Swim School for babies, pre-school and school-aged children.  Laurie personally instructs youngsters in swimming and also specializes in teaching physically handicapped children.  Judy Young is one of the swimmers who won the Para-Olympic gold in the 400m freestyle at the Seoul Olympics.  His book, Sink or Swim, on teaching babies is a valuable guide for all parents, and he joins Hall of Famer Virginia Hunt Newman, promoting trust and motivation to teach swimming the comforting way.

From being around the Townsville Pool his father ran, and sparked into swimming by the legendary Hall of Famer Jon Henricks, Laurie Lawrence has become a swimming legend and a maker of champions, capable of lifting the spirits of those around him to soaring heights.  He is many other things too - extrovert, patriot, poet, humorist, singer and now the most sought after motivational speaker in Australia.  His swimmers have set over seventeen world records, and he has coached Aussie Teams to three Commonwealth Games and three Olympic teams.  He possesses the qualities with which he works to instill in every competitor: be proud, persist, work hard, stand tall, don't quit, don't bend, don't break, don't fall.

Laurie was inducted into ISHOF as an Honor Coach in 1996.  In 2018, he was present with ISHOF's highest award, the Gold Medallion.  His program "Five Alive" is teaching children all over Australia water safety and to learn to swim.  With his outgoing personality and love for life, Laurie is quite the celebrity down under.

Craig Beardsley Joins ‘One in a Thousand’ Campaign, “The Hall of Fame Connects All Of Us”


13 October 2020, 01:54pm

Pan American Games gold medalist and former 200 butterfly world record holder Craig Beardsley has joined the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s “One in a Thousand” campaign, which is designed to help the Hall of Fame thrive during the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I donate because when I was a kid, we would go to Fort Lauderdale and the Hall of Fame was there,” Craig Beardsley said. “As a young athlete, it was burned into my brain the importance of something like this! The importance of having an international swimming hall of fame to acknowledge not only the athletes but everyone in aquatic sports.

“People should know of our sport and the people that came before them and what they did to get the sport to where it is today. We all are on the shoulders of giants. For me, it was the 72 and 76 Olympic teams that kicked it off for me.

“Swimmers are a unique group of people and we are a family and whenever you meet a competitive swimmer, there is an instant connection and bond. You meet someone and go, ‘hey you’re a swimmer?’ and next thing you know there are a million things you’re talking about. It makes the world a better place to have similarities and the same things we experience. It’s a bond that lasts through your lifetime. I think the Hall of Fame is a big part of that – it is part of the glue that actually holds us all together. I love the fact that even though I can’t make every banquet, I can read the newsletters and hearing who is getting inducted and who gets an award. It keeps us engaged at a different level, to see what our friends are doing.

“The Hall of Fame for me always goes beyond just swimming. It means a lot more to me. That’s why I donate all the time because I’ve developed friendships within the organization and it means a great deal to me. I don’t swim Masters but I am involved with Swim Across America so I stay engaged. That’s what the hall of fame does! It keeps us connected around the world which I think is really important. The swimming bond lasts a lifetime.”

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


For larger corporate sponsorships and estate-planning donations, please contact us at

Craig Beardsley: 1980 Olympian

By John Lohn

Craig Beardsley by Tim Morse - 3 (1)

Craig Bearsley. Photo Courtesy: Tim Morse / Swimming World Archive

History views Craig Beardsley as an American great in the 200 meter butterfly. He was preceded by Carl RobieMark Spitz and Mike Bruner. He was followed by Mel StewartTom Malchow and Michael Phelps. But Beardsley is missing the Olympic gold medal they all possess, and by no fault of his own. He was a victim of circumstance and political turmoil.

At the height of his career, like many of his United States teammates, Beardsley was poised to capture gold in the 200 butterfly at the 1980 Games. He was the Pan American champion in 1979, earning him favorite status for Moscow. But when President Jimmy Carter announced the United States would boycott the Olympiad, Beardsley’s dream was crushed.

His nightmare only grew darker four years later, when in pursuit of redemption, Beardsley placed third in his prime event at the U.S. Olympic Trials. The finish locked him out of a trip to Los Angeles and led him into retirement. It was also the first year in which nations were limited to two athletes per event, rather than three.

“The lesson I learned from that was actually a very good life lesson,” Beardsley once said of his boycott ordeal. “Sometimes, you do everything in your power, you do everything you’re supposed to do, but sometimes things are just out of your control. You’ve got to learn to put that behind you, let it roll off your shoulders, and just move on.”

Even without an Olympic appearance and hardware, Beardsley’s accomplishments are impressive.

  • Two world records (with his reign atop the event lasting for more than three years)
  • Gold medals at the 1979 and 1983 Pan American Games
  • A bronze medal at the 1982 World Championships

Perhaps most impressive is the fact that his first world record was an emphatic rebuttal to what unfolded—without his presence—at the 1980 Olympics. Just 10 days after the Soviet Union’s Sergey Fesenko won gold in a time of 1:59.76, Beardsley blasted that performance with a global standard of 1:58.21. The effort left no doubt who was the dominant man in the event.


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.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Construction Update from our favorite Pool Manager: Laura Voet !

It is another great day at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex.

The sun is shining.  Walls are going UP!  Foundation piles are being cut DOWN.  More digging in the DIRT! 

We have a great team of dedicated workers led by Hensel Phelps Construction Company working hard for our City.  The concrete fountain slab for the grandstand and pool filtration room was poured last week and this week a team of skilled masons have started on the concrete block work for the pool filtration building walls.  There are 35 piles that will  support the new dive tower over and the last several weeks the foundation team has been laboriously excavating and cutting them down to the correct height.  The entrance building piles are be excavated and the elevator foundation is being formed.   

The competition pool and dive well concrete shells are complete. All deep foundation work is complete.  Project staff, including City staff Laura Voet and Tom Green, are  traveling to Orlando Friday, October 16 to visit the Gate Precast Co. batch plant to approve the concrete mockup samples for the 27-Meter Dive Tower.  Fabrication of the precast sections is expected to begin late October and completed by late December.  Dive Tower pieces will start arriving mid-January and construction of the dive tower will begin February 2021.  The pool deck is expected to be poured once the dive tower erection is completed – mid March 2021.  

There are two executed agreements, each has a separate timeline.

Contract 1 - Pools, Bleachers, Dive Tower Entry Building, Dive Tower with Amenity Deck

Estimated Completion Date is August 2021. 

The first contract contains the base scope items: new competition pool, new diving well, new teaching pool, refurbished training pool, new grandstand and bleachers, new entrance building (guest restrooms/concession/admissions), expanded pool deck, resurfacing the training pool, and parking lot improvements.  Change orders that have been added into the contract include a 27-meter dive tower and a rooftop amenity space on top of the spectator bathroom/concession/ticketing building.  We expect to cut a ribbon and open the pools August 2021.  TOTAL Budget for First Contract (including change orders) is $38.75 Million

Contract 2 – South Building (Athlete Locker Rooms, Timing Rooms, Aquatic Staff Offices, Meetings Rooms, Lifeguards and First Aid)

Estimated Completion Date is first quarter of 2022. 

HP has an interim agreement to begin design and cost estimating for the South Building.  The total budget for the project is $7M. Since August, we have been working diligently with the HP and their team on the design of the South Building.  The goal is to present this design to the Commission this December with a final defined price and scope to award a construction agreement.  Assuming a December award, HP could begin demolition in January 2021 and have the building constructed the first quarter of 2022.  If there are delays in the approval process, permitting,  supply chain or weather the completion date will change. 

Total Estimated Project Cost:  $46 million. 

City Staff

Tom Green, PE, Senior Project Manager, Beach Community Redevelopment Agency | Parks & Recreation Department

Laura Voet, Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex Manager | Parks & Recreation Department

Hensel Phelps Construction Company – Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center

Owner/Operator                     City of Fort Lauderdale

Lead Design-Builder              Hensel Phelps

Architect                                 Cartaya & Associates

Aquatic Designer                    Counsilman Hunsaker

Aquatic Sub-Contractor          Weller Pools

Geotechnical Engineer           Langan

Civil & Landscape Designer    Keith & Associates, Inc.

Structural Engineer                 Louis Berger

Foundation / Piles                   HJ Keller Foundations

Electrical                                 Hypower

Plumbing                                 Rightway Plumbing

Demolition                              Pece of Mind

Site Work                                Redland Company

Structure                                 The Structure Group

Skin                                          Multiple

Finishes                                   Multiple 

Just keep swimming!



Happy Birthday Summer Sanders !!!

SUMMER SANDERS (USA) 2002 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: 1992 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (200m butterfly), gold (4x100m medley relay – preliminary heat), silver (200m IM), bronze (400m IM), 6th (100m butterfly). 1991 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (200m butterfly), silver (200m IM), bronze (400m IM); 8 U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 2-100y butterfly, 2-200y butterfly, 1-200y IM, 2-400y IM, 1-200m IM; 9 NCAA NATIONAL  CHAMPIONSHIPS: 2-200y butterfly, 2-200y IM, 2-400y IM, 1-4x50y medley relay, 1-4x100y medley relay, 1-4x100y freestyle relay; 1989 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver (200m IM); 1991 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (200m IM, 400m IM, 200m butterfly).

Summer Sanders, a name synonymous with success in swimming. Born October 13, 1972, by age three Sanders could swim a lap of the pool. She wanted to be just like her older brother Trevor. So in 1976 she joined the Sugar Bears, an age group swimming program in RoSAVILLE, California, coached by Mike Barsotti, Scott Winter and Scott O’Conner. From there she jumped to the Sierra Aquatic Club with coach Ralph Thomas and finally to COA where coach Mike Hastings became her greatest influence as a coach. “She knew how to find the holes in the water,” Hastings recalled. “You know how Summer psyches herself up?” brother Trevor had said, “She does it by smiling.” But who could have predicted that she would make swimming history years later at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, winning two gold, one silver and one bronze medal.

In 1989 at age 17, she made her way to a silver medal in the 200m I.M. behind Lin Li of China at the Pan Pacific Championships, her first international meet. Two years later, she came back to win the event, as well as the 400m I.M. (beating Lin Li) and the 200m butterfly.

In 1991, her first year swimming for Hall of Fame coach Richard Quick at Stanford University, Sanders won the 200y butterfly, 200y I.M. and 400y I.M and the 4x100y medley relay. And she repeated her championship swims in 1992, the only other year she swam at Stanford and helped her team win the NCAA National Championships. All totaled, she won eight NCAA National Championship titles during her two years of competition.

At Perth, Australia for the 1991 World Championships, Summer won a silver medal in the 200m I.M. and a bronze medal in the 400m I.M. behind Lin Li of China. It was her prelude to winning the gold medal in the 200m butterfly in the Olympic record time of 2:08.67 the next year at the Barcelona Olympics.

Sanders also won silver and bronze medals in the 200m and 400m individual medleys and a second gold medal on the 4x100m medley relay – preliminary heat. In qualifying for the Olympic Games, Summer was the first U.S. woman since Hall of Famer Shirley Babashoff in 1976 to qualify for four individual events at one Olympiad.

Summer swam for another year, then officially retired in 1994, but came back a year later to try unsuccessfully for the 1996 Olympic Team. During her career she won eight U.S. National Championships.

Sanders turned her enthusiasm, focus, and glowing smile to television reporting and event hosting. She has been co-host of NBA Inside Stuff, contributor for the Today Show, host of  “U.S. Olympic Gold,” co-host on Nickelodeon, contributing editor of Self Magazine, and special feature correspondent for NBC Sports at the 2002 Olympics. She has been a reporter for the NBA, USA tennis and various other events and a special representative of Sport for the U.S. Committee for UNICEF.

Happy Birthday Ian Thorpe !!!

 Ian Thorpe (AUS) 2011 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (400m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle), silver (200m freestyle, 4x100 m medley); 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (200m freestyle, 400m freestyle), silver (4x200m freestyle), bronze (100m freestyle): 1998 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (400m freestyle, 4X200 m freestyle); 2001 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle, 4x100m medley); 2003 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle), silver (200m Individual Medley) bronze (100m freestyle); 17 WORLD RECORDS: 6 (200m freestyle), 5 (400m freestyle), 2 (800 m freestyle), 1 (4x100m freestyle), 3 (4x200m freestyle); 6 WORLD RECORDS (25m): 3 (200m freestyle), 1 (400m freestyle), 2 (4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle); 1999 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP CHAMPIONSHIPS (25m): gold (200m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle), silver (400m freestyle); 1998 COMMONWEALTH GAMES: gold (200m freestyle, 400m freestyle; 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle); 2002 COMMONWEALTH GAMES: gold (100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle, 4x100m medley), silver (100m backstroke); 1999 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle); 2002 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (100m freestyle, 200m freestyle, 400m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle), silver (4x100m medley); WORLD SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: 1998-1999, 2001-2002: WORLD PACIFIC RIM SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2004.

As a child, Ian Thorpe grew tired of seeing his older sister swim in competitions, so he also took up swimming. He was a natural swimmer with a natural stroke, who after outgrowing a chlorine allergy, swam his way into the history books to become Australia’s most decorated swimmer ever. Nicknamed “Torpedo”, Thorpe became a celebrated hero throughout the world. At age 14 he became the youngest-ever male World Champion when he won the 400m freestyle at the 1998 Perth World Championship, dominating this event for the next six years.

A giant in swimming, he stood 6 feet 5 inches tall, weighing 230 pounds with a shoe size 17 and an arm span of 6 feet 5 inches. He was built for speed and most everything he swam resulted in winning gold medals. He won four gold medals at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games; four gold medals at the 1999 Pan Pacific Games; six gold medals at the 2001 Fukuoka World Championships; five gold medals at the 2002 Yokohama Pan Pacific Games; three gold medals at the 2003 Barcelona World Championships, and six gold medals at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games. 

At the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Thorpe won the 400 meter freestyle in world record time and another two gold medals on the freestyle relay teams. He also won silver medals in the 200m freestyle and 4x100 meter medley relay team. At the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, he became the only Olympian in history to win medals in the 100 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter freestyle at the same Olympic Games by winning gold medals in the 200 meter and 400 meter freestyle and a bronze medal in the 100 meter freestyle. All totaled, Thorpe used his powerful trademark six-beat kick to set 18 world records. 

Today, Ian has his own jewelry and underwear line, is an ambassador for Armani clothes and has a swimming pool named in his honor. He co-founded the Ian Thorpe Foundation for Youth Trust, a charity that benefits the treatment of children with life threatening diseases.