Friday, June 5, 2020


FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1968 Olympic team member; 1972 Olympic bronze (100m backstroke); 1972 Olympic silver ( 200m backstroke); WORLD RECORD:  1 (200m backstroke); 3 WORLD RECORDS: relays; 18 AAU (100yd & 200yd backstroke, 200yd & 400yd individual medley); 5 AAU relays; Won 100yd & 200yd backstroke four consecutive years (indoors); PAN AMERICAN GAMES: 1971 silver (100m & 200m backstroke, 200m individual medley), bronze (400m individual medley); Long domination in the AAU Nationals; Held 200m backstroke World Records three years.  AMERICAN RECORDS (Short Course): 9 (100yd & 200yd backstroke, 200yd & 400yd individual medley), 4 relays; AMERICAN RECORDS (Long Course): 2 (100m & 200m backstroke), 5

A dominant figure in United States swimming from 1969 through 1971, Susie Atwood's record in U.S. National Championships was outstanding.  She captured 23 national titles during her career which included a berth on two Olympic teams.  A four-time World Record holder in the 200-meter backstroke and as a backstroker on the 400-meter medley relay, her prowess as America's finest backstroke and individual medley swimmer of her era distinguishes her among the best in swimming history.

Sue began swimming at age seven under Jim Montrella at the Lakewood Aquatic Club in Long Beach, California, becoming one of the most consistent swimmers at the elite level.  She is a six-time Bob Kiphuth High Point Award winner at the U.S. National Championships, second only to Tracy Caulkins who won a record 12 times.  Sue set a total of 20 American records in the backstroke and individual medley as well as a relay team member.

At age fifteen, Atwood qualified as the top seed in the 200-meter backstroke at the 1968 Games in Mexico City but failed to make the finals.  Sue's disappointing Olympic debut fueled the fire for her road to the '72 Games in Munich when she placed second to her teammate, Melissa Belote, in the 200-meter backstroke and took the bronze in the 100-meter backstroke.  She held the American Record in the 400 I.M., but because of conflicts in the competition schedule, she did not swim the individual medley in Munich.  Previous to that she had set the world record in the 200-meter backstroke. She had competed in the 1971 Pan American Games, winning five silver medals and a bronze.  Beginning in 1969, she received the World Swimmer of the Year Award six times.

Susie's contributions to swimming continued after she retired from competition. She went on to become an inspirational speaker and representative for Arena as well as swimming coach at Ohio State University.

ISHOF receives the Dale Neuburger collection......

The Dale Neuburger Collection

Just recently, ISHOF was lucky enough to receive a large donation of memorabilia from longtime ISHOF friend and former Board Member, Mr. Dale Neuburger.

Neuburger’s collection, that he generously gave to ISHOF, dates to 1982, when Dale was the first manager of the Natatorium in Indianapolis.  Some of the earliest items in Neuburger’s collection are from the 1984 USA Swimming Olympic Trials that were held at the Natatorium in Indianapolis. 

In addition to managing the Natatorium, Neuburger was on the USA Swimming Board of Directors for 28 years, from 1990 through 2018. Beginning in 1995, Dale was elected Vice President of FINA, Federation Internationale De Natation, a position he held for 25 years.

In his capacity as the VP of FINA, Neuburger travelled to many events around the world including the Olympic Games, Youth Olympic Games, World Championships, and Aquatic World Championships.

The collection Neuburger donated to ISHOF consists of items from many of these events such as clothing, plush mascots, credentials, programs, medals, gifts, etc.  It is a fabulously complete collection from this time period! ISHOF is so grateful to Mr. Neuburger for his generosity.

Even though Neuburger is retired from swimming now after over thirty plus years of service, he stills finds a way to keep on giving.  We cannot thank you enough Dale!
See pictures of just some of the great items in the Neuburger collection.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020


Forbes and Ursula Carlile

1976 Honor Coach

FOR THE RECORD:  OLYMPIC GAMES: Australia's first modern pentathlon Olympic competitor (1952) and youngest Olympic coach (1948); Olympic Coach 1956 (Australia), 1964 (Holland); WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Coach 1973 (Australia); 9 World Record holders; Numerous Australian champions and record holders; Organized the Australian Swimming Coaches Association.

Forbes Carlile, a graduate physiologist and lecturer at the University of Sydney, was and is a pioneer in scientific training -- interval workouts (1940s), pace clock (1946), heart rate tests for assessing effort (1956), training under stress and T-Wave study. 

His book, "Forbes Carlile on Swimming" (1963), was the first modern book on competitive swimming and it is still significant for it's consideration of "tapering" and it's historical development of the crawl stroke.  

Clinics have taken him, with his Olympic coaching wife and partner, Ursula, to Mainland China, Japan, USSR, Ethiopia, Puerto Rico, Holland, North and South America.  

The Carlile swimming organization, operating on the north shore of Sydney, has 60 full and part-time coaches teaching 1,400 lessons per week with classes of eight levels -- from babies to Olympic swimmers.  Carlile has been swim color man for ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) for 31 years at Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Nationals, and has produced five feature movies.  Carlile's concepts have included even-pace (negative split), starting young, "better a has-been than a never-was", "speed through endurance", and the arm dominated high tempo two-beat (kick) crawl.

This was Carlile's bio written in 1976, the year he was inducted into ISHOF.  He went on to coach and work for 35 more years.  If we were to rewrite his bio now, it would be a great deal longer.

Forbes Carlile, one of the greatest Swim Coaches of our times.......

His wife, Ursula is being inducted this year as an Honor Coach as part of the Class of 2020.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Happy Birthday GIORGIO CAGNOTTO !!!

1992 Honor Diver

FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1964, 1968 Olympic team member; 1972 silver (3m springboard), bronze (10m platform); 1976 silver (3m springboard); 1980 bronze (3m springboard); WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1978 bronze (3m springboard); FINA CUP: 1979 (3m springboard); EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1966 bronze (3m springboard); 1970 gold (3m springboard), bronze (10m platform); 1974 silver (3m springboard); 1977 silver (3m springboard); EUROPEAN DIVING CUPS: 1967 gold (3m springboard); 1969 gold (10m platform); 1975 gold (3m springboard); 1976 gold (3m springboard). on both the 1-meter and 3-meter boards.  He is the producer of the prize-winning documentary, "Hobie's Heroes".  Hobie's greatest pride is in the fact that there are more diving coaches in the high school and college ranks in the U.S. that have graduated from Indiana University under his tutelage than from any other university.

Italy's Giorgio Cagnotto was one of the world's most prolific divers during the 1960s and 1970s.  At the age of eight, he began to train with this uncle, professional diver Lino Quattrrini.  Just eight years later he found himself competing in the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, kicking off an Olympic career of epic proportion.

Cagnotto's Olympic appearances spanned three decades, competing in five consecutive Olympic Games.  He was best off the springboard, but medaled in the platform as well. After Tokyo, he competed in Mexico City in 1968, but it was during his third Olympic effort in the '72 Munich Games that he earned a silver medal for his performance on the springboard and a bronze in the platform competition.  At the 1976 Montreal Games, he won his third Olympic medal-- a silver in the springboard competition.  He retired at the age of thirty-two after earning his fourth Olympic medal at the 1980 Moscow Games where Cagnotto again medaled in the springboard competition, taking the bronze.

Giorgio was competing at a time when diving competition was dominated by fellow countryman Klaus Dibiasi, the only diver to win gold medals in three consecutive Olympic Games.  Giorgio was as far in advance of the rest of the sport as Klaus was of him.  Between them, the red, white, and green Italian flag was raised many times in international competition.  Holder of two gold, two silver, and two bronze European Cup Championships and a medal winner in every European championship from 1966 through 1977, Cagnotto won eight outdoor and twelve indoor Italian National Championships.

Both Cagnotto and Dibiasi were coached by Papa Dibiasi, a former Italian National Champion with a long career in the sport. Papa retired just in time so as not to be competing against his son and Cagnotto.  The only medal winner to dive in five consecutive Olympic Games, Giorgio Cagnotto is presently the Italian National Team Coach and the Federal Technical Director of Diving, living in Bolzano, Italy, with his wife.  His daughter, Tania Cagnotto is also an Olympic Diving medalist.  Giorgio Cagnotto is a true legend representing excellence and longevity in a sport demanding commitment, style and grace.

Happy Birthday JOHNNY "Tarzan" WEISSMULLER

1965 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD:  OLYMPIC GAMES: 1924 gold (100m, 400m freestyle; 4x200m freestyle relay), bronze (water polo); 1928 gold (100m freestyle; 4x200m freestyle relay); WORLD RECORDS: 51; U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 52; Played Tarzan in 16 movies.

Johnny Weissmuller holds no current world swimming records and by today's Olympic standards, you might say he never swam very fast, but you can't get anyone who ever saw him swim say that there ever was a greater swimmer.  This was the verdict of 250 sportswriters at A.P.'s mid-century poll and it is still the verdict 15 years later.

He was the swim great of the 1920's Golden Age of Sports, yet because of the movies and TV, he is as much a part of the scene in the 1960s as he was in the 1920s when his name was coupled with sports immortals such as Babe Ruth, Bill Tilden, Bobby Jones, Jack Dempsey and Red Grange.  He is the only one of this group more famous today than in the "Golden Age."

Weissmuller set many world records and won 5 gold medals in two Olympics (1924 and 1928).  He never lost a race in 10 years of amateur swimming in distances from 50 yards to 1/2 mile.  Johnny's 51 seconds 100 yard freestyle record set June 5, 1927, in the University of Michigan Union Pool stood for 17 years until it was broken by Alan Ford at Yale in 1944.  The 100 yd. distance is swum more often than any other, yet in 17 years, only one man ever swam it faster.  That man was Johnny Weissmuller, who later, as a professional in the Billy Rose World's Fair Aquacade swam 48.5 at the New York Athletic Club while training Walter Spence to win the nationals.  For those who think swimmers must be teenage bobby-soxers, it might be of interest to note that Spence was 35 at the time and Weissmuller was 36.

His record of 52 national championship gold medals should stand forever.  He is famous for his chest high crawl stroke seen by millions in Olympic swim stadiums, on movie screens and on TV, but he also held world records in the backstroke and never lost a race in that stroke.  "I got bored," says Johnny, "so I swam on my back where I could spend more time looking around."  Weissmuller set 51 world records in his ten years as an amateur but many more times he broke world records and never turned in the record applications.  Every time he swam, the crowd expected a new record, so Johnny learned pace.  He learned how to shave his records a tenth of a second at a time.  If he missed, his 350 lb. coach Bill Bachrach would say "rest a few minutes, Johnny, and we'll swim again."  Bachrach would promise his protégé a dinner if he broke the record and Johnny always seemed to be hungry.  Many a world mark was set with only a couple of visiting coaches or a few guests of the Illinois Athletic Club to watch.

Every old-timer in swimming has a favorite Johnny Weissmuller story.  To them all, he was the world's greatest swimmer, yet ironically the producer who signed him to play Tarzan didn't know Johnny could swim. "Many think I turned pro to go into the movies," Johnny says, "but this is not true.  I was working for a bathing suit company for $500 a week for five years, which was not bad money then (or now).  I was in Los Angeles and they asked me if I would like to screen test for Tarzan.  I told them 'no thanks' but they said I could go to the MGM lot and meet Greta Garbo and have lunch with Clark Gable.  Any kid would want to do that so I said 'okay'.  I had to climb a tree and then run past the camera carrying a girl.  There were 150 actors trying for the part, so after lunch, I took off for Oregon on my next stop for the swim suit outfit.  Somebody called me on the phone and said 'Johnny, you got it.'  'Got what?' 'You're Tarzan.'  'What happened to those other 150 guys?'  'They picked you.'"

"So the producer asked me my name and he said it would never go.  'We'll have to shorten it,' he said.  'Weissmuller is to long.  It will never go on a marquee.'  The director butted in. 'Don't you ever read the papers?' he asked the producer. 'This guy is the world's greatest swimmer.'  The producer said he only read the trade papers, but okay, I could keep my name and he told the writers, 'put a lot of swimming in the movie, because this guy can swim.'"

"So you see why I owe everything to swimming," Weissmuller says.  "It not only made my name, it saved my name.  Without swimming, I'd be a nobody.  Who ever heard of Jon Weis, marquee or no marquee."

Besides swimming, Johnny Weissmuller played on two U.S. Olympic water polo teams.  "Water polo's a rough game," Johnny says.  "We never could beat those Yugoslavians.  They never blow a whistle over there.  Anyhow, that's where I learned to duck.  It came in handy when Cheetah started throwing coconuts."

Friday, May 29, 2020

Passages: Masters Hall of Fame Swimmer Frank Piemme Passes Away at 95

He was inducted in the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in 2004. Below is his bio from when he was inducted.
Frank Piemme no date no credit (1)
Frank Piemme. Photo Courtesy: Swimming World Archive
Piemme is a product of his environment: as tough as the rattlesnakes he collected in his youth, as tireless as his homesteader father, as curious as his professors at Cal Tech and Berkeley, as meticulous as a professional engineer.
Frank Piemme is a native Californian, born in San Bernadino, January 8, 1925. He was raised in the, then, frontier San Joaquin Valley where he learned to swim in the Feather River. He collected rattlers on the family homestead on the Sutter Buttes and graduated from Taft High School in oil country, Kern County.
It was at Taft High where Frank, intending to be a diver, was persuaded by swimming Coach Zecher, to try swimming, at least beforeWorld War II curtailed high school sports.
Graduating in 1943, Frank Piemme headed south to Cal Tech in Pasadena where he swam a half-season in 1945 in the Navy at Treasure Island. The next year he got in another half-season in the 50 and 100 free and relays. Piemme considered anything longer a distance event.
After discharge from the Navy in 1946, the young Vet went back to the oil field near Taft where he met his wife, Connie, a nurse. They married in 1949. Returning to college at the University of California, he gave no thought to swimming as he worked toward his degree in mechanical engineering.
Frank Piemme no date by Bill Morson, Lompoc Record (1)
Frank Piemme. Photo Courtesy: Bill Morson
Frank worked as an engineer for 26 years for John-Manville Corporation, interrupted only by five years with Lockheed and North American-Rockwell. Most of his working years were spent in Lompoc, on California’s scenic central coast. He retired in 1982 after spending his last nine years at Johns-Manville Headquarters in Denver. It was in Denver while assigned to the J-M Headquarters that Frank joined the Engelmeisters Swim Team in 1980 as a way to lose weight. He realized what he had been missing since 1946.
By 1984, Frank Piemme ranked fifth nationally in the 55-59 age group in the one-hour postal and his Masters swimming career was launched.
To date, this Lompac, California resident has set 49 Masters World Records. He has 133 number one, 57 number two and 33 number three world rankings since 1986, at one time holding all the freestyle number one rankings from 50m to 1500m in his age group.
This tough competitor served as president of the Y.M.C.A. and of the Lompoc Toastmasters. He served as counselor for Junior Achievement, a docent for the La Purisima Mission, and a volunteer for Christmas Cheer.
Masters Hall of Fame swimmer Jurgen Schmidwrote to the Swimming Hall of Fame:
My best friend Frank Piemme passed away on Thursday. He was 95 and inducted into the masters hall of fame back in 2004 in the 1st group. He passed away peacefully with his wife Connie and daughter Carol by his side. Frank, Graham, and I were the best of friend for decades. Frank was my inspiration in swimming and life.