ISHOF Chair of the Board, Donna de Varona and Board Member Jim Ellis have been named to the USA Swimming/Speedo List of the 30 Most Influential People In Swimming Over the Past 30 Years. Also making the list are 10 Hall of Fame Honorees: Matt Biondi, Peter Daland, Janet Evans, Rowdy Gaines, Dick Pound, Richard Quick, Eddie Reese, Mark Schubert, Nick Thierry and John Urbanchek.
“These individuals are synonymous with the incredible growth we’ve enjoyed in swimming, at every stage: learning to swim, team swimming, college level and representing our country on the podium,” said Jim Sheehan, USA Swimming President. “The commitment and contributions from Speedo USA have been instrumental over the last 30 years for many of the ‘Who’s Who’ on this list and thousands of others who participate in our sport on a daily basis.”
Donna de Varona is a two-time Olympian who won two gold medals. After her swimming career ended, de Varona went on to become ABC’s first full-time female sportscaster and an avid advocate for the advancement of women’s sports through Title IX. She is a member of the International Women’s Sports Hall of Fame, the International Swimming Hall of fame and was the first president of the Women’s Sports Foundation. She has served on ISHOF’s Board of Directors since 2005 and is the current Chair of the Board.
Jim Ellis is renowned for his devoted efforts to promote diversity within the sport of swimming. In 1971 he founded the Philadelphia Department of Recreation Swim Team, a team of predominantly African-American swimmers. His story of bringing swimming to the lives of inner city youth and their families was brought even further into the public spotlight through the 2007 movie, Pride. Jim has served on ISHOF’s Board of Directors since 2007.
For the complete list:
Individuals on the #30MostSwimfluential list were evaluated on contributions to the sport in the United States from 1985-2015. Eligibility for consideration and selection was not dependent on an association with Speedo. A panel consisting of select USA Swimming staff, USA Swimming Board of Directors, coaches, industry historians and media determined the final list.
The list was compiled to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Speedo’s sponsorship of USA Swimming.
“Speedo USA supports swimmers and coaches at all levels and we are proud of our 30 year partnership with USA Swimming” said Speedo USA President Jim Gerson. “This milestone is an opportunity to celebrate the progress of the sport over the past 30 years and the incredible individuals whose contributions have been instrumental to its growth.”
USA Swimming and Speedo are corporate partners of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.