FORT LAUDERDALE – The International International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) will present Greta Andersen, one of the greatest Olympic and Open Water swimmers in history, with its Lifetime Achievement Award on Friday evening, November 6th, in the Ballroom at the Doubletree/Hilton Hotel, San Pedro California. The Award will be presented in conjunction with the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame’s (IMSHOF) 53rd Annual Induction Ceremonies. The IMSHOF ceremonies are part of a “Marathon Swimmers Weekend” which includes the Annual Banquets of the Catalina Channel Swimming Federation (CCSF), and the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association on Saturday. For tickets and more information: www.imshof.org
The individuals and organizations to be honored by the IMSHOF on Friday night include: Swimmers: Forrest Nelson (Long Beach, CA, USA), Antonio Argüelles Díaz-González (MEX), Martin Strel (SVN),George Park (CAN) 1978; Administrator Marty Veen (NED); Organizations: Varne Ridge Channel Swim Park (GBR) and the Jersey Long Distance Swimming Club (GBR). Dennis Miller of Fiji will receive the The Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award from the ISHOF. For more information about the Class of 2015: www.imshof.org
Danish swimmer Greta Andersen burst on the world's stage when she won the gold medal for the 100 meter freestyle at the 1948 London Olympics. When she returned home to Copenhagen she was a national hero. She was the best women’s swimmer in the world over the next four years, but an injury to her leg weeks prior to the Helsinki Olympic Games in 1952 prevented her from repeating her London success. In 1953 she emigrated to Long Beach, California, where she met Tom Park, a record setting Catalina Channel swimmer, who convinced her she could make a lot of money as a professional marathon swimmer.
In 1956 Greta won the first of seven Around Atlantic City World Championship Marathon swims and then the 50 mile Lake Michigan race from Chicago to Kenosha, Wisconsin, finishing 10 miles ahead of her nearest competitor to capture the $25,000 first place prize money. The next year she entered her first Sir Billy Butlin Cross English Channel Marathon race. She won again in 1958 and after her third swim, in 1959 Sir Billy gave her the perpetual trophy.
During her career, Greta broke 18 world marathon records. She was the first woman to complete five crossings of the English Channel - set speed records in both directions - and was the first person to swim the Santa Catalina Channel both ways…nonstop! She earned first, second, or third place in every event competing with men head to head and never lost to another woman. She was the largest money winner in women's professional swimming history. In 1960, she opened the Greta Andersen Swim School in Los Alamitos, California and has devoted her life teaching children how to be water-safe and confident swimmers ever since - and is still teaching today at the age of 88 years. “For her life in swimming,” says Bruce Wigo, President of the ISHOF, “as Olympic Champion, World Professional Marathon Champion, multiple world record holder from one-hundred yards to fifty miles, business woman, teacher and inspiration to men and women around the world, the International Swimming Hall of Fame is honored to recognize Greta Andersen Verres with the 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award.”
About the CCSF
The Catalina Channel Swimming Federation (CCSF) is a non-profit athletic organization serving the marathon swimming community. The CCSF was founded in 1980 to promote the sport of open water swimming and to keep records of swims across the 20-mile wide shipping channel that separates the California mainland and Catalina Island. The CCSF has now observed and authenticated hundreds of crossings. The Catalina Channel is known for its chilling water temperatures, difficult currents, and vast marine wildlife, including the seasonal migration of gray whales. For more information: http://swimcatalina.com
International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) is an affiliate organization to the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF). IMSHOF was established in 1961 to recognize the marathon swimmers throughout the world and is governed by an international selection committee of marathon swimming experts to immortalize the achievements and contributions of those who have distinguished themselves in this sport. For more information, please visit http://openwaterpedia.com/index.php?
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, the International Olympic Committee’s recognized governing body for the aquatic sports in 1968, its mission is to 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. For more information please visit http://www.ishof.org