Friday, September 18, 2020

ISHOF Honor Coach HOWARD FIRBY would have been 96 today.....

                               HOWARD FIRBY (CAN) 1985 Honor Coach

FOR THE RECORD:  1946-1985 Canadian Coach; 1964 Olympic Coach; 1958 British Commonwealth Games Coach; 12 World Record holders & 300 Senior Canadian Record holders; 9 International Games Gold Medals; President of the Canadian Swimming Coaches Association (CASA); 1st National Technical Director; 1978 B.C. Sport Hall of Fame; 1979 Canadian Sports Hall of Fame; 1982 Canadian Aquatic Hall of Fame; Writer/Illustrator/Lecturer.

Howard Firby was born in Alabama, but he is first, last and always a Canadian.  On his way to becoming a swim coach, he was a World War II pilot with the RCAF, where he studied aerodynamics, later translated to hydrodynamics.  He was a post-war polio patient who occupied his long convalescence by studying his muscle functions.  For all his adult life, he has been a professional artist.  He used this skill to illustrate his teaching as an amateur swim coach for 20 years and, more recently, as a professional coach, writer, illustrator and lecturer around the world (South Africa, Russia, Mexico, Wales, Tokyo, etc.) and into the Canadian hinterland, where he visited 206 grassroots swim clubs as Canada's first Swimming Technical Director.

Thus began the program that produced the current surge in Canadian swim success.  It further established Firby as the world's most prolific innovator of stroke drills for every occasion.  His several best-selling books, visually written and accurately illustrated, are the international legacy of Firby's depth as a technical coach's coach.  As a swimmer's coach, his record is best illustrated by the names and achievements of the people and the teams he has coached.  His twelve World Record holders include superstars Mary Stewart and Elaine Tanner, who made believers of those south of the Canadian border with impressive double wins at the U.S. Nationals.

He started a swim club--The Canadian Dolphins--in Vancouver, B.C., which set team records the equal of Mission Viejo and Santa Clara. Firby swimmers set over 300 Canadian senior records, won more than 100 Canadian championships and 10 International Games gold medals.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

CYNTHIA POTTER: She IS One in A Thousand

Cynthia Potter, 1987 ISHOF Honoree and 28-time National Champion as a Diver is special.  She is One in a Thousand!

When asked why she wanted to join the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s One in A Thousand Club, Potter said, “The Hall of Fame is so special and important to all of us. We have a history we must preserve and there is only one ISHOF.   For me personally, I am now among incredible individuals that are part of aquatic history, thanks to ISHOF.  The Hall of Fame is the one gift that keeps on giving.  Through ISHOF I have created lifelong friendships, that I will treasure forever.”

Join Cynthia and 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


 FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: Member of the U.S. Olympic Diving Team 1968, 1972, 1976, 1980; 1976 bronze (springboard); AAU NATIONALS (28): Outdoor (1m 1968 through 1976, 1978; 3m 1971, 1972, 1975, 1976; platform 1970, 1971); Indoor (1m 1969 through 1971, 1973, 1976, 1977, 1979; 3m 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1977); WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1978 silver (springboard); PAN AMERICAN GAMES: 1975 bronze (springboard); WORLD UNIVERSITY GAMES: 1970 gold (springboard), silver (platform); World Diver of the Year: 1970, 1971, 1977; Lawrence J. Johnson Award for the "Outstanding U.S. Female Diver": 1973.

In the sport of women's diving long dominated by U.S. divers, Cynthia Potter won 28 nationals to become the most winning U.S. woman diver in the sport.  She also won 20 gold medals in world competition.  She was voted "World Diver of the Year" three times. She was a member of four Olympic Teams, 1968, 1972, 1976 and 1980 and won bronze on the 3-meter springboard in 1976.

Weighing less than 100 pounds, this diminutive dynamo competed in diving for the USA a record 20 years both on springboard and tower. Since hanging up her suit, she has coached diving at SMU and Arizona, been a successful model, lecturer and has acted as ABC-TV and Mutual Radio commentator at a variety of events including the 1984 Olympic Games.  A graduate of Indiana University, she dove for Hall of Fame Coach Hobie Billingsley.

Cynthia Potter goes down in history as one of our most durable of lady divers and now, she is “One in A Thousand.”


 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.

About ISHOF   Take a Virtual Tour

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) museum opened its doors to the public in December of 1968 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That same year, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) – the governing body for Olympic aquatic sports – designated the ISHOF museum as the “Official Repository for Aquatic History”.   In 2018, Sports Publications Inc, publisher of Swimming World Magazine and its multi-media platforms, merged with ISHOF to expand the museum’s reach and impact.  Today, ISHOF’s vision is to be 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.  Show your support for the sport of swimming by becoming a member of ISHOF.

ISHOF Vision Statement

To be 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 Mission Statement

To collaborate with aquatic organizations worldwide to preserve, educate and celebrate history, showcase events, share cultures, and increase participation in aquatic sports.

Architectural rendition of Hall of Fame Aquatic Center that is currently under renovation.

The 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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Happy Birthday 2003 Honor Swimmer Tom Dolan!

Tom Dolan (USA)
2006 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (400m I.M.), 7th (200m I.M.); 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (400m I.M.), silver (200m I.M.); TWO WORLD RECORDS: 400m I.M; 1994 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (400m I.M.), 8th (400m freestyle); 1998 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (400m I.M.), 5th (800m freestyle); 1993 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver (400m I.M.); 1995 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (400m, 200m I.M.), silver (200m backstroke, 800m freestyle), 5th (400m freestyle); 14 U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 400 freestyle (3), 800 freestyle (4), 1500 freestyle (1), 200 I.M. (2), 400 I.M. (4); NINE NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 400 I.M. (2), 500 freestyle (2), 1650 free (2), 800 freestyle relay (3); FIVE AMERICAN RECORDS.

Tom Dolan of Curl-Burke Swim Club and the University of Michigan held the 400m I.M. World Record longer than any other swimmer in history, eight years, and that includes Hall of Famers Gary Hall, Sr., Tamas Darnyi, Alex Baumann, Jesse Vassallo, Charlie Hickcox, Dick Roth and Ted Stickles. He is only the second swimmer to win successive 400m I.M. Olympic gold medals (1996, 2000), along with Hungary's Darnyi. Tom also won the Olympic 200m I.M. silver medal in Sydney.

At 6'6" tall and with 3% body fat, Tom was diagnosed with Exercise Induced Asthma and a 20% windpipe obstruction, which would side-line the normal person. Tom only trained harder and exhaustion, dizziness and occasional blackouts never stopped him from swimming. Coached by Rick Curl and Jon Urbanchek, Tom also set two world records, won two gold medals in World Championship swimming, won nine NCAA National Championships and 14 U.S. National Championships.

Today, the Tom Dolan Swim School operates two, custom-built, state-of-the-art swim schools in Northern Virginia that teach swimmers from 3 months all the way up to adults. Students learn solid fundamentals that are essential for water-safety, recreational and competitive swimming.

Happy Birthday Tom!

Monday, September 14, 2020

Friday's Construction Update: September 11, 2020

Friday, September 11, 2020 at the Hall of Fame Aquatic Complex

Construction continues and everyday they are making progress.
Friday, September 11, saw the Dive well getting its concrete pour.
The crew continues to work tirelessly and looks to be right on schedule.
Rain or Sun, they just keep working.......
Cubic Yards of Concrete:  546
Trucks:  61
Hours:  10
More Construction Shots
Thanks  to Laura Voet

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Happy Birthday Honor Water Polo Player: CARLO SILIPO

Carlo Silipo (ITA)
2014 Honor Water Polo Player


He started in water polo with the Rowing Club of Naples, moved up to the famed Club Posillipo and became one of the most important players in Neopolitan and Italian water polo history.

When he joined the national team in 1992, Italy hadn’t won a gold medal in water polo since 1960 and finished a distant sixth in the 1991 World Championships. But it did have Ratko Rudic, the gruff disciplinarian who coached Yugoslavia to its Olympic championships in 1984 and 1988.

Rudic changed the Italian water polo culture. He brought a winning philosophy with him to Italy, and selected a core of young players who were willing to train until they dropped and pummeled their opponent into submission, no matter how long it might take. Carlo Silipo, only 21 years old, bought into the system. At six feet, six inches tall and weighing 210 pounds, he had the physical qualities Rudic was looking for at the center defender position and Silipo became the leader and symbol of Italy’s famed Settebello, or “seven diamonds” for the next fifteen years.

His greatest success came early, when he helped Italy win the gold medal over the home team favorite at the ‘92 Olympics in Barcelona. Behind Silipo’s stellar defense, Italy held a 6-3 lead in the third period and seemed to have the game under control, but Spain rallied behind their flamenco-beat clapping fans, and their superstar, Hall of Famer Manuel Estiarte, to send the game into overtime. With defense the key, Italy ended on top when Gandolfi scored the winning goal in the sixth overtime period.

If there was a more exciting game in Olympic history, it might be the bronze medal match in Atlanta, when Silipo’s Settebello beat the Hungarians, again in overtime.

Playing for CN Posillipo, in the world’s premier professional league, Silipo led his team to seven league championships and scored 574 goals in 462 appearances, a record for a defender. He retired in 2006 and is the fifteenth Italian to enter the Hall of Fame and the eighth for water polo.

“Carlo Silipo is a great role model,” said Paolo Barelli, President of the Italian Swimming Federation. “A leader in the tank, professional in his training, generous with advice and encouragement to his teammates and always congratulatory for his opponents.”

Let's hear it for yesterday's Birthday Girl, JILL SUDDUTH!!!

Jill Sudduth (USA)
2012 Honor Synchronized Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (team); 1994 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (duet, team); 1989 FINA WORLD CUP: gold (team); 1991 FINA World Cup: gold (team); 1993 FINA WORLD CUP: gold (duet, team); 1995 FINA WORLD CUP: gold (duet, team); 1995 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: gold (duet, team); 1991, 1994 FRENCH OPEN: gold (duet, team); 1991 MALLORCA OPEN: gold (duet, team); 1993 SWISS OPEN: gold (duet, team); 1993 GERMAN OPEN: gold (duet, team); US NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1991: gold (team), silver (duet), 1992: silver (duet, team). 1993: gold (duet, team); FIRST JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPION: duet, team; UNDEFEATED IN DUET COMPETITION BETWEEN 1993 AND 1996 WITH HALL OF FAMER BECKY DYROEN-LANCER; 1993 SWIMMING WORLD MAGAZINE WORLD SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER OF THE YEAR.

Ever since Jill learned to swim at the age of four, she loved synchronized swimming and competed in the sport for 20 years. Upon reaching the National Team, she practiced five to seven hours a day, six days per week and became one of the world’s all-time best synchronized swimmers.

Swimming for world renowned Coach Chris Carver at the Santa Clara Aqua Maids, Jill began winning Junior National titles, and in 1989 she became the Junior World Duet and Team Champion. Finished second in gold medal count for all Americans at the 1994 World Aquatic Championships which includes swimming, diving and water polo.

Over the next four years, she won 16 major international competitions, including the French, German and Swiss Opens, Pan Pacific Championships, the World Cup and the 1991 World Championships Team event. Whenever a routine called for a “bridge”, Jill’s strength made it happen, as well as the strength of eggbeater kicks from the other girls holding her up.

In 1993, Jill was “Swimming World Magazine’s” World Synchronized Swimmer of the Year, and a USSS All-American from 1990 to 1995. In 1994, she was a member of the USA World Championship Team, winning both the team and duet events with her Hall of Fame partner Becky Dyroen-Lancer. Between 1993 and 1996, the duo was undefeated in duet competition.

For the Atlanta Olympic Games of 1996, the solo and duet events were replaced with the team competition. Jill and her teammates received a perfect score of ten in the team event, the first and only perfect score in Olympic synchronized swimming history, until Russia received a ten at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The USA edged out the strong teams from Canada and Japan for the gold medal.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Happy belated Birthday to ELDON GODFREY !!!

Eldon Godfrey (CAN)
2012 Honor Contributor


When this former high school football coach’s daughter, Allison, began competitive diving in 1973, Eldon Godfrey switched allegiance to a whole new sport, and rose to the highest levels of volunteerism. With his organizational skills and insight, within three short years, he was elected president of the Canadian Amateur Diving Association and two years later the Aquatic Federation of Canada on whose committee he remained for 16 years, serving as Canada’s Chef de Mission for the Third FINA World Championships in Berlin.

Extending from national to international participation, Eldon served in every office of the Amateur Swimming Union of the Americas, now known as Union Americana de Natacion. In 2011, he was named Honorary Life President and presented with the R. Max Ritter Award for contributing to the advancement, understanding and good will among nations.

In 1980, he was appointed to the FINA Technical Diving Committee, and served as a Member, and as the Honorary Secretary and Vice Chairman for 16 years. For 13 years, he was elected a member of the FINA Bureau, serving as liaison to the Technical Diving Committee responsible for decision making policies as they affect FINA. He is now a FINA Honorary Life Member.

Eldon has been a regional and international judge and referee at four Olympic Games, four World Championships, eight World Cups, three Pan American Games and other international events. He has received the FINA Gold Pin, Canadian Sports Award, Alberta Achievement Award and the Calgary Booster Club Award. He has never failed to recognize that it all started in Calgary, at the grass roots level, and he continues to judge diving at the local level.

Together with his wife Carlie Jean, they have received Canada’s Irene
McDonald Award for Volunteerism to Diving, for over 40 years of service.
Eldon Godfrey was inducted into ISHOF as an Honor Contributor in 2012. He is also "One in A Thousand".....Won't you join him?