Monday, December 1, 2014

International Swimming Hall of Fame Announces The Class of 2015

FORT LAUDERDALE - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) today announced finalized results of the International Selection Committee’s recommendations as approved by the Board of Directors for the Class of 2015.  The Enshrinement ceremonies will be held in Santa Clara, California, June 19-21, 2015.  The weekend of events will include: The ARENA/USA Swimming Grand Prix; 40th Anniversary exhibits and celebrations by participants of the 1975 II FINA World Championships, the 1975 VII Pan American Games and the 60th anniversary celebration of the 1955 II Pan American Games; the annual Paragon Awards recognizing Leaders in Aquatics.

 “I am very pleased to announce the results of this year’s voting,” said Camillo Cametti, of Verona, Italy, Chairman of ISHOF’s International Selection Committee. “This year’s class of 13 athletes, coaches and contributors represents four aquatic disciplines (swimming, diving, swimming and water polo) from ten different nations.”

“I want to thank Mr. Cametti and his committee for selecting a very distinguished group of individuals who well represent FINA and the world of the competitive aquatics,” said Donna de Varona, Chair of the ISHOF Board of Directors.
The Class of 2015 includes swimmers Enith Brigitha (NED), Jodie Henry (AUS) and Diana Macanu (ROM); Diver Lao Lishi (CHN); Synchronized Swimmer Anastaysia Ermakova (RUS); Water Polo Player/Coach Ivo Trumbic(CRO/YUG/NED); Open Water Swimmer Irene Van Der Laan (NED); Coaches James Gaughran (USA), Don Watson(USA) and Masako Kaneko (JPN); Contributor Bartolo Consolo (ITA); Pioneer Liang Boxi (CHN), and Masters Swimmer Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen (USA). 

Enith Brigitha (NED)
Born on the island of Curacao, in the Caribbean, Enith Brigitha enjoyed nearly a full decade in swimming as a bona fide star. During her heyday, she set 97 Dutch National Records and won 11 individual medals in the Olympics, World and European Championships, in an era mostly dominated by swimmers from the German Democratic Republic. She was twice named Dutch Sportswoman of the year and has the distinction of being the first person of African descent to win Olympic swimming medals.
JoDie Henry (AUS)
At the 2004 Olympics, Henry anchored the Australian women s 4x100m freestyle relay team that won the gold in world record time. She then broke the 100m individual freestyle world record time in the semifinals and went on to win the gold medal for the event, the first Australian to do so since Dawn Fraser 40 years earlier.
Diana Mocanu (ROM)
Training six hours a day in Romania, Diana Mocanu progressed from European Junior Champion to double Olympic gold medalist in the 100m and 200m backstroke at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She also won the 200m backstroke and took second to rising star Natalie Coughlin in the 100m at the 2001 FINA World Aquatics Championships.
Lao Lishi (CHN)
Lao Lishi, born December 12,1987 in Zhanjiang, Guangdong is a female diver from the People s Republic of China. Lao represented China at the 2004 Summer Olympics, earning a silver medal in the 10 meter women s platform and a gold medal in women s 10 meter synchronized platform along with Li Ting.  An entrepreneur today, she recently rang the bell at the NY Stock Exchange for the firm Alibaba when it went public.
Synchronized Swimmer:
Anastasia Ermakova is a four-time Olympic champion, winning four gold medals in duet and team events at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.  She is one of the most decorated synchronized swimmers in history with a combined twelve gold and two silver medals in major international competition from 2003 to 2010.
Water Polo
One of the legendary names in the sport of Water Polo, Ivo Trumbic was Born in Split, Croatia. He played water polo for the Yugoslavian National Team winning the silver medal at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo and improving to the gold medal at 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. Eight years later he coached the team from Holland to a bronze medal.
Open Water
In her prime, Irene Van Der Laan was one of the fastest and most durable marathon swimmers in the world.  Having competed in over 200 marathon swimming competitions during her career, she has arguably competed over a greater distance in the water than anyone in history.
As the head swimming coach at Stanford University, from 1960 to 1980, Jim Gaughran trained 26 Olympic swimmers who won eight gold, two silver and five bronze medals.  This number might have been much higher but for the American boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games.  Perhaps of greater historical significance was his role as head of the delegation for the first American team to visit China in 1973 – which helped pave the way for normalization of relations between the two nations and the re-entry of China into FINA family and the Olympic movement.
An assistant coach to the legendary Doc Cousilman, Don Watson became one of the most successful high-school swimming coaches in history, producing swimmers who earned 167 High school All-America,  4 Olympic medals and multiple world professional marathon swimming titles. Watson was voted Coach of the Year by the American Swimming Coaches Association in 1970 and served as USA Team coach or manager at six major international competitions.  For 24 years, Don was the Director of the University of Texas Swimming Stadium and the Longhorn Aquatic Swim Club, where he collaborated with Hall of Fame coaches Eddie Reese, Paul Bergen, Richard Quick and Mark Schubert.  He joins three of his swimmers, John Kinsella, Sandra Bucha and Gold Medallion recipient Bob Dudley in the Hall of Fame. 
Masako Kaneka has been the driving force in developing and maintaining Japan’s synchronized swimming prominence in the world. From 1982, when she was the National Team Coach and Director for Japan, to the present, she has coached or been team leader of almost every competition in which Japan has competed. She coached swimmers to medals in every Olympic Games from 1984 (synchro’s first Olympics) to 2004 and had medal winners in every World Championships from 1978 to 2007. Her 40 years coaching in Japan have earned her many awards including the Women’s Sports Order from the International Olympic Committee.
Bartolo Consolo s career in swimming and water polo has been outstanding since beginning as a young swimmer and water polo player, before advancing to the leader of his hometown clubs Rani Nantes Perugia and Club AS Roma and to a leader of International significance. In 1990, he was elected to the first of four terms as LEN President and is now LEN Honorary President for Life. In 1992 he was elected Vice-President of FINA and served two terms as FINA Honorary Secretary from 2000 to 2009 and continues today as immediate past Honorary Secretary of FINA.  More recently, and one of his proudest accomplishments, is his effort to popularize youth water polo in Europe through the “Haba Waba” youth water polo festival.
Liang Boxi is considered the Father of Diving in China. Born in Guangdong in 1938, he practiced gymnastics, track, swimming and diving as a youngster and won the first National Diving championships (1955) in the 3m springboard followed in 1957 by the 10m platform and 3m springboard event. At the 1963 Indonesia Games, Boxi won from a total of 15 other nations. However, in 1966, the Chinese government put a halt to all competitive sports. In 1972, Boxi led a revival of the diving program that has developed into the top diving nation in the world today.  
At age of 32, Karlyn began setting FINA Masters World Records on a steady basis and now, in the 50-54 age group, she has set 203 of them in all four strokes and the Individual Medley. She has established more number one rankings than any other Masters swimmer in history, male or female. She competed at the 1994, 2006, 2008 and 2012 FINA Masters World Championships winning all twenty events she entered. Aside from competing, she is most proud of using her Red Cross Lifeguard/CPR instructor training to earn a medal and Certificate of Merit for saving the life of a drowning person from the American Red Cross.
About the ISHOF
The International Swimming Hall of Fame & Museum was established in 1965 as a not-for-profit educational organization in the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was recognized by FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, in 1968. The Mission of ISHOF is to PRESERVE and CELEBRATE aquatic history, to EDUCATE the general public about the importance of swimming as the key to water safety, drowning prevention, better health and a better quality of life, and to INSPIRE everyone to swim. ISHOF’s collection of swimming memorabilia, art, photos and films, along with archival documents and rare books in the Henning Library, make ISHOF the premier repository and academic research resource for swimming and aquatic history in the world.

For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or email

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Osvaldo Codaro Visits ISHOF

Fort Lauderdale – July 23 - Although he never won an Olympic medal, a recent visit to the International Swimming Hall of Fame brought back many wonderful memories and tears to the eyes of Argentinian water polo legend, Osvaldo Codaro.  He was 17 when he played in his first Olympic Games in London, in 1948 and was a player or coach for over 50 years.  At the 1960 Games in Rome, he was selected as one of the world’s best to play in an exhibition during the closing FINA Gala that pitted the Americas against the Europeans – and the Americas came out on top 4 – 2.  But without doubt, his best memory was winning the water polo gold medal at the 1st Pan American Games, which were held in his hometown of Buenos Aires, in 1951.  The Peron’s, Eva and Juan were in power in those days and the glamorous couple took a great interest in the water polo team.  To prepare for the Games, the Water Polo Team had a training camp for 45 days, something almost unheard of at the time.   
“Every morning at 6 A.M. crowds would start to form outside of Eva Peron’s office at the Palace, hoping to see her,” Codaro recalled.  “She was famous for helping the poor, which is why she was so loved by them.  Yet she and her husband often found the time to come and visit our training and see how we were doing.  I was twenty-years old and Eva Peron was thirty-three.  She was so beautiful. It is still hard to believe she would be dead the next year.”  

“We were a very young team but we didn’t feel pressure to win,” he said, “because just being a part of the event was special and playing in front of the Peron’s and 7,000 spectators every night was so exciting.”  

Codaro and his teammates cruised past the USA by a score of 9 -2 before beating arch- rival Brazil to win the Gold medal.  Argentina repeated as champions again in Mexico City at the 2nd Pan American Games in 1955, but nothing could top the experience of 1951. 

In his prime, Codaro was one of the biggest, at 6 foot 4 and 220 lbs., and best center forwards in the world.  Although hobbled by arthritis, slightly hunched and requiring a cane to walk, you still get the sense of his size when you shake his enormous hand and see his size sixteen shoe.  

Who was the greatest player of all-time?  “No question – Tamas Farago!”

Monday, June 2, 2014


FORT LAUDERDALE - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) today announced that Torill Hindmarch will be the 2014 recipient of the Virginia Hunt Newman International Award.  The award will be presented on Friday evening, June 13th during the Paragon Awards Night during the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s 50th Enshrinement weekend. This award is sponsored by Kiefer, the “Keep em Swimming” Company founded in 1947 by Hall of Fame swimming great, Adolph Kiefer.  This award annually recognizes outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of infant and young child swimming instruction in the name of the “Mother of Infant Swimming,” Virginia Hunt Newman.
Torill Hindmarch is a consultant to the Norwegian Life Saving Society with responsibility for water safety and drowning prevention education, curriculum development instructor qualifications and teacher support for families and children.  An early years education expert, Torill has been teaching baby swimming since 1975 and has developed a child centered approach by combining her passion for swimming with her education and knowledge of the advantages of movement in water to develop aquatic programs for both pre-schoolers and children that are developmentally challenged. Her pedagogical approach has proven to be effective for enhancing speech development, social skills and motor development in young children and is central to the development of teaching philosophy in aquatics for young children in Norway.

Since presenting at the 1st international conference in baby swimming in Strasbourg, France in 1988, she has been asked to make presentations about her methods and philosophy around the globe. Her main message is to use the gentle methods pioneered by Virginia Hunt Newman and and encouraging the babies and toddlers to take initiative in their aquatic learning. Her perspective is on drowning prevention, promoting self-rescue techniques together with water safety education for parents.  She feels strongly about ensuring a child-centered education both in and out of the water.

The Kiefer Company is extremely proud to support the International Swimming Hall of Fame and this award,” said Greg Kadens, Kiefer’s President. “Associating our founder’s name with Virginia Hunt Newman and Torill Hindmarch is another way for our company to support swimming and share our company’s legacy with future generations.”

For tickets or more information, call 954-462-6536 or visit
About Virginia Hunt Newman
Virginia Hunt Newman, who passed away in 2009, pioneered and focused worldwide attention on the non-forceful, non-traumatic method of teaching infants and preschool-age children to swim. In 1962, she gained international attention when her star student, Bing Crosby’s daughter Mary Frances, passed the Red Cross Beginner Test at age two – the youngest ever to be awarded the certificate. Her first book, Teaching an Infant to Swim, published in 1967 was an international bestseller, published in England, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Italy and Japan. Her method of teaching swimming by distracting children from normal fears associated with learning has been emulated by thousands of instructors around the world. For more information about the award and past recipients, visit
About the Kiefer Company
Gold medalist Olympic swimmer Adolph Kiefer founded Kiefer in 1947.  As the official aquatics supplier to the 1948 U.S. Olympic Swim Team, the company introduced the first nylon swimsuit as a lightweight alternative to wool and cotton suits and a low cost alternative to the silk suits of the time. Since then, Kiefer has provided the swim community with many innovative aquatic performance and safety products including the original Wave Eater racing lane, fully customizable starting blocks, lifeguard equipment and apparel, and a complete line of national brand and Kiefer brand competitive swimsuits, swim goggles and training aids.   Although now retired, Adolph Kiefer continues to dedicate his life to helping swimmers of all ages and abilities. Visit for more information.
The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 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 adults and children.  It accomplishes this through operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to the history, memory, and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role models for people around the world.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Dr. Chet “the Jet” Jastremski Passes Away

Fort Lauderdale: Dr. Chet Jastremski, a legendary breaststroke swimmer, passed away on May 2, 2014. He was 73 years old. Known in swimming circles as “Chet the Jet,” he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1977.
Dr. Chet Jastremski could be compared with the first propeller beating the established paddlewheel. His narrow jump style kick

Jastremski received his medical degree from Indian in 1968. He was a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic medical team. He served as a family practice physician in Bloomington, Indiana and frequently visited the Indiana University swim team and spent two years as head coach of the women’s team.

“Growing up in the early 1960’s, I wasn’t alone in wearing nose clips and idolizing ‘Chet the Jet,’ says ISHOF CEO, Bruce Wigo. “He had the coolest name, graced the cover of Sports Illustrated and was both a hero and a role model for thousands of young swimmers. He was one of the Greats and will be greatly missed.”

“It was truly an honor to swim for Chet (1986-1990) at Indiana University and learn how to swim the breaststroke,” said Laura Voet, Manager of the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex. “He was very detailed with his constructive criticism. In addition to countless hours working on perfecting the underwater pull, Chet would watch our stroke technique via the underwater window at Royer Pool and from inside the pool! Part of his coaching including watching video footage of Mike Barrowman's breaststroke. Then, at 1988 Big Ten Championship, after countless hours of training and tweaking, Michigan coach Jim Richardson complimented us both on how "beautiful" my breaststroke was. I'll never forget that moment and the resulting appreciative smile from Chet, it meant a lot to him I think as a coach, and me. “

All of us at ISHOF express our deepest condolences to Chet’s family.
and pull revolutionized breaststroking style. A YMCA butterflyer when he went to Indiana University from Toledo Y, he quickly became the world's premier breaststroker. In 6 weeks of 1961 he lowered the World Record 6 times from 1:11.1 to 1:07.5. One of the great short course yards swimmers, Chet was not eligible for the NCAA Championships because Indiana was on probation. His longevity was one of his greatest accomplishments. His Olympic record was one of continuous misfortune. He missed the 1956 Olympic Team in Melbourne after qualifying first in the Olympic Trial heats and then disqualified on a disputed decision. In 1960 he made the team and was then taken off by the coach. In 1964 he refused to taper and in 1968, while earing his M.D., he allowed too little time for his comeback.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


Sponsored by S.R. SMITH
Fort Lauderdale – The Adapted Aquatics Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is pleased to announce that Marnie Young, of Oceanside, Calif., has will receive the 2014 the John K. Williams Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award. The Award is sponsored by S.R. Smith and will be presented in conjunction with ISHOF’s 50th Annual Induction Weekend, on Friday, June 13, 2013 at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale. For over 80 years, S.R. Smith as been a leader in the aquatic industry to make the water accessible to everyone and ISHOF is proud to present this award in their name.

Ms. Young is an Adapted physical education teacher with the Oceanside Unified School District and has been a leader in the adapted aquatics field for over twenty years. Her commitment to excellence spans many different types of activities as a teacher, coach and within her professional organizations. She believes that the goal of adapted aquatics is to ensure that students with disabilities are safe, comfortable and independent in the aquatic environment.

She holds a masters degree and 2 teaching credentials in Adapted Physical Education, from California State University at Long Beach and has received both National and State Teacher of the Year awards. She has served as Chair of the State Council on Adapted Physical education (California), and was the Conference Director for the 42nd National Adapted Physical Education Conference in 2013.

In addition to her work with the school district, she has been a professional cliff, springboard and comedy diver and has won national and world masters diving champion and competed in the 1994 World high diving Championships where she dived from heights 60, 70 and 80 feet. Still competing in masters diving, she is also the head diving coach of Dive San Diego.

For ticket information visit or call Bob Duenkel at 954-462-6536, ext. 226.

About S.R. Smith: Since 1932, S.R.Smith has been a world leading manufacturer of commercial and residential swimming pool deck equipment. The company’s products are featured on some of the finest pools in the world. S.R.Smith’s comprehensive lie of ADA compliant pool lifts provides disabled people safe access to aquatic activities. S.R.Smith is headquartered in Canby, OR with additional manufacturing in Portland, TN. For more information, visit: or

About the J John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award: Established in 1994 by ISHOF’s Adaptive Aquatics Committee, this award honors an individual who has made significant and substantial contributions to the field of adaptive aquatics (aquatics for persons with physical disabilities) as a participant, athlete, teacher, instructor, coach, organizer, administrator or media representative.

About ISHOF: The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote swimming as the key to fitness, good health, an improved quality of life, drowning prevention and water safety for all adults and children.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


FORT LAUDERDALE (Jan 28) - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) today announced finalized results of the International Nomination Committee’s recommendations as approved by the Board of Directors for the Class of 2014. Led by Australian swimmer Grant Hackett, this year’s class of 15, representing eight different nations, joins an elite group of over 700 aquatic legends from the Olympic aquatic sports of swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, open water swimming and water polo who have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame since 1965. The Class of 2014 will be formally enshrined on Saturday, June 14, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Class of 2014 includes swimmers Grant Hackett(AUS), Agnes Kovacs (HUN) and Tom Malchow (USA); Diver Peng Bo (CHN); Synchronized Swimmers Penny and Vicky Vilagos (CAN); Water Polo Players Carlo Silipo (ITA) and Karen Kuipers (NED); Coaches Charlotte Davis (USA) and Jozsef Nagy (HUN, USA, CAN, SPN); Open Water Swimmers Jon Erikson (USA) and Sandra Bucha (USA); Bruce S. Hopping (USA), and Norman Sarsfield (GBR) will be recognized as a Contributor. 

During his Olympic career from 2000 to 2008, Grant Hackett won three gold, three silver and one bronze medal in freestyle events. In his specialty, the 1500m freestyle, he was unbeaten from 1997 to 2007, winning every major world competition and held the world record for a remarkable ten years. 

Hungarian swimmer Agnes Kovacs, a great breaststroke swimmer won a silver medal in the 200m breaststroke at the 1996 Olympic Games before winning the gold medal in the same event in 2000, at the Sydney Olympic Games. 

At the 1996 Olympic Games, Tom Malchow won the 200m butterfly silver medal behind the World Record holder, Denis Pankratov (RUS), only to return four years later to win the gold medal in the same event. During that time, he set the World Record, holding it for almost a year until it was broken by Michael Phelps in 2001. It was Phelps’ first world record and he has held it ever since. 

After a six-year retirement from 1985 to 1990, twins Penny and Vicki Vilagos made an unprecedented comeback at age 27 to win the 1992 Olympic Duet silver medal, only .458 points behind the gold medal winning Josephson twins (USA). 

Born in 1981 in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, in the People’s Republic of China, diver Bo Peng won the gold medal in the 3m springboard at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

The icon of Italian water polo for nearly a decade, Carlo Silipo won seven Italian National titles in the world’s premier professional league, and played on Italy’s Olympic gold and bronze medal winning teams of 1992 and 1996. 

Karin Kuipers is the third female water polo player to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, behind America’s Maureen O’Toole and Australia’s Debbie Watson. In the infancy of women’s water polo during the pre–Olympic years, Karin was a legend. 

Charlotte Davis was instrumental in the formation of the USA National Synchronized Swimming Team program, which began in 1979. She remained active with the National Team for the next 21 years, until she retired in 2000. During her tenure as the Director of the National Team programs, the USA was the dominant force in international synchronized swimming. 

Hungarian born swimming coach, Jozsef Nagy, developed the Wave Breaststroke that has revolutionized breaststroke swimming. Nagy and his Hall of Fame swimmer Mike Barrowman, had a huge impact on the way breaststroke is swum today, originally created on paper, then proven in “practice” years later. 

Rather than retire from swimming after her high school days, as was the case with most female American swimmers in the pre-Title IX era, Sandra Bucha joined the male dominated professional marathon circuit and competed against the men, mano-a-mano, and helped pave the way for Open Water swimming as an Olympic sport.

When he was just fourteen years of age, Jon Erikson made headlines around the world as the youngest swimmer to successfully swim across the English Channel. Twenty-two years later he set another milestone by becoming the first to do a triple crossing of the same Channel. 

Norman Sarsfield gave a lifetime of effort to swimming on local, national and international levels. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) (1981) by Queen Elizabeth, the FINA Prize Eminence (1990) (the only Briton to have received it), the FINA Silver Pin and Luxembourg's Commander of the Order of Merit (1991), all for services to swimming. 

Bruce S. Hopping is Chairman and Founder of the Kalos Kagathos Foundation (KKF). Just as when Baron Pierre de Coubertin awarded Olympic medals for artistic sculpture in each of the Games from 1986 to 1948, the KKF has created lasting symbols of fine art that have been awarded for outstanding performance in the aquatic disciplines. Many of the commissioned artworks and sculptures are on display at the ISHOF. 

About the ISHOF The International Swimming Hall of Fame & Museum was established in 1965 as a not-forprofit educational organization in the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was recognized by FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, in 1968. The Mission of ISHOF is to PRESERVE and CELEBRATE aquatic history, to EDUCATE the general public about the importance of swimming as the key to water safety, drowning prevention, better health and a better quality of life, and to INSPIRE everyone to be a swimmer. ISHOF’s collection of swimming memorabilia, art, photos and films, along with archival documents and rare books in the Henning Library, make ISHOF the premier repository and academic research resource for swimming and aquatic history in the world. 

For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-­‐462-­‐6536 ext. 201, or email

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014 Special Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Induction in Scotland

During a twenty six period between 1970 and 1995, no open water swimmers were considered for inclusion in the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Since that date, the selection processes failed reduce the number of well qualified Open Water Swimmer from being so honored from the nomination lists. To compensate those deserving athletes, the International Swimming Hall of Fame has authorized a special selection for the “truly great” Open Water Swimmers completing during this era. 

A special ceremony will be held on September 21 and 22, 2014 in Loch Lomond, Scotland to induct the following Open Water Swimmers: Judith van Njis (NED), Claudio Plit (ARG), David Yudovin (USA), Mercedes Gleitze (GBR),George Young (CAN).

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


FORT LAUDERDALE – The International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc., (ISHOF) announced today that upon the expiration of its current fifty-year agreement with the City of Fort Lauderdale, in February of 2015, it will not renew and will look for a new home in another city.

Established in 1965, in the City of Fort Lauderdale, ISHOF was the first “International” and one of the first “Amateur” sports hall of fame museums in the world. Recognized by FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, the presence of the ISHOF museum has long been regarded as making Fort Lauderdale the Mecca of the world of competitive aquatics. The ISHOF museum houses the most comprehensive collection of aquatic related memorabilia and art in the world. ISHOF’s Henning Library is an international research resource and the organization’s induction ceremonies annually attract the leadership and leading personalities of the Olympic sports of swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming, and the global leaders of lifesaving, learn-to-swim, aquatic recreation and aquatic wellness.

“This was a very emotional and difficult decision for our organization to make,” says ISHOF CEO Bruce Wigo. “Fort Lauderdale has provided us with a wonderful home for almost fifty years and we had high hopes and great expectations to be part of a new Hall of Fame Aquatic Complex in this City. However, we have come to realize that the problems we have had with the City since at least 2000, and which we have been unable to resolve since, stem from the fact that our organization’s vision of the future and the City’s vision for their new Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex are not in alignment.”

“I want to thank City Manager Lee Feldman for his thoughtful and considerable efforts to work with us on design changes and mutually beneficial terms that might have made it possible for us to maintain a presence in this City,” says Wigo. “But in the end, we concluded that the compromises to our vision and business model that we would have had to make were not in the best interests of our organization. Therefore we have decided to close this chapter of our history and focus on finding a new home in another city that shares or vision.” 

“We believe this difficult decision will give us the opportunity to bring new excitement and energy to both ISHOF and the swimming community as a whole. It will allow us to re-invent ourselves as a modern museum in a way that will rely upon the knowledge and expertise of our membership to create an exciting and interesting attraction that will appeal and be of interest to not only to millions of casual, recreational and competitive swimmers of the world, but to the multitudes of non-swimmers who we believe should be learning to swim for water safety, drowning prevention, better health and a better quality of life.”

“ISHOF’s Board of Directors wish to express their thanks and sincere gratitude and appreciation to the citizens of the City of Fort Lauderdale for all the support they have given to our organization for the past fifty years.”

For more information contact Bruce Wigo, at (o) 954-462-6536, ext 201, (m) 954-559-1622 or at