Tuesday, April 28, 2015


FORT LAUDERDALE - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) today announced Anne Warner Cribbs as the 2015 ISHOF Gold Medallion Recipient.  The Gold Medallion is ISHOFs most prestigious honor and it will be presented at the 51st Annual Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremonies at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, California, on Saturday evening, June 20, 2015.  For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit www.ishof.org, www.facebook.com/ishof, or call 954-462-6536.
Because we believe young women athletes need role models to look up to, not only for their athletic careers, but for their their post athlete careers,  we are ecstatic that Anne has agreed to accept this honor from the International Swimming Hall of Fame, says Donna de Varona, ISHOFs Chairwoman of the Board. 
Swimming for world renown coach George Haines, at the Santa Clara Swim Club, fourteen year-old Anne Warner won a gold medal in the 200 meter breaststroke at the 1959 Pan American Games.  A year later, she was part of the USAs gold medal winning medley relay at the Rome Olympic Games.  While the mens Olympic team went off on a celebratory European tour, the women were sent home and without having any college scholarship opportunities in the pre-title IX era, she retired from competition.  By the time she was 24, with the youngest of her two children in kindergarten, she decided to go back to school, eventually graduating from Stanford University in 1979. After years of coaching & teaching swimming in the Bay Area, in 1985 Anne went to work for the City of Palo Alto in the Community Services Department. In 1991, she joined CJC Communications which became Cavalli & Cribbs, a full-service Advertising and public relations firm that specialized in sports, business and non-profit communications.  She was a pioneer in womens professional sports as a co-founder of the American Basketball League in 1996.  In 1999, she was selected to be the CEO of the Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee and became the first female to lead a major US Olympic Bid Committee: San Francisco 2012.  While the bid ultimately lost to New York, it had a 90% approval rating from the public.  She continues today as the President/CEO of BASOC, which over the past seventeen years has hosted or helped to organize many events, including the 2006 FINA World Masters Championships, and she was Director of 2011 USA Swimming National and Junior National Championships at Stanford. Cribbs produced the 40th Anniversary of Ping Pong Diplomacy with USA & China table tennis Olympians and was chair of the 2009 Summer National Senior Games. Anne currently serves on the USA Table Tennis Board of Directors and was elected to the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame as a trailblazer. She is Chair Emeritus of the Northern California Olympians and Paralympians Chapter.
Anne will receive the Gold Medallion as part of the 51st ISHOF Enshrinement weekend, honoring the Class of 2015, which 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); Coaches James Gaughran (USA), Don Watson (USA) and Masako Kaneko (JPN); Contributor Bartolo Consolo (ITA); Pioneer Liang Boxi (CHN), and Masters Swimmer Karlyn Pipes (USA).  
About the Gold Medallion
The International Swimming Hall of Fame Gold Medallion Award is presented each year to a former competitive swimmer for his or her national or international significant achievements in the field of science, entertainment, art, business, education, or government. There are no restrictions other than the recipient must be an outstanding adult whose life has served as an inspiration for youth.  For more information and a list of past recipients visit:

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. ISHOFs 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.  Earlier this year, ISHOF announced it will be relocating to Santa Clara, California.

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

Remembering ANZAC Day

In the long and illustrious history of Swimming and British Military heroes, New Zealands Champion Swimmer, Bernard Freyberg, is one of the most fabulous.

Observed as a day of Commemoration, not a holiday, April 25, 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the day members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps(ANZAC) first landed on the Gallipoli peninsula, in the war against the Ottoman Empire, during WWI.  What had been planned as a bold strike to knock the Ottomans out of the war quickly became a disastrous stalemate, as the campaign dragged on for eight months, with total casualties on both sides exceeding 100,000.  The 1981 film, Gallipoli, starring Mel Gibson,shows much of the conditions that these soldiers endured.  In 1934, the ANZAC Cove became hallowed ground for the world to remember the horrors of war.  Less well known is the story of Bernard Freyberg - whose  swim in the early dawn hours of one-hundred years ago, must rank as one of the most courageous swims in history.
Born in London in 1880 and taken to New Zealand as a child, Bernard Freyberg was a strong swimmer, twice wining the national 100 meter championship of New Zealand in 1906 and 1010.  Trained as a dental assistant, he dreamed of being a soldier.  Denied a Kings commission, he left New Zealand in 1914 to join Pancho Villas revolutionary army and then lit out for London when WWI started. Stranded in Los Angeles, he earned fare to New York by winning a swimming meet.  Stranded in New York, he earned fare to London by winning a prizefight.  Unknown in London he accosted Winston Churchill and demanded a commission, claiming to have been a captain in Villas army.
                Sent to Gallipoli, Freyberg literally earned immortality with a feat of personal bravery which Sir James J. M. Barrie (best remembered today for penning Peter Pan) chose as an example for a lecture on Courage in 1922.   

Courage is the thing.  All goes if courage goes.  What says our
glorious Johnson of courage: 'Unless a man has that virtue he has
no security for preserving any other.'  We should thank our Creator
three times daily for courage instead of for our bread, which,
if we work, is surely the one thing we have a right to claim of Him.
This courage is a proof of our immortality, greater even than
gardens 'when the eve is cool.'  Pray for it.  'Who rises from
prayer a better man, his prayer is answered.'  Be not merely
courageous, but light-hearted and gay.  There is an officer
who was the first of our Army to land at Gallipoli.  He was
dropped overboard to light decoys on the shore, so as to deceive
the Turks as to where the landing was to be.  He pushed a raft
containing these in front of him.  It was a frosty night,
and he was naked and painted black.  Firing from the ships was
going on all around.  It was a two-hours' swim in pitch darkness.
He did it, crawled through the scrub to listen to the talk of the
enemy, who were so near that he could have shaken hands with them,
lit his decoys and swam back.  He seems to look on this as a gay
affair.  He is a V.C. now, and you would not think to look at him
that he could ever have presented such a disreputable appearance.
Would you?  (indicating Colonel Freyberg).

            The Turks rushed over to repulse what they thought was a big landing force while the British landed further down the peninsula.  For this swimming feat, credited with saving thousands of British lives during the landing, Freyberg got the D.S.O. (Distinguished Service Order).  Later in the same ill-fated campaign, he won the Victoria Cross for leading a charge, although wounded four times.  After recovering from his wounds and already a living legend, Freyberg was promoted to Brigadier General in 1917. 
            After the war, Freyberg lived in England trying unsuccessfully to get elected to Commons and several times to swim the English Channel, once missing by only 400 yards.  When WWII broke out in 1939, he was again a hero as commander of the 2nd New Zealand Expeditionary Force. 
            In the long and illustrious history of Swimming and British Military heroes, Bernard Freyberg is one of the most fabulous.

Excerpted from a forthcoming book on the importance of swimming to world history and warfare from the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015