Tuesday, April 26, 2016


FORT LAUDERDALE, TIM GARTON passed away early Monday morning at the KU Medical Center in Kansas City, KS, with his wife Mara at his side. He was 73 years old.  Tim courageously battled cancer the last 25 years of his life and was one of the most dominant swimmers in the history of Masters Swimming.  In 1997, Tim, along with Gail Roper, were the first two Masters Swimmers to be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.   
          Tim learned to swim at age two and a half in Elkhart, Wisconson and joined an AAU program in high school, but his first opportunity to train in a serious program when he attended Yale University from 1960 to 1964. Yale workouts were approximately 2,000 yards in distance and represented a 500% increase over his minimal high school program. While his times improved greatly at Yale, and twice earned All-American status on relays, he failed in his dream to make the 1964 Olympic team.
            Working as a real estate developer in Vail, Colorado, in 1972, Tim read about the results of the Masters National Championships and decided to train for the 1973 championships in the 25-29 age group. He was the surprise newcomer, winning three events and setting the first of hundreds of national and world records as he aged up. 
            In 1991, Tim was diagnosed with lymphoma, considered an incurable cancerous disease of the lymph system. During chemotherapy and radiation treatments, he continued to train at reduced levels. When his cancer was declared in remission, in August 1991, some of the doctors credited his devotion to swimming as being largely responsible. In 1992, he started competing again and, in the FINA World Masters Championships in Indianapolis, he won his 100th national and international victory by winning the 100-meter freestyle.
            “The Fox lived his life fully,” says Hall of Famer and Olympic gold medalist Steve Clark. “He was one of my best friends for the last 55 years, and on a regular basis kicked my ass in Masters swimming through every age group we entered….At Yale, he took me under his wing and taught me the virtues of wine, women and song…If ever there was a man whose life can be described by a baseball metaphor, he was that man: after rounding the bases at full speed, at the end he slid into home plate full of dirt and grime collected from having played the game to the very upmost. He will be missed.”
            “We've lost one of the fastest post-college swimmers ever,” says the legendary Olympic and Masters Swimming Hall of Famer Jeff Farrell.  “Tim could never catch Steve at Yale but clobbered him constantly years later, with many national and world record swims. He was a special person to watch and to be with.  Steve's description was an admiring - and accurate - memory of a special guy.” 
            “He loved swimming,” says Yale Alum Greg Lawler. “He loved his family, loved his friends, and loved his stories, most of them involving swimming.  He was particularly proud of one - about swimming against his best friend Steve Clark.  Steve had set the world record in the 100 free at the Tokyo Olympics, but at a masters meet in Japan years later, with both swimming absurdly fast for not young people Tim beat Steve in a 100 race.. When asked by a reporter asked how he had beat Steve, he answered –‘some people age like fine wine, others like a ripe banana.’  Tim was very proud of that insult, proof of his affection for Steve.”
            “Tim always seemed a bit larger than life,” says Masters Swimming Hall of Fame Contributor Phil Whitten, ”a Rabelaisian figure who always had time for friends and was happy to help out the sport he loved. Never bound by conventional expectations, he had no intention of quitting swimming when he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma 25 years ago and told he'd never be able to compete at the elite Masters level again. Tim never bought that prognosis and in short order was winning gold in the Masters World Championships.”

            Tim was passionate about his love for swimming and he will be missed.  


FORT LAUDERDALE – Alice Kempthorne, a long-time volunteer for over forty years with the AAU, ISHOF and USA Swimming  at local, regional, national and international levels has passed away in hospice care, with her son Jim at her side, in Roswell, GA. She was 89 years old. 
            Alice started volunteering with the AAU in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1963 and with the formation of USA Swimming in 1977.  She attended every United States Aquatic Sports Convention from its inception through 2003.  Over the years she served as a National Championship official both on and off the pool deck as Clerk of Course, Turn Judge, Ready Room Supervisor and Administrator.  In 1993, United States Swimming presented her with the Kenneth J. Pettigrew Award for her untiring service and dedicated volunteerism as a meet official.
            She also worked with coaches and athletes, serving as team manager of National, International, World and Student Games Teams including trips to Germany, Romania, Russia, Columbia, Argentina, Great Britain, Mexico and Japan.  She served three times as the Olympic Festival head manager and in 1995 she was the assistant team leader of the Pan American Swimming Team that competed in Argentina.
            On the local level, Alice was a major figure of the Florida Gold Coast Swimming, LSC, for over 30 years.  She served as the Age Group Chairman, Registration and Membership Chairman, Records Chairman and the Official Verification Certification Chairman.  She served on the Finance, Planning and Officials Club Committees, as treasurer of Florida Gold Coast Swimming and was the Rule book editor.  For many years she was the first name that comes to mind when information or help was needed from an athlete or coach within the Florida.
            Alice and her husband Dick were founding members and volunteers with ISHOF since its inception in 1965. For over 33 years she has served the Dames, ISHOF's volunteer auxiliary women's group, as either president, secretary, or treasurer, and member. Among her many contributions were helping to organize the first of the YMCA Nationals to be held at the Hall of Fame pool in the early 1970s and serving as secretary on the ISHOF Executive Committee for many years. She received the ISHOF Grand Dame award in 1998.
            “Alice was a friend to athletes and coaches alike,” says Sherill Nelson. “She was a very special person, always happy and positive and we are all going to miss her.”
            “She was an awesome volunteer for USA Swimming, says Guy Edson of ASCA. “She gave her time and her life to our sport.”

            “Alice Kempthorne believed greatly in the mission and value of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and was instrumental in implementation of the Swim-A-Thon, serving as SAT chair at its inception,” recalled Bob Duenkel, ISHOF’s Curator Emeritus.  “Neither the ISHOF nor Swim-A-Thon would have been successful without her.”

Thursday, April 21, 2016


FORT LAUDERDALE - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF), recognized by FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, today announced the dates for ISHOFs 52nd Annual Honors Weekend, October 28-30, 2016, in Santa Clara, California.
The event had originally been scheduled for June 3-5, but was postponed due to the subsequent awarding of the Copa America Cup the City of Santa Clara by CONCACAF, the continental governing body for association football (soccer) in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.  Local officials felt that he impact of these games, security issues and crowds would have been too disruptive for our attendees and upon their advise ISHOF made the decision to postpone the event. 
Coming as it will after the Rio Olympic Games, says ISHOF CEO Bruce Wigo, we believe that it will provide a great opportunity to promote swimming and the new Santa Clara Community and Recreation Center, which will be our new home.
More details about the weekends schedule of events will be forthcoming over the next few weeks.
The ISHOF Class of 2016 includes Swimmers Larisa Ilchenko (RUS), Aaron Peirsol (USA), Camille Muffat (FRA) and Dara Torres (USA); Divers Dmitry Sautin (RUS) and Guo Jingjing (CHN); Synchronized Swimmer  Yelena Azarova (RUS); Water Polo Players: Seven members of the 2000-2008 Hungarian Olympic water polo team (HUN); Marathon Swimmers Desmond Robert Des Renford (AUS) and Monique Wildschut (NED); Swimming Coach Bob Bowman (USA);  Contributor Sir Peter Heatly (GBR); Pioneers Simeon Boychenko (RUS), Horst Gorlitz (GRD/ITA/FRG), Frank Gorman (USA), Hilda James (GBR) and Leonid Meshkov (RUS).
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 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, 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.

The International Swimming Hall of Fames Class of 2016
Russian long distance swimmer, Larisa Ilchenko has won eight World Championships and gold at the 2008 Olympic Games at age 19. She has dominated long distance swimming since her first World Championship in Dubai in 2004, where, aged just 16, she won by over 30 seconds. She won the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the 10 km, using her trademark closing kick after being behind the leaders for 9,900 of the 10,000 swim.

Aaron Peirsol is one of the greatest backstrokers in swimming and Olympic history.  He participated in three Olympic Games (2000, 2004 and 2008), winning five gold and two silver medals and still holds three long course world records - as part of the USAs 4 x 100 meter medley relay, and in the 100 and 200 meter backstroke events.  During his career, he won a total of 36 medals in major international competitions, 29 gold, six silver and one bronze. He retired in 2011 saying, I ended up doing everything I set out to do.

Camille Muffat was a three time Olympic medalist from the Olympic Nice Natation Club. She specialized in the IM and freestyle events and her career expanded from 2005 to 2014.  At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she won gold in the 400 meter freestyle, silver in the 200 meter freestyle and bronze in the 4x200 meter freestyle relay.  In doing so, she became only the fourth French swimmer to win three Olympic medals at a single edition of the Olympic Games. Camille Muffats brilliant career was tragically cut short on March 9, 2015 when she was killed in a helicopter crash during the filming of a French TV Reality show, and will be enshrined posthumously.

Dara Torres won her first US National title at the age of 14 and her last at the age of 42, proving Age is Just a Number (which also happens to be the title of one of her best selling books). She is the first and only swimmer to ever represent the United States in five Olympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2008), during an Olympic career that spanned an incredible 24 years. She won a medal in each of her Olympic appearances and has twelve Olympic medals overall (four gold, four silver and four bronze).

Competing in five Olympic Games, Dmitry Sautin has won medals in all four mens diving events and more medals than any other diver in history (two gold, two silver and four bronze). He started diving at age seven, but his diving career almost ended in 1991 when he was stabbed multiple times in an attack. After spending two months in the hospital he represented Russia in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, where he won a bronze medal in the three meter springboard event. In 1996, he won gold in the mens 10 meter platform and in 2000, gold and silver medals in both synchronized events.

Guo Jingjing, known in China as the Princess of Diving, began diving for the Chinese national team in 1992 and competed at her first Olympic Games in 1996.  At the 2000 Olympic Games she won two silver medals, the individual and synchronized events in the three meter springboard. In 2004 and 2008 she was perfect, winning two individual titles and teaming with partner Wu Minxia to win gold in the synchronized event, all in the springboard. Her six medals made her the most decorated female Olympic diver in history.

Synchronized Swimmer:
Yelena Azarova, at the tender age of 14, was the first Russian synchronized swimmer to win solo and duet titles at the European Juniors. Always strong technically, she was one of the original members of the Russian team that won its first gold medal at the World Cup in 1997, its first Championship in 1998 and its first two Olympic team titles in 2000 and 2004. She eventually established her own synchronized swimming club in Moscow.

Water Polo Players:
TEAM HUNGARY 2000-2008
During a ten year period, from 1998 to 2008 the Hungarian mens water polo team built a dynasty unmatched in modern FINA history. Of the twenty players who won gold medals at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, this team will be represented by Tamas Molnar, Tamas Kasas, Tibor Benedeck, Gergely Kiss, Peter Biros, Zoltan Szecsi and coach Denes Kemeny (already a member of the Hall of Fame). Team Hungary will be honored as three-time Olympic Champions and the greatest team in water polo history.
Marathon Swimmers:
Monique Wildschut (NED)
Monique Wildschut, a tall and powerful swimmer from the Netherlands, was the six-time World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation champion from 1983 to 1988. In 1983 she was the overall winner of the Atlantic City Marathon and was second overall in the 64 km Traversée Internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada. As a solo swimmer, she crossed the English Channel twice and had the fastest swim of the year in 1984.
Desmond Robert Renford (AUS)
Desmond Robert Des Renford, M.B.E., was born in Australia on the 52nd anniversary of the very first Channel swim, achieved in 1875 by Matthew Webb.  He took up marathon swimming only at the age of 39 and from 1975 to part of 1980, he crossed the English Channel 19 times in 19 attempts and wore the title King of the Channel, which is accorded the swimmer with the most crossings.  For his exploits in the Channel, he was awarded the MBE, Order of the British Empire.  Australians remember their Channel swimming sporting legend, who died in 1999, through the Des Renford Aquatic and Leisure Center in Marouba, a suburb of Sydney. He will be enshrined posthumously.

Bob Bowman is probably best known as the long-time coach of Michael Phelps, however, he has done much more than that.  He has been the assistant coach of the USA swim team for three Olympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012) and has just been named the Head Mens Coach for the 2016 USA Olympic Team. He has been a three-time World Championship Head Coach (2007, 2009, 2013) and four time Assistant World Championship Coach (2001, 2003, 2005, 2011). Bob is an ASCA Hall of Fame Inductee, a five-time ASCA Coach of the Year, and the most honored Coach in the 40+ years of the award.  He is a six-time USA Swimming Coach of the Year, four-time USA Swimming Foundations Golden Google Award Recipient and the 2002 USA Swimming Developmental Coach of the Year. 

Throughout a period of 27 years, Sir Peter Heatly has contributed to the sport of swimming and diving at the local, national and international levels as competitor, team manager, official and administrator.  He was a member of both the FINA and LEN Diving committees from 1966 to 1988, Honorary Secretary of the FINA Committee from 1972 to 1984 and Chairman from 1984 to 1988. He was Chairman of Great Britains Swimming Federation in 1981 and again in 1992.  In 1990, he was installed as a Knight of the Realm by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Sir Peter Heatly will be enshrined posthumously.
A legendary figure in early Soviet era swimming, Simeon Boychenko was the fastest breaststroke-butterfly swimmer in the world, but because the USSR was not a member of FINA, Boychenko did not get to compete in the Olympic Games.  However, at the third International Workers Olympics in Antwerp (Belguim) in 1937, he considerably outstripped the winners times from the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin in the 200 meter breaststroke, earning the first victory of Soviet swimming on the international level.  His lifetime best of 1:05.4 and 2:29.8 in the 100 and 200 meter breast-butterfly would not be touched until after the rules changed permitting butterfly in the mid 1950s.  Boychenko will be honored posthumously.

Horst Gorlitz began coaching in the German Democratic Republic and after he could no longer agree with the policies of sport in his country, he escaped the GDR in 1955.  He became the National Team Coach of Italy in the sport of diving in 1957. In 1964, he coached Hall of Famer Klaus Dibiasi to Olympic gold on the platform and during the next three Olympic Games, Mexico City, Montreal and Moscow, Dibiasi and Giorgio Cagnotto won two gold, four silver and two bronze medals between them.  In 1969, Gorlitz went back to the Federal Republic of Germany to once again coach back in his homeland. He also coached divers in Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Finland and South Africa, and is credited with creating the foam rubber mattress used to create a soft, dry landing for a sitting, standing or back position. Gorlitz will be honored posthumously.

Frank competed in an era when there was only one chance in four years to be seen internationally and when male divers from the United States dominated the sport. Diving for Hall of Fame Coach, Dick Smith, Frank just missed the 1960 Olympic Team for the United States, but returned four years later to win the United States Olympic Trials and then the silver medal in the 3 meter springboard at the Tokyo Olympics.  While at the Tokyo Games, he outscored everyone on nine out of ten dives, but missed one badly to take second place. Competing at Harvard University, he never lost a dual meet and was an All-American Diver for all four years, 1957-1960.

Hilda James is credited with introducing the six beat crawl stroke to England, a measure which made swimmers much faster. Nicknamed the English Comet she held every British freestyle record, 100 yards to the mile.  She became a darling of the press and was expected to win three gold medals, all in the freestyle at the 1924 Olympic Games. Unfortunately, living in the Victorian era, Hildas parents controversially prevented her from competing in the Games. After her swimming career, Hilda spent much of her time coaching and giving demonstrations. James will be honored posthumously.

Like Simeon Boychenko, Leonid Meshkov is a legendary figure in Russian swimming history who also broke the recognized world record in the 100 meter butterfly-breaststroke, and European records in the 200 and 400 meters freestyle, prior to the outbreak of WWII.  And like Boychenko, his accomplishments were not recognized.   During the defense of Stalingrad, he earned hero status, but also sustained severe injuries to his shoulder and arm that were thought to end all hopes of resuming swimming.  However, after demanding rehabilitation that lasted many years, he became the first Soviet swimmer to claim a FINA recognized world record, when he swam the 100 meter butterfly-breaststroke in 1:07.2, in 1949. He later broke his record five more times and held it until February 1952.  Well past his peak, Meshkov participated in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, at the age of 36. Meshkov will be honored posthumously.

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