Thursday, November 29, 2018

Passages: Remembering Rogers “Tiger” Holmes – Nov. 13, 1921 – Nov. 28, 2018

“Whatever you do, do it well.  Go hard. Go at it 100%” - Rogers B. Tiger Holmes
The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is saddened to report the passing of Rogers Baldwin “Tiger” Holmes, at the age of 97.  Tiger served as member of ISHOF’s Board of Directors from 1991 to 1996, as Chairman of the Board from 1996 to 1998 and was the recipient of the organization’s Gold Medallion Award in 1998.  Here are some thoughts from a few who were impacted by his life.
“Tiger Holmes represented everything that is right about swimming. He had a pure love for the sport and the people in swimming. He had a sharp sense of humor and I could sit and listen to him for hours as he spun one incredible tale after another. There are some other amazing Tigers out there but for me, there will be only one. Tiger Holmes”  – Rowdy Gaines: Olympic Champion/Olympic Commentator, ISHOF Hall of Fame
“I loved that man! When I first met Tiger, I was just 18 and he was this very accomplished and successful 62-year-old businessman.  Yet you would have thought you were meeting royalty.  So enthusiastic, so welcoming and so happy to have me swimming for Florida and his Holmes Lumber Gators.  For a kid 3,000 miles from home his support and friendship meant so much to me. He made me feel like he was my biggest fan but he treated all the other swimmers the same way.  Over the years he never changed. He was still so enthusiastic, with incredible energy that was conveyed through his clear, sparkling blue eyes.  I was so proud to wear sweats with a tiger tail on them and am so grateful for having had him as a friend.” – Mary Wayte Bradburne: Olympic Champion, ISHOF Hall of Fame
“Tiger was such a wonderful human being and he definitely bled orange and blue. I’ve never seen anyone so dedicated to swimming as Tiger was to swimming and the University of Florida. He was our biggest cheerleader and truly epitomizes what giving back means.  I’m sure all Florida Gators and everyone who knew him are mourning his passing.” – Dara Torres: Olympic Champion, ISHOF Hall of Fame
“He was just a tremendous backer of the sport of swimming.  Not just my program but the sport of swimming.  I doubt there are many people who loved swimming as much as Tiger Holmes.” – Randy Reese: Head Coach, University of Florida and Holmes Lumber Gaters, ISHOF Hall of Fame
“Tiger Holmes was larger than life in so many levels, but with all that he was he was the most humble person and underneath his “good old boy” veneer he was whip smart.  It was apparent to me right away, that Tiger cared about us not just as swimmers, but that he wanted us all to be happy and successful in life beyond swimming and in return we all wanted to make him proud of us.  I was blessed to be a small part of Tiger’s life.” – Craig Beardsley: World Champion, World Record-holder, 1980 Olympian
“Tiger was a warm and delightful man who loved swimming and the “Every Child A Swimmer” goal of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.  In addition to supporting ISHOF, Tiger’s Holmes Lumber Company sponsored a program to teach disadvantaged children in his hometown of Jacksonville how to swim.  Many of the children didn’t even have bathing suits, but from 1990 to 1992 he  managed to teach 12,000 kids to swim! That was just in the summer. A great man and a friend of swimming who will be missed by all who knew him.” – Dr. Bill Kent: ISHOF Chairman of the Board

“It got me to 93! My doctor told me if I hadn’t swum I’da been dead ten years ago. So I keep at it.” – Tiger Holmes

Photo From His 97 Birthday Last Week… Celebrating With Daughters Leighton and Mary (L to r)

Overview of Tiger Holmes

  • International Swimming Hall of Fame, Gold Medallion Award (1998)
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame, Chairman of the Board (1996-98)
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame, Board Member
  • Holmes Lumber sponsors Jacksonville “Every Child A Swimmer” learn to swim initiative (1991 – 1992)
  • Charles McCaffree Award, American College Coaches Association (1989)
  • Jacksonville Area Sports Lifetime Achievement Award (1996)
  • Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame inductee
  • Southeastern Conference champion, 50 freestyle (1942)
  • World Masters champion, 50 butterfly (1990, 1992, 1994)
  • USMS national champion (14 titles)
  • University of Florida Hall of Fame
  • University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame
  • Founder of the Holmes LumberJax Masters Team
  • Sponsor of the Holmes Lumber Gators, University of Florida club team (1984-88)
In 2015 Tiger made swimming history when he teamed up with three other masters swimmers, whose average age was 90.5 years to set a world 4 x 200 meter relay record that may never be broken.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Give today to help preserve the history of swimming, celebrate the heroes, and promote the benefits of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, water safety, and quality of life!

For the first time, International Swimming Hall of Fame has joined the #GivingTuesday movement, a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of people giving back and supporting causes that improve their local communities and make a difference worldwide. Through Giving Tuesday, ISHOFs goal is to raise funds to support its purpose of promoting the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, and quality of life. ISHOF also strives to teach the importance of water safety for children and recognize the critical role coaches and educators make to the sport of swimming. “Swimming has given me so much in my life,” says Steve West, current masters swimmer, and former collegiate swimmer for the University of Michigan, NCAA champion, and U.S. National Team member. “Through swimming, I have first and foremost been able to enjoy a sport that keeps me healthy and is something I can do forever! Competing in swimming has taught me important life skills; discipline, hard work, dedication, and teamwork. The people in this sport are a family, taking care of and supporting each other. I owe my life to the sport of swimming and that’s why I will donate to ISHOF on #GivingTuesday,” added West.

  #GivingTuesday logo  

 As a not-for-profit educational organization, ISHOF fulfills its purpose through the operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The museum is a unique display dedicated to the history, memory, and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers, and persons involved in life saving activities and education throughout the world. These athletes and their accomplishments inspire, educate, and serve as role models for all those who experience the hall of fame. To make a donation to the International Swimming Hall of Fame, please visit the ISHOF website. Donations can be made in any dollar value and can be made in the name of a loved one who is a swimming enthusiast. To be a part of ISHOF all year long, become an ISHOF member! Membership benefits include mention in our annual yearbook, access to Swimming World Magazine online vault, an opportunity to attend the annual induction ceremony in Ft. Lauderdale, ISHOF swag, and more.

 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.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Call for nominations for the 2019 Annual Paragon Awards at the International Swimming Hall of Fame

The International Swimming Hall of Fame announces the
call for nominations for the 2019 Annual Paragon Awards at the International Swimming Hall of Fame,
to be presented on the occasion of the Hall of Fame Honors Weekend, May 17-19, 2019 in Fort Lauderdale.
Candidates may be nominated in the following categories
  1. Competitive Swimming
  2. Competitive Diving
  3. Competitive Synchronized Swimming
  4. Competitive Water Polo
  5. Aquatic Safety
  6. Recreational Swimming
The Awards are presented for outstanding contributions and leadership within the category.
Kindly submit your nominees by December 1, 2018. Please include data to support your nomination as well as a brief biography of each individual.           
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Nominations may be sent to:
Dr. Ivonne Schmid
International Swimming Hall of Fame
1 Hall of Fame Drive
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
Phone: 954-462-6536 ext. 210
Fax:     954-525-4031

Friday, November 2, 2018

Michael P. Read, MBE to Receive the 2019 Poseidon Award

FORT LAUDERDALE The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) will recognize

Michael P. Read, MBE for his high-level achievement in marathon swimming with the 2019 Poseidon Award.  The Award will be presented to Michael, on Saturday evening, during the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, on March 9th in Melbourne Australia.  The Poseidon Award is presented annually by International Swimming Hall of Fame to the organization or individual for high level achievement from personal effort or initiative in a field of endeavor that contributes to the performance of marathon swimmers or to the development and status of Marathon Swimming to the world.
This year’s award honors Michael P. Read, MBE.  As a swimmer he has competed more than 130 epic marathons including 33 crossings of the English Channel.  Michael’s first ever swims include a 67 km (42-mile) quadruple-crossing of Lake Windermere.   His longest 96.5 km (60 miles) around Isle of Wright in 24+ hours and his coldest 38km (24-mile) Loch Ness in 14+ hours in 6° to 7°C (42.8° to 44.7°F) water.  Other International swims include:   40 km (25-mile) Nile International Championship, 40 km (25 miles), Manhattan Island and Lake Zurich.  A member of Great Britain’s 1960 Olympic team, he is still active, having completed the Gulf of Toroneos 26km marathon in 2018 and winning the European Masters 5km Championship in 2018. 
Read has served as a swimming administrator in one capacity or another for over 60 years.  For nearly 45 years he has helped direct the Channel Swimming Association, becoming Chairman in 1993 and President in 2007.  During this time the popularity of open water and Channel swimming has exploded. 
He was inducted as an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) in 1978, honored by the ISHOF with the Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award in 2009 and inducted as an Honor Swimmer in 2011.  For his singular contributions to marathon swimming on the international stage, Michael has been awarded the 2019 Poseidon Award.
For additional information, please call Ned Denison in Ireland at (+353) 87-987-1573 or ISHOF at (954) 462-6536, or visit