Sunday, February 28, 2021

Happy Birthday Jeff Farrell !!!

JEFF FARRELL (USA) 1968 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1960 gold (4x200m freestyle relay; 4x100 medley relay); Appendectomy 5 days before 1960 Olympic Trials; 1960 had world standard times in 100yd, 100m, 110yd, 200yd, 200m, 220yd freestyle; WORLD RECORDS: 4x200m freestyle; 4x100m medley relay; NATIONAL AAU CHAMPION: 1960.

No man ever overcame a greater handicap to make the U.S. Olympic swimming team than Jeff Farrell, the world's premier freestyle sprinter at the time of the 1960 Rome Olympic Games.  Farrell, with world standard times at 100 yds, 100 meters, 110 yds., 200 yds., 200 meters, and 220 yds., was considered a shoo-in for the Olympic team when he came down with acute appendicitis six days before the Olympic Trials at Detroit.  The operation was a success, but Farrell, wrapped in yards of adhesive tape, was considered in no shape to swim.  He refused a special dispensation and took his chances in the sudden-death trials that mark U.S. team selection methods.  Farrell placed fourth, and qualified for the relays.  By Rome, Farrell was fully recovered and anchored both U.S.A. men's relays to Olympic and world records for his two Olympic gold medals.

Farrell's whole swimming career was a classic example of determination.  A good high school swimmer from Wichita, Kansas, he enrolled at Oklahoma, talked athletic director Bud Wilkinson into hiring Matt Mann, the retired Michigan coach.  Under Mann, Farrell became a Conference champion, worked his way up to the finals in NCAA and NAAU championships.  Just about the time Farrell was ready to make his run for the top, he wrecked his shoulder in a dormitory wrestling match.  His senior year in college, with a long scar marking the shoulder operation, he was a solid third in the Nationals.  Pretty good swimming, but Farrell was not ready to quit.  He became a Navy ensign and was assigned to the ROTC at Yale where he worked out with retired Yale coach Bob Kiphuth, and finally reached his potential without injury.  Farrell was unbeatable that winter at Yale, winning the National AAUs.  Everyone--Matt Mann, Bob Kiphuth, the swimmers--agreed it couldn't happen to a nicer guy.  Even Farrell must have figured he was finally home free until the appendectomy came to handicap him once more.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Happy Birthday Keena Rothhammer !!!

KEENA ROTHHAMMER (USA) 1991 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1972 gold (800m freestyle), bronze (200m freestyle); WORLD RECORDS: 2 (400m, 800m freestyle); NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 12 (200yd, 400m, 500yd freestyle; 7 relays); WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1973 gold (100m freestyle), silver (400m freestyle); AMERICAN RECORDS: 13 (200yd, 400yd, 400m, 500yd, 800yd, 800m freestyle; 5 relays).

A talented freestyler with a racing range from 200 meters to 1500 meters, Keena Rothhammer's performances were unpredictable except for the fact that she always won something.  At a time when Shane Gould of Australia and Shirley Babashoff of the United States were swimming all the freestyle distances as well, this trio of swimmers flip-flopped their way down the event list, each pushing the other to new heights.

As youngest event gold medalist in both Olympic and World Championship competition, Keena, with the help of her Santa Clara coach, Hall of Famer, George Haines, set the world on fire.  At age 16, Keena had accumulated an Olympic gold and bronze medal, two world records, fifteen U.S. National championships, ten American records, and a gold and silver medal at the first World Championships in 1973.

At the 1972 Munich Olympics, Keena was America's third fastest 800 meter freestyler, but she captured the gold medal with a world record of 8:53.68.  As the top seeded American in the 400, Keena came in sixth, but maintained her place in the 200 b3hind Gould and Babashoff to take the bronze medal.

The swimming dominance of Rothhammer allowed her to use her fame to convince the Amateur Athletic Union to change its strict, long-standing rule on women's racing suits.  The American suits were required to have a skirt around the hip, while the East Germans competed in skin tight suits--and won!  Due to the Rothhammer family's lobbying efforts, the AAU changed its tune and submitted to faster and more water resistant suits.

Keena's forced retirement was due in part to severe migraine headaches which began in junior high school.  After her retirement at age 17, she traveled around the country working with Special Olympics programs.  Although just a teen, Keena maturely stated she would much rather be remembered for her work with children than anything she did in swimming.

Happy Birthday Jenny Thompson !!!

Jenny Thompson (USA) 2009 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: 1992 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley), silver (100m freestyle); 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley, 4x200m freestyle); 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley, 4x200m freestyle), bronze (100m freestyle); 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES: silver (4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley); SIX WORLD RECORDS: 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, two – 4x100m freestyle, two – 4x100m medley; NINE WORLD RECORDS (25m): three – 50m butterfly, four –100m butterfly ,two–100m individual medley; 1991 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (4x100m freestyle); 1994 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver (4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley); 1998 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (100m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley), silver (4x200m freestyle); 2003 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (100m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle), silver (50m butterfly, 4x100m medley), bronze (100m freestyle); 1997 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (25m):gold(100m freestyle, 100m buttefly, 50m butterfly, 100m butterfly, 4x100m medley, silver (50m freestyle); 2000 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (25m):gold(50m butterfly, 100m butterfly),silver(100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle),bronze(4x100m medley); 2004 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (25m): gold (50m butterfly), silver (4x100m medley), bronze (100m butterfly); 1987 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: gold (50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle), bronze (100m freestyle); 1999 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (50m freestyle, 100m freestyle); 19 NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: individual and relay titles.

When Jenny Thompson finished her swimming career following the 2004 Olympic Games, she was the most decorated U.S. Olympian with twelve medals, eight of them gold. From 1992 to 2004, she competed on four Olympic

Jenny Thompson Teams winning gold medals all as a member of relay teams, but in the process she set 15 world records mostly in individual events.

In 1999, she broke one of swimming’s most revered records, Mary T. Meagher’s 18 year old world record in the 100m butterfly. All totaled, she set 15 World Records – six long course in the 100m freestyle and 100m butterfly with four world records on relays and nine short course, all individual freestyle, butterfly and individual medley events.

Jenny swam for Mike Parratto (Seacoast Swimming Association, Dover, NH) from 1985-1991. She then swam for Richard Quick at Stanford University where she accrued 19 individual and relay NCAA National titles. When not at the University, she swam for John Collins at the Badger Swim Club. She competed in her last Olympic Games at the age of 31 in 2004 Athens where she won silver medals in the 4 x 100m freestyle and medley relays.

Thompson was the 1998 World Swimmer of the Year.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

On this day in 1882, Honor Contributor, Dr. Frederick W. Luehring was born.....

DR. FREDERICK W. LUEHRING (USA) 1974 Honor Contributor

FOR THE RECORD:  OLYMPIC GAMES: 1932 (Secretary of Men's and Women's Swimming Committee; Referee of the Olympic Trials); 1936 (Chairman of the Men's Olympic Swimming Committee; Referee of the Olympic Trials); Swimming and Water Polo Coach at Princeton, 1911-1920; started the swim team at Nebraska, 1921; First editor of the Intercollegiate Swimming Guide, 1916-1922; NCAA Rules Committee member, secretary and chairman from its founding until 1944.

Dr. Frederick W. Luehring was born in Hanover, Kansas, on the Oregon Trail in 1881 and he has been hiking uphill ever since.  He was run over by a wagon when he was 4 years old and his success at swimming and running himself back to health directed him into a long life dedicated to physical fitness.  At 82, he was the oldest ever to complete hiking the 2000 mile Appalachian Trail.  Hiking week-ends and vacations when he could spare the time, it took him 14 years to get from Maine to Georgia.  It is a tribute to his persistence.  At 93 he was still going on 15 and 20 mile weekend hikes.  "The distance," he says, "depends on how steep the mountain."  He has hiked the C & O Canal three times with Justice Douglas going 20 miles or more a day.  He has also hiked the 184 mile tow path along the Lehigh Canal.  At 92 he led the Philadelphia March of Dimes Walk-a-Thon for miles.

Enough about Fred Luehring's dryland exercise.  Forget this walk-a-thon and talk about his Swim-a-Thon,

the oldest swimmer at U.S. Pan American Coach Frank Keefe's Suburban Swim Club where non-believers offered $5.00 a length for as long as Luehring could swim.  "I don't swim as much as I hike now," observed Luehring, "but I swam a mile before breakfast every day during my vacation last summer and I enjoy half hour swims in the ocean after my 8 mile hikes with the Trail Club in New Jersey."

Luehring's Doctoral dissertation at Columbia became a published book "Swimming Pool Standards."  As Chairman of the Men's Olympic Swimming Committee, he wrote the report on the 1936 Berlin Olympics.  He was secretary of the Men's and Women's Swimming Committee in 1932 and Referee of the Olympic Trials in both 1932 and 1936.

Fred Luehring was a football and track star at North Central College and at the University of Chicago under Amos Alonzo Stag.  He has coached almost all the college sports.  At Ripon College (Wis.) in 1906-1907, he needed a settee rather than a chair for his duties as Professor and Director of Physical Education.  For $800 a year, he coached football, basketball, track and spent his evenings as Proctor in the men's dorm.  He coached swimming and water polo at Princeton from 1911-1920, started the swim team at Nebraska (1921), made swimming and life saving conferences for summer camps at Minnesota, Wisconsin, NYU, and others.

Fred Luehring's biggest contribution, however, was the prestige of his physical education background lent to swimming as a worthwhile educational sport activity.  He was the first editor of the Intercollegiate Swimming Guide from 1916-1922.  He served on the NCAA Rules Committee as member, secretary, and chairman, from its founding until 1944.  Fred Luehring is honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame for more years in service to swimming than any other physical education leader.

On this day, in 1872, John Arthur Jarvis, British Olympic gold medalist in swimming was born.....

JOHN ARTHUR JARVIS (GBR) 1968 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1900 gold (1000m, 4000m freestyle); 1906 silver (1 mile freestyle), bronze (400m freestyle; 4x250m freestyle relay); WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1907 gold (500m freestyle); His 108 swimming championships included: Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee 1-mile championship; German Kaiser's Championship of Europe; Austrian Emperor's World Championships at Vienna; the King of Italy's World's Distance Championship; the Queen of Holland's World's Championship at 4,000m; King Edward VII coronation Cup One Mile; English Mile Championship - six year in succession; English Long Distance Championship (7 miles) - eight years; Half Mile Championships - 4 times in succession; 500yd Championship - 4 times; 400yd salt water championship- twice; plunging championship of England, 1904; 2 gold cups for 15 mile swim through London; Grand Prix of Antwerp, 1000m; Cup de la Meuse, Belgium; holder of the Royal Humane Society's Medal for Life Saving.

John Arthur Jarvis called himself "Amateur Swimming Champion of the World" and he had 108 swimming championships to prove it.  In 1900 (Paris), he was the first Olympic triple gold medal winner as he touched first at 100 meters, 1000 meters and 4000 meters.  He followed with a gold and a silver at the 1906 Athens Olympics.  Jarvis swam the overarm sidestroke and all races were "freestyle."  Jarvis and Joey Nuttall, the English professional champion, developed a special kick to go with this stroke which became known as the Jarvis-Nuttall kick.  Some of Jarvis' records with this stroke lasted 28 years.

After the 1907 world championships at Charenton, a newspaper report states: "The event of the day was the exhibition made by Jarvis in the 500 meter championship.  The Englishman at once took the lead and swam with a regularity so perfect as to seem absolutely mechanical.  He covered the 500 meters in 7 min., 43-4/5 sec. and turning, watched as an interested spectator, the struggle for second place.  Boin arrived 46 seconds later, and Gegoire was third in 8 minutes, 50-1/5 sec."

Jarvis saved innumerable lives in his later career teaching lifesaving including one famed rescue in which he brought in twin sisters.  He introduced lifesaving techniques to Italy on one of his many international trips with the English water polo team.  His other achievements and awards included Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee one mile championship; German Kaiser's Championship of Europe; Austrian Emperor's World Championships at Vienna; the King of Italy's World Distance Championship; the Queen of Holland's World's Championship at 4000 meters; King Edward VII Coronation Cup One Mile (presented by His Majesty); English Mile Championship--six years in succession; English Long Distance Championship (7 miles), eight years; Half Mile Championship, four times in succession; 500 yards championship, four times; 400 yards salt water championship, twice; plunging championship of England, in 1904; two gold cups for 15-mile swim through London, open to the world; Grand prix of Antwerp, 1000 meters; Cup de la Meuse, Belgium; holder of the Royal Humane society's Medal for Saving Life.

At the period when English swimming was first and swimming was a most important wonder of sport, J. A. Jarvis was certainly the wonder of English swimming.  He was later respectfully referred to as "Professor Jarvis" and 3 of his daughters, all swimming teachers, came to Fort Lauderdale to represent him at the induction ceremonies.


Happy Birthday Coach Skip Kenney !!!

SKIP KENNEY (USA) 2004 Honor Coach

FOR THE RECORD: 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES: Head Coach Men’s Team; 1988 OLYMPIC GAMES: Assistant Coach Men’s and Women’s Team; 1984 OLYMPIC GAMES: Assistant Coach Men’s and Women’s Team; 1994 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: Assistant Coach Women’s Team; 1993 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: Head Coach; 1987 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: Head Coach; Coach of Stanford University (1979-present) winning a total of 7 NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS; Coach of 18 OLYMPIC SWIMMERS winning 16 OLYMPIC medals.

Skip Kenney was never a competitive swimmer, but he surely knew how to coach them. He developed all of local, state, national, collegiate and Olympic champions not only as individual champions, but also team champions.

Born February 24, 1943, he grew up in Fresno, California attending Fresno High School, playing baseball and doing a little diving. Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Marines, went through boot camp and served in Viet Nam in the mid-1960s.

Kenney’s first swim coaching position was as Don Gambril’s assistant from 1968-1971 at Phillips 66 Long Beach. He also coached at Long Beach State during that time. When Gambril moved to Harvard University so did Skip, and he stayed there for one season before taking his first head coaching position at the Houston Dad’s Club in Texas. After a few years, Skip moved to Charlie Keating’s Cincinnati Marlins where he coached Renee Magee and Charles Keating, Jr. to the 1976 Montreal Olympics and Glenn Mills, Bill Barret and Kim Carlisle to the 1980 Olympic Team that was never able to compete due to the boycott.

In 1979, Kenney became the head coach of the Stanford University Men’s Swimming Team, a position he has held now for a quarter of a century. In collegiate swimming, he has won seven NCAA National Team titles and a record 23 PAC-10 Conference titles. He is a 15-time PAC-10 Coach of the Year, coached 93 All Americans to 785 All-America honors and developed over 63 NCAA champions. In his first 24 years at Stanford, Kenney has recorded a 177-35 overall record, including an 88-5 record (.946) over the past 11 years.

In the international arena, Coach Kenney was head coach of the U.S. Men’s Team at the 1996 Olympic Games after serving as the assistant coach of both the men’s and women’s teams at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics and 1988 Seoul Olympics. He was the assistant coach of the women’s team at the 1994 World Championships and head coach at both the 1993 Pan Pacific Championships and 1987 Pan American Games. Skip will be the men’s coach for the U.S. Team at the 2004 Short Course World Championships in Indianapolis.

Kenney has coached 18 swimmers to Olympic competition winning ten gold, three silver and three bronze medals. His swimmers in World Championship competition have won five gold, three silver and two bronze medals. Some of his swimmers include Dave Bottom (American record holder); Ray Cary (1996 U.S. Olympian); Wade Flemons (1980 Canadian Olympian); Kurt Grote (1996 Olympic gold medalist); Joe Hudopohl (1992 and 1996 Olympic gold medalist); Jeff Kostoff (1984 and 1988 U.S. Olympian); John Moffet (1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympian and world record holder); Pablo Morales (three-time Olympic gold medalist and four-time world record holder); Jay Mortensen (1988 Olympian); Anthony Mosse (1988 Olympic bronze medalist); Sean Murphy (1988 Canadian Olympian); Eddie Parenti (1992 and 1996 Canadian Olympian); J. Plummer (1988 Australian Olympian); Brian Retterer (American record holder); Jeff Rouse (1992 and 1996 Olympic gold medalist and world record holder); John Simons (1980 U.S. Olympian); Derek Weatherford (American record holder); and Tom Wilkens (2000 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist).

Skip’s international coaching achievements are held in high esteem by his peers and he is respected for his ability to teach as well as coach. His strong sense of character is revered by his swimmers.

Skip is also a great clinician whose purpose is to promote swimming better at all ages.


Tuesday, February 23, 2021

ISHOF salutes Black History Month and Harry N. George

The General Slocum steamship disaster was the greatest single catastrophe in New York City’s history until 9/11. On June 15, 1904, the Gen. Slocum was taking a group of almost 1400 passengers, mostly women and children, on a trip of New York City's East River to a picnic on Long Island. The ship caught fire shortly after leaving dock.  Most of the passengers tried to escape the fire by jumping into the water, and because they didn't know how to swim, they drowned. Bodies of mothers, grandmothers, and girls washed up on the shorelines for days.  One of the forgotten heroes, saving some of the passengers, was Harry N. George, an African American. 

The lesson from the Slocum disaster wasn't lost on the nation: "Learn to swim!" commanded an editorial in the New York Herald that was repeated throughout the country. "That should be the resolve of every intelligent woman who does not already know how, upon reading the pitiful story of how woman after woman drowned within just a few feet of shore.

As a consequence of the Slocum disaster, the American Red Cross were moved to being its water safety and lifesaving programs and swimming became an essential part of public education.  Unfortunately, most African Americans were denied the same opportunities to learn to swim, as virtually all pools and beaches were closed to non-whites during the first half of the 20th Century, in spite of the heroics of Harry N. George.  It would not be until the 1930s when the first African Americans were certified as Red Cross Water Safety instructors and Lifeguards. 


On this day, British swimmer, Lucy Morton was born......

LUCY MORTON (GBR) 1988 Honor Pioneer Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1924 gold (200m breaststroke); WORLD RECORDS: (200yd breaststroke; 150yd backstroke); AMATEUR SWIMMING ASSOCIATION CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1920 (150yd backstroke; 200yd breaststroke).

Lucy Morton became the first British woman to win an Olympic gold medal for swimming at the 1924 Paris Olympics. At the age of 26, she swam a come-from-behind race to beat Britain's world record holder Irene Gilbert.  Under the watchful eye of her coach George Swarbrick, Miss Morton held two world records in the 200 yard breaststroke prior to her Olympic victory and would have had a good chance of a gold in 1920, but there were no breaststroke events for women in the Antwerp Games.  Lucy also held the first world record for the 150 yard backstroke in 1916 in the days of the English double over-arm and frog leg-kick.  In 1920, she was the first Amateur Swimming Association champion in the 150 yard backstroke and 200 yard breaststroke.  Lucy Morton retired soon after the Olympic Games, but continued for 42 years as a swimming teacher, coach, official, traveling-team chaperone, and a friend within the sport.

The medals of Lucy Morton go home to Blackpool........

In 2019, the Olympic medals and other memorabilia of British Swimmer, Lucy Morton, went to auction, and the City of Blackpool, where Lucy was from, was able to win the bid at the auction and get Lucy's items and bring them home.  Above is a video from the auction house of the items Blackpool won, the pinnacle being her Olympic medal.

Article from Blackpool Council: 18 September 2019

I am absolutely delighted to announce that Blackpool Council and Blackpool Civic Trust have successfully purchased Lucy Morton’s Medals at a recent auction. We considered these to be very important to Blackpool and its Heritage..

“Blackpool Civic Trust made a contribution to the Council’s successful bid to ensure that a significant part of Lucy Morton’s memorabilia will return to Blackpool. The memorabilia included, crucially, the gold medal for 200m Breast Stroke that Lucy Morton won at the 1924 Olympics.

Joan Humble , said ‘I am so glad that Blackpool Civic Trust was able to support Blackpool Council in securing this important memorabilia to celebrate a remarkable woman. Visitors to the Town Hall can see the Blue Plaque that the Civic Trust put up in 2012, detailing her outstanding achievements. We can now look forward to seeing her Olympic Gold and other medals on display.”

The archive of the memorabilia will be housed at at the History Centre in Blackpool Central Library that preserves and gives access to Blackpool’s heritage collections. The story of Lucy Morton will also feature in Blackpool’s first museum when it opens to the public.’

The first ever Olympic gold swimming medal won by a British woman for an individual event in 1924 is expected to sell for thousands at auction.

It has been uncovered along with 39 other gold and silver medals won by Lucy Morton (later Heaton) in the early 1900s together with an archive of her life which shows how her success was born out of one of the biggest put-downs any child could receive.

In Lucy’s handwritten memoirs, she explained: “At the age of 10 I was at Christchurch School in Blackpool and Mrs Phillips, the headmistress, sent a note to my father stating that I was the biggest dunce in the school and suggested swimming might brighten my ideas up a bit.”

Swimming certainly paved the way to glory for Lucy. Some 15 gold medals and 25 silver medals, with an overall estimate of £30,000-£40,000, will go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers’ Sports Memorabilia Auction on August 22. They include her Olympic gold medal, estimate £10,000-£12,000, and a bracelet made out of five gold medals awarded for breaking world records between 1913 and 1920, estimate £15,000-£20,000.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Happy Birthday Elaine Tanner !!!

ELAINE TANNER (CAN) 1980 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD:  OLYMPIC GAMES: 1968 silver (100m, 200m backstroke), bronze (freestyle relay); WORLD RECORDS: 5 (100m, 200m backstroke, 220yd butterfly; 440 yd freestyle relay); U.S. NATIONAL AAU Titles: 2 (1966: 100yd backstroke); COMMONWEALTH GAMES: 1966 gold (110yd, 220yd butterfly; 440yd individual medley; 440yd freestyle relay), silver (110yd, 220yd backstroke; medley relay); PAN AMERICAN GAMES: 1967 gold (100m, 200m backstroke), silver (100m butterfly, 400m freestyle; medley relays); U.S. OPEN RECORD: 1 (100yd backstroke); CANADIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: 17.

"Mighty Mouse", a tiny girl of heroic proportions, was no 98 lb. weakling.  She dominated women's swimming in Canada in virtually every stroke and distance in the middle 1960s, and with Ralph Hutton brought her country into the front rank of world swimming.  Certainly she was the world's most versatile woman swimmer of her era.  Canadian press and public always expected her to win and she usually did in spite of the pressure of carrying her nation's honor on her back.  She came to the U.S. Nationals in 1966 and won over all in the 100 back and butterfly, the backstroke in world's fastest time.  In 1966 she dominated the British Commonwealth Games as no athlete ever had with seven gold or silver medals, won two gold and three silvers again in the 1967 Pan Am Games, and topped her career with two silvers and a bronze in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico.  Her road show included trips to South Africa (three times), New Zealand, England, and Russia, and she always went head-to-head with the host country's best.  She was the first Canadian woman to medal in any Olympics.  Elaine was elected the Outstanding Athlete of the Commonwealth Games and the Canadian Athlete of the Year.  Her honors included 17 National titles in four years and 50 Senior and Age Group Canadian records.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Happy Birthday Doug Russell !!!

DOUGLAS RUSSELL (USA) 1985 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD:  OLYMPIC GAMES: 1968 gold (100m butterfly; relay); WORLD RECORDS: 4 (100m butterfly; 100m backstroke; 2 relays); PAN AMERICAN GAMES: 1967 gold (200m individual medley; 1 relay); AAU NATIONALS: 1969 (100m butterfly); NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1968 (100yd butterfly; 1 relay); AMERICAN RECORDS: 6 (100yd backstroke, 5 relays).

Doug Russell is the butterflier who won two Olympic gold medals Mark Spitz was supposed to win in Mexico--the 100m Butterfly and the Medley Relay at the1968 Games.  In addition to his two Olympic gold medals, Russell, with his coach, Don Easterling, (then of Texas at Arlington, now at North Carolina State), made a habit of knocking off favorites in several different strokes.

Russell won a Pan American gold medal in the 200 I.M. and set an American Record in the National A.A.U.'s in the 100m Backstroke.  In the World University Games in Tokyo, he set a World backstroke Record in the preliminaries only to lose in the finals to Hall of Famer Charlie Hickcox.  As great as he was in the Backstroke and Individual Medley, he was at his best in the Butterfly.

If anyone was surprised by his Olympic performance, it wasn't Russell.  One of swimming's all-time "head" swimmers, Russell often won because he wouldn't believe he could be beaten.

Happy Birthday Steve Lundquist !!!

STEVE LUNDQUIST (USA) 1990 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1984 gold (100m breaststroke; relay); U.S. NATIONALS: 14 (100yd, 200yd, 100m, 200m breaststroke; 200yd, 200m individual medley); NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: 7 (100yd, 200yd breaststroke; 200yd individual medley); WORLD RECORDS: 9 (100m breaststroke; 200m individual medley; relays); PAN AMERICAN GAMES: 1979 gold (100m, 200m breaststroke; 1 relay); 1983 gold (100m, 200m breaststroke), bronze (200m individual medley; 1 relay); AMERICAN RECORD holder: (100yd, 200yd breaststroke); 1981, 1982 U.S. Swimmer of the Year; First swimmer in the world to break 2 minute barrier in the 200yd breaststroke.

"Lunk" the other swimmers called him except for the late Victor Davis who called him "the intimidator."  "It takes one to know one," was Steve Lundquist's reply.  He was and is the golden boy of swimming, going right from the pool, medaling to modeling and a featured part on the afternoon "soap" "Search for Tomorrow".  He may have been a hot dog in the same sense as Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe.  Steve was the first man in the world to break two minutes for the 200 yard breaststroke.  "Lundquist can swim and win anything he wants to train for," said Hall of Fame Honor Coach Walt Schlueter.  He was almost as brilliant in the freestyle sprints and butterfly as he was in his breaststroke specialty. Steve was an honorary member of the 1980 Olympic Team. Unfortunately since the U.S. did not attend, Steve's 100 meter breaststroke time, even though it was faster than the winning time, did not garnish him an Olympic gold.  All totaled, he won two Olympic gold medals, set nine world records, won 14 U.S. Nationals, seven NCAA crowns and six gold medals in the Pan American Games.  As an athlete in football, track, wrestling, water and snow skiing, tennis and especially swimming, he self-destructed on motorcycles and in dormitory wrestling matches, but that was only between races.  In the pool he was always awesome.  "Swimming World" magazine picked him as 1981 and 1982 World Swimmer of the Year.  To all of this, Weissmuller and Crabbe might add, "Yes, old Steve is a pretty fair country swimmer."  The "country is Lake Spivey of Jonesboro, Georgia, USA where the Lunk was born in 1961.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Happy Birthday Becky Dyroen-Lancer !!!

BECKY DYROEN-LANCER (USA) 2004 Honor Synchronized Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (team); 1991 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (team); 1994 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (solo, duet, team, figures); 1991 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: gold (solo); 1995 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: gold (solo, duet, team, figures); V, VI, VII FINA WORLD CUPS: 9 gold (solo, duet, figures – 1993-1995, team – 1991, 1993, 1995); 1995 FINA PRIZE recipient; Swimming World’s World Synchronized Swimmer of the Year: 1993, 1994, 1995. Never beaten in FINA competition 1993-1997.

Becky Dyroen-Lancer may very well be the most dominant synchronized swimmer of all time. She is certainly one of the most decorated synchronized swimmers in history. Through hard work, concentration, and faith in God, she rose from an age group swimmer to World and Olympic Champion.

At age five, doctors repaired a hole in Becky’s heart. But it did not stop her, and at age nine, the San Jose, California native splashed into a sport in which she was to reign for many years. She was a Santa Clara Aquamaid from the beginning and with Coach Chris Carver she never looked back.

She became a national team member in 1988, and just three years later she began to stamp her mark in synchronized swimming history. At the 1991 Pan American Games in Havana, Becky won as solo champion. She was solo, duet and team champion at the French Open and team champion at the V FINA World Cup, Mallorca Open, and at the Perth World Championships. In 1992, she was the silver medalist at the U.S. Nationals and U.S. Olympic Trials, and gold medalist at the Swiss Open in solo, duet, team and figures.

With the Olympic Champions of 1992 retiring, Becky was ready to step in as the new generation of swimmers succeeded to the awards stand. At age 21 in 1993, with an astonishing aerobic capacity, her relentless international-winning career began to take hold.

Synchronized swimming to Becky was a family affair. Mother Paula designed her swim suits, sister Suzannah was a national teammate who was soon-to-be World and Olympic Team Champion with Becky and husband Kevin who taught ballet for body control. She won the solo and duet events at the FINA World Cup and German Open in 1993. It was also the year she won the U.S. National Championships Grand Slam, winning solo, duet, team, and figures in the same meet. She became the only swimmer to equal and then beat 1967 Hall of Famer Margo McGrath’s successive Grand Slam National Championships – winning all four events. Most all of Becky’s duet competitions were won with her teammate and partner Jill Sudduth.

During her career, Becky won an unprecedented and unequaled nine Grand Slams in National Championships and International Competition. A grand slam in synchronized swimming is similar to hitting a home run with the bases loaded in baseball like Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron did so many times, or winning all four major international tennis tournaments in a year like Rod Laver and Steffi Graf did. From 1993, she never lost a FINA international competition. In 1994, she was the most decorated athlete at the Rome World Championships, winning gold medals in all of solo, duet, and team, and also winning the figures competition. Her three gold medals totaled more than any swimmer or diver at the championships. In 1995, she was awarded the FINA Prize, the highest award presented annually by FINA to a swimmer, diver, synchronized swimmer, water polo player, coach or contributor for his or her outstanding accomplishments and excellence in sport. Becky is the first synchronized swimmer to receive this award.

During 1995, Becky received three grand slams, winning solo, duet, team, and figures at the Pan American Games, FINA World Cup and U. S. National Championships. At the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials she was elected team captain.

The only synchronized swimming event at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics was the team event. As team captain, Becky led the U.S. Team to the gold medal with a perfect score of 100, winning their five minute free routine titled “Fantasia on the Orchestra.”

Becky is “Swimming Worlds” World Synchronized Swimmer of the Year 1993, 1994, 1995; a Sullivan Award nominee 1993, 1994, 1995; and a U.S.O.C. Top Ten Sportswoman of the Year.

Becky, with husband Kevin Lancer, has two children – Dyroen, age five and Thomas, age two. She is currently a performer in the famed Cirque du Soleil’s “O” and a preschool exercise class instructor.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Happy Birthday Peng Bo !!!

Peng Bo 2014 (CHN) Honor Diver

FOR THE RECORD: 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (3m springboard); 2001 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (3m springboard synchro); 2002 ASIAN GAMES: gold (3m springboard synchro); 2001 UNIVERSIADE GAMES: gold (3m springboard synchro); 2003 UNIVERSIADE GAMES: gold (3m springboard synchro); 2005 UNIVERSIADE GAMES: gold (3m springboard synchro); 2007 UNIVERSIADE GAMES: gold (3m springboard, 3m springboard synchro).

He was born in Nanchang, capital of the Jiangxi province of China in 1981 and began training in diving at the age of six at the Nanchang Sports School. He was selected to be a member of the Jiangxi Provincial Diving Team in 1991, joined the diving team of the PLA Navy in 1995 and became a member of the National Team in 1998.

Peng and his synchronized diving partner, Wang Kenan, won gold medals at the 2000 World University Games, at the 2001 FINA World Championships in Fukuoka and at the 2002 Asian Games.

In 2003, Peng won the Chinese national Championships in the 3 meter individual event and finished second at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona.

For the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Peng was selected to compete in both the 3 meter individual and synchronized event with partner Wang. First up was the synchro event and heading into the final round of dives, Peng and Wang held a comfortable lead. Then came disaster. A dreadful error by Wang resulted in a failed dive – a zero – and no medal.

Comeback, for diver Peng Bo, is a particularly appropriate word. You see, Bo means, “never give up” in Chinese. And eight days later, in the final of the individual event of the 3 meter springboard, Peng came back with a vengeance.

Overcoming his earlier disappointment, Peng Bo led from start to finish.

His victory was fourth of the six gold medals China would win in Athens, and with a margin of victory of over 30 points his was the most dominating performance in diving at the Games in Athens.

On this day in 1946, Alexei Barkalov was born....

ALEXEI BARKALOV (URS) 1993 Honor Water Polo Player

FOR THE RECORD: OLYMPIC GAMES: 1972 gold, 1980 gold, 1968 silver; EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1977 gold; WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1975 gold.

As the captain of many Soviet water polo teams, Alexei Barkalov was a magnificent attacking and defensive player.  Not only was Barkalov a leading member of the Olympic gold-medal-winning 1972 and 1980 Olympic teams, numerous competitions turned gold for the Soviets with Barkalov as a member of the squad during the intense water polo decade of the 1970s.

Alexei Barkalov made his Olympic debut in 1968, winning the silver medal, as the Soviets were defeated by Yugoslavia 13-11 in overtime.  Four years later, at the Games in Munich, the Soviet team was back on top as they defeated Hungary for the gold medal by point differential.

The 1972 Olympic water polo tournament in Munich has been described as one of the best, going down to a final game, reminiscent of the dramatics of the 1956 Olympic showdown between the USSR and Hungary.

Statistically the USSR and Hungary tallied three victories, a tie, and a single defeat.  In scoring, the USSR outscored it opponents for 22-16 in the final round.  Hungary scored 23 goals to 18 for opponents.  The largest difference between winning and losing was the Soviet's decisive 4-1 victory over Italy in preliminary competition.  It was this game that secured the gold medal for Barkalov and his teammates.

However, by 1980, the Olympic gold medal favorite was Yugoslavia, having won the coveted Tungsram Cup over the Hungarians earlier in the year.  The Soviets chose to not compete in the Tungsram Cup tournament and, for the most part, kept a low profile until the Games in Moscow, where they defeated the Yugoslavian team 8-7 in the final game.

The 1980 gold medal victory for Barkalov and the Soviet team marked the sixth Olympic medal for the Soviets since first winning the bronze medal in 1956.  The Soviet Union has won the Olympic gold medal twice, and Barkalov proudly was a member of both teams.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Anne Berry Joins ISHOF One in a Thousand Campaign, “There’s Nothing Like the Hall of Fame”

Anne Berry has joined the One in a Thousand campaign, designed to help the Hall of Fame prosper during the financial difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Berry, who is based out of the DC metro area, has been a long-time donor of ISHOF and utilized the Henning Library to do her Masters thesis on American Studies at George Washington in 1995. She looked at the growth of swimming pool culture between 1910 and 1950, and how the backyard swimming pool for many families became a symbol of success.

“I did some of my research at the Library of Congress, which was great, but there wasn’t anything like being at that (Henning) Library and seeing all of the magazines and reading all the articles and seeing the plans for the swimming pools and really having a deeper understanding of our history and about the role of the swimming pool in American society. I couldn’t have done it without the Hall of Fame,” Anne Berry said.

Berry, a former swimmer, had heard about the Hall of Fame through her teammates that qualified for YMCA Nationals during her high school years. When she was a college student at the University of Kentucky, she made her first trip to the museum during a spring break vacation and fell in love with it. A couple years later while at GW, she received a grant to do research at the Hall of Fame for her thesis.

“I have been a contributor to the Hall of Fame for over a decade,” Anne Berry said. “I have a lot of books on swimming and I am super nerdy about it. It has real value to me and I haven’t been back to the Hall of Fame since 1995 but I have always been grateful to them for being there when I was doing my research.

“It is important to me that the Hall of Fame continues to be able to tell the story of our sport and to collect research.

“I looked through people’s scrapbooks – they have scrapbooks from the late 30s to the early 40s of people who were swimmers. It was so awesome! The feelings that they had about swimming in 1941 were the feelings I had about swimming when I was swimming competitively. It was almost a link to the past because those were feelings that I could identify with, and it was super fun to look at the swimwear!

“If you don’t collect it, you risk losing it. And there is so much wonderful history of swimming and particular for women in swimming and how much harder women have to fight to participate in this sport, and I think it is really important to remind people of that.”

Join 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


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.

ISHOF salutes Black History Month: Remembering the Tennessee State Tigersharks

Left to Right, First Row: Captain Meldon Woods, Co-Captain Clyde Jame, Ronnie Webb, Jesse Dansby, Osborne Roy, Cornelias Shelby, Frank Oliver, James Bass and Roland Chatman. Second Row: Cecil Glenn, William Vaughn, Raymond Pierson, Robert Jenkins, George Haslarig, Leroy Brown, Frank Karsey, John Maxwell and Coach Thomas H. Hughes.

The Tennessee State University Tigersharks finished the 1960 - 61 swimming season with a 6 - 1 record, losing only to Indiana’s Ball State University, one of two white schools willing to swim TSU. The first time they met in the 1950s, TSU won.  Co-captain Clyde James, was a finalist in the NAIA National Championships in the 100 yard butterfly.  Clyde went on to become a legendary coach at the Brewster Recreation Center and Martin Luther King HS in Detroit.  Tennessee State started its swimming team in 1945 and it's coach, Thomas "Friend" Hughes was the first African American accepted as a member of the College Swimming Coaches Association in 1947. 

Happy Birthday Rebecca Adlington !!!

Rebecca Adlington (GBR) 2018 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (400m freestyle, 800m freestyle); 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES: bronze (400m freestyle, 800m freestyle); 2009 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (LC): bronze (400m freestyle, 4×200m freestyle); 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (LC): gold (800m freestyle), silver (400m freestyle); 2008 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (SC): gold (800m freestyle) , silver (4×200m freestyle); 2006 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (LC): silver (800m freestyle); 2010 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (LC): gold (400m freestyle), bronze (4×200m freestyle); 2010 COMMONWEALTH GAMES (Representing England): gold (400m freestyle, 800m freestyle), bronze (200m freestyle, 4×200m freestyle)

The youngest of three girls, Rebecca Adlington naturally wanted to do what her older sisters did, and the sisters were all swimmers. Before long, her desire to keep up with them made her into a serious competitor.

By the age of 14, when she was showing real promise as a distance swimmer, she came under the guidance of coach Bill Furniss, who would remain her coach throughout her career. Her commitment to training combined with mental toughness and her ability to tolerate pain made her one of Britain’s brightest Olympic hopefuls. After a year with Furniss she won the 800m gold medal at the 2004 European Junior Championships.

Both Becky and her coach looked forward to 2005 with high expectations, but early in the year she came down with a case of glandular fever. Then, just as she was getting back in the pool, her sister Laura came down with a case of encephalitis that put her on life-support and fighting for her life for over a month. Laura eventually recovered, but the experience was traumatic for Becky and the next few years were full of ups and downs.

As the British Olympic Trials in 2008 approached, Becky knew she would have to swim her heart out and to the surprise of many, she won the 200 and 400m freestyle, in addition to the 800, which was her signature event. She eventually dropped the 200 to focus on the longer events.

First up in Beijing was the 400m freestyle, an event for which she had not even been certain to qualify for the British team. In the prelims she swam brilliantly and qualified for the finals in lane five. Then, in the final, she went from fifth place with 50 meters to go to snatch the gold medal from American Katie Hoff and teammate Joanne Jackson in a thrilling finger-tip finish. It was the first Olympic gold medal for a British woman since Anita Lonsbrough won the 200m breaststroke in 1960.

When she won the 800m freestyle five days later, destroying the field and smashing Janet Evans‘ 19-year old world record, there was no precedent. Adlington was the most successful woman swimmer Britain ever produced, and the first British swimmer since Henry Taylor had won multiple gold medals one hundred years earlier, in 1908.

Her triumphs in Beijing brought her instant fame: front-page headlines, an open-top bus parade in her home town and a coveted pair of gold Jimmy Choo shoes. In 2009 she became a celebrity spokesperson for the Encephalitis Society and received an Office of the British Order (OBE) by HRH (Her Royal Highness) Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. In 2010, the refurbished Sherwood Swimming Baths was renamed the Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre.

And she hadn’t even retired. In fact, between the Beijing and London Olympics, she stood on the podium in every major international event in which she competed, even though she refused to wear the polyurethane suits that helped the world records tumble in 2009. When she won gold in the 800 and silver in the 400m freestyle at the 2011 FINA Championships in Shanghai, expectations were high that she could repeat her double gold medal performance from Beijing in London.

But it was always going to be tougher for her competing at home. In Beijing she was an unknown, which is a tremendous psychological advantage in terms of pressure and surprise. In London, that advantage belonged to a 15-year old American named Katie Ledecky. It just wasn’t to be.

When Adlington took bronze in the 400m, she was delighted, for the 400 was her weaker race. But after winning a second bronze in the 800, the disappointment showed.

The British public adored her and when she retired a few months later, at the age of 23, it was as Great Britain’s most decorated female Olympian of all time. Since then she has joined the BBC as a popular commentator for the aquatic sports. In 2015, she gave birth to a daughter, Summer, and in 2016 she launched Becky Adlington’s Swim Stars, a partnership program designed by Becky for pool operators to make learning to swim fun and enjoyable. Her vision is to ensure that every child leaves primary school able to swim at least 25 meters.

Happy Birthday Rowdy !!!

Rowdy Gaines (USA) 1995 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD: 1984 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (100m freestyle, 4x100m medley relay, 4x100m freestyle relay); 8 WORLD RECORDS: (1-100m freestyle, 2-200m freestyle, 2-4x100m freestyle relay, 3-4x100m medley relay); 1978 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (4x100m freestyle relay, 4x200m freestyle relay), silver (200m freestyle); 1982 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (4x100m medley relay, 4x100m freestyle relay), silver (100m, 200m freestyle); 1979 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: gold (200m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay, 4x200m freestyle relay); 1983 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: gold (100m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle relay, 4x100m medley relay, 4x200m freestyle relay), bronze (200m freestyle); 17 U.S. NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: 9 Outdoor, 8 Indoor; 8 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: 50 yd, 100yd, 200yd freestyle; 400m, 800m freestyle relays.

Rowdy Gaines was named after the rambunctious western her in the television series "Rawhide."  He is described by his merits for being "rapidly successful, competitive, and very, very fast" and feels more at home in the water than on land.  He has broken eight world records and continues to swim today.

Rowdy loved the water as a child, but did not begin his notorious swimming career until the late age of 17 with a 16th place finish in the Florida High School Championship.  The following year, Rowdy came back to win the State championships and quickly developed into a world class contender when he placed second in the 200m freestyle at the World Championships in 1989.  Rowdy was recruited to Auburn University where he stroked to American records in the 100 and 200 yard freestyles and to the world record in the 200m freestyle in 1:49.16.  By 1980, he was named "World Swimmer of the Year."

It was at the pinnacle of his swimming career that he suffered a tremendous disappointment when the 1980 US Olympic Team boycotted the Olympic Games.  Shortly thereafter, he retired, only to return with a vengeance a year and a half later, determined to regain his place in the swimming world and claim the medals he was unable to obtain in 1980.

Rowdy had no problem grasping three Olympic gold medals amidst roaring fans who believed in the "old man" of the 1984 Olympics.  Rowdy's crowning moments of capturing gold by winning the 100m freestyle and the 4x100 medley and freestyle relays will remain sacred to him and  his fans.

Throughout his memorable career, Rowdy won three Olympic gold medals, set eight world records, won seven World Championship medals, not to mention numerous medals in the Pan American Games, US National Championships, and NCAA Championships.

Since his retirement, Rowdy has been asked to endorse many products, has been a swimming commentator for CNN, ABC, and NBC, and has written articles for the FINA Swimming and Diving Magazine.  Today, Rowdy lives in Hawaii with his wife Judy and their three children.  He manages a health and fitness center, coaches swimming and continues to feel at home in the water swimming in a Masters program.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Today in 1881, Capt. Bert Cummins was born, read his story here:


FOR THE RECORD:  Created and edited "Swimming Times" magazine for 47 years. The magazine has been published continually longer than any magazine in aquatic history; Served as Southern District Association of England for 60 years and President in 1926; President of Amateur Swimming Association, 1946; Public Relations and Publicity Officer of the ASA between 1947 and 1956; Member of Organizing Committee for swimming events in 1948 Olympic Games.

Bertram William "Bert" Cummins, from Croydon, in Surrey, England created and edited the "Swimming Times" for 47 years.  This "Captain" of swimming journalism was a man who truly gave most of his life to the consuming interest of  his youth and the love of his old age...swimming.  Born on February 16, 1881, Cummins retained a keen interest in the sport for which he has done so much for more than 80 years until his death October 30, 1974.  After hearing he had been honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame, an honor he characteristically attributed it to all those who had helped him.

His magazine, which he started as a four-page give-away called "Waddon News" in 1923, and renamed "Swimming Times" in 1926, had grown from its humble beginnings into a monthly publication of up to 96 pages with 8,000 subscribers in 61 countries.  In 1970 Cummins, then in his 90th year, decided to sell it to the Amateur Swimming Association.

He probably would have stayed on to celebrate his golden jubilee at the helm had it not been for the sudden death of his right hand man, Bill Juba (a former director of the Hill of Fame), in April of that year.

Captain Bert's "Swimming Times" has been published continually longer than any magazine in aquatic history.  For many of its fifty plus years it has been the number one periodical in swimming.  Sometimes during the Depression (1930s) it was the only swimming magazine published.  Not satisfied with being the advertising and circulation manager, sub-editor, picture editor, often writer and always fund raiser to keep his magazine on swimmers' bookshelves (he published 474 issues), Captain Cummins still found time for a lot of other swimming tasks.

He served as a member of the Southern District Association of England for 60 years, was their President in 1926, President of the Amateur Swimming Association in 1946 and public relations and publicity officer of the Association between 1947 and 1956.

Even during World War I, Cummins couldn't keep away from swimming.  During an eight-day leave away from the frontlines in France, he organized a swim gala for the troops of his division.

He was a member of the Organizing Committee for the swimming events at the 1948 Olympic Games in London and has been always a welcoming, helpful friend to teams visiting Britain.

Two of the undertakings which gave him most pleasure were arranging the 3,500-mile tour of Britain by Hall of Famer Matt Mann and his University of Michigan team in 1951 and the first Synchronized Swimming Clinic Tour in the United Kingdom by the American Champion Beulah Gundling and Canadian Peg Seller in 1953.  Cummins through arranging and accompanying this tour, introduced synchronized swimming to Great Britain.

Typically, Bert Cummins who had done so much for swimming felt it was the other way around.  "Those who have helped me and my magazine cannot be numbered," said Cummins at 93.  "Swimming has been good to me.  What a life to look back on."

Monday, February 15, 2021

Passages: Honor Masters Swimmer Burwell “Bumpy” Jones Dies at Age 87

2005 Honor Masters Swimmer Burwell “Bumpy” Jones passed away last week February 6, 2021 at the age of 87, his family confirmed in a Facebook post. Jones was inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in 2005. There is a masters meet hosted in his name in Sarasota, Florida every year.

A memorial service has been scheduled for Wednesday the 17th at the national cemetery at 12:30 on Clark Road in Sarasota Florida. There will be a luncheon in Sarasota at Laurel Oak Country Club at 1:30.

At the age of five, a young Bumpy Jones started swim racing, embarking on an illustrious career that would span over 70 years, setting world records as a collegiate swimmer and again years later as a Masters swimmer.

Bumpy has taken part in many swimming firsts. He competed in the first Pan American Games in 1951 winning gold and bronze medals, was a world-record holder in the 150 individual medley and competed during the first year of Masters swimming in the United States in 1971.

Born in Detroit in 1933, Bumpy chose swimming over other sports. At age 12, he enrolled at Matt Mann’s swimming camp, Chikopi, located in Ontario, Canada, where over the next several summer seasons he rose from camper to counselor. This began a lifetime coaching relationship with Matt that developed while he swam for Redford High School and continued into college at the University of Michigan. While attending Redford, he would sometimes drive from Detroit to Ann Arbor to swim with the many Michigan All Americans coached by Matt.

Bumpy Jones was a high school and college All-American and a three time NCAA champion at the University of Michigan. He was a member of the 1952 Olympic gold medal winning 4×200 meter freestyle relay swimming in the preliminary heats. He competed on U.S. teams in Bermuda, Japan, and England. He set three world records in the 400 individual medley. In 1954, Jones was elected captain of Michigan’s Swim Team and was a Sullivan Award nominee. During these years, he swam part time under other Hall of Fame coaches including Bob Kiphuth at Yale, Soichi Sakamoto at Hawaii, Mike Peppe at Ohio State and Gus Stager at Michigan.

In 1959, Bumpy graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School and then interned in Ann Arbor for one year. In the summer of 1960, after a five year retirement from swimming, he spent one month training for the Olympic Trials in Detroit. His time in the 200 meter freestyle greatly improved from 1952, but the best swimmers in the country were also much faster. After failing to make the finals, he retired from swimming again and spent his next years in residency at the University of Virginia, in the Air Force, and finally at Duke University. It was during this time that he became an accomplished golfer, winning 28 state and local tournaments.

In 1965, Bumpy Jones moved to Sarasota where he began and continued his private practice in Dermatology.

When Masters swimming began in 1971, it was thought to be a get-together party for former swimmers. But that soon changed from not only being a fun gathering, but also a highly competitive challenge too. During his Masters career, which began at age 38, Bumpy has won 110 National Masters Championships, 5 FINA Masters World Championships,7 Canadian and 22 YMCA championships. He has set 39 FINA Masters World Records and 145 Masters National Records. During his Masters career he has 38 number one, 18 number two and 10 number three Masters world rankings. His Masters times nearly equaled his best collegiate times. His competition has always been tough and the camaraderie has been at its best.

Happy Birthday Amy Van Dyken

Amy Van Dyken (USA) 2007 Honor Swimmer

Amy's 2007 bio:

FOR THE RECORD: 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES; gold (50m freestyle, 100m butterfly, 4x100m medley, 4x100m freestyle), 4th (100m freestyle); 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (4x100m medley, 4x100m freestyle); ONE WORLD RECORD: (50m butterfly-sc); 1994 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver (4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley), bronze (50m freestyle); 1998 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (50m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley); 1995 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: gold (100m butterfly, 4x100m freestyle, 4x100m medley), silver (100m freestyle); 1994 NCAA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (50m freestyle).

Amy Van Dyken set the world on fire when she qualified in five events for the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games and won an unpredicted four gold medals - 50 free, 100 fly and both relays, the most ever by an American woman at one Olympic Games and a feat achieved only two other times in women's Olympic swimming history.

An asthmatic since childhood limiting her to about 65% of normal lung capacity, she was advised by her doctors to take up swimming. A slow starter, it took her a few years to finish one length of the pool. But after winning a race, she was hooked. As she matured, she became a Spartan, no-nonsense competitor who tried to psych out her opponents with pre-race claps, growls and stares. After her stellar Atlanta Olympic performance, she won three gold medals at the 1998 Perth World Championship and another two more Olympic gold medals at the 2000 Sydney Games as a member of the 4 x 100 meter freestyle and medley relays giving her a total of six career Olympic gold medals.

Amy competed in the 1995 Pan American and Pan Pacific Games winning four gold and three silver medals in freestyle and butterfly events. She was the NCAA Female Swimmer of the Year at Colorado State University in 1994 and then trained with US National Team coach, Jonty Skinner. At 6'0” and 145 pounds, Amy is one of the world's great freestyle and butterfly sprinters who held the World Record in the 50m butterfly - short course. She was the 1996 U.S.O.C Female Athlete of the Year and the Associated Press Worldwide Female Athlete of the Year. She is seen on the Wheaties cereal box, Got Milk ad and TV and radio programming along with husband Tom Rouen, NFL punter who has won two Super Bowl rings with the Denver Broncos.

Happy Birthday Jonty !!!

JONTY SKINNER (RSA) 1985 Honor Swimmer

FOR THE RECORD:  WORLD RECORD: 1976 (100m freestyle); AAU NATIONALS (4): 1976, 1977, 1978 (100yd, 100m freestyle; 1 relay); NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS: 1975 (100yd freestyle); U.S. OPEN RECORDS: 3 (100yd freestyle); SOUTH AFRICAN CHAMPION: 1973, 1974 (100m freestyle); Awarded South African "National Colours" in Swimming and Life Saving.

John Alexander Skinner, better known as Jonty, was born in South Africa, educated at Alabama and now coaches the San Jose Aquatic Club in California.  He weighed 185 pounds, stood 6'5" and was the fastest sprinter in the world, but it was 1976, and South Africa was non-grata in the Olympic Games.  Jonty watched his friends go one, two, three in the Montreal Olympics on television.

Jonty's big chance came on "The Day," August 14, 1976 at Philadelphia's John B. Kelly Pool.  It was the U.S. Nationals, held as an anti-climax.  It was hard to get oneself up for a race after the Olympics, as many Americans found four years later trying to beat the times they could have swum if not for the Moscow Olympic boycott.  Jonty Skinner knew this was the only chance he'd have to prove he was the world's best sprinter, even if no one was watching.

In the preliminaries, Jonty barely qualified eight and entered the final in an outside lane.  In the finals, Skinner swam home in a new World Record, the first man in history to break 44 seconds in the 100m freestyle.  His time: 43.92.  Olympic Champion, Jim Montgomery, came in second with 44:01.  Joe Bottoms, a silver medalist in Montreal was third.

Skinner was strictly a hundred sprinter. In addition to his World Record, he won the U.S. Nationals three times, the N.C.A.A.'s once and set a U.S. Open Record and three American Records.  He was voted Alabama's most valuable swimmer three straight years and was both Alabama and South Africa Athlete of the Year.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Peter Heatly Joins ISHOF’s One in a Thousand Campaign to Continue Family Legacy

Peter Heatly, the son of 2016 ISHOF Honor Contributor by the same name, has joined the One in a Thousand campaign, designed to help the Hall of Fame prosper during the financial difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My dad used to go over to the Hall of Fame regularly and officiate diving events and had a great relationship with the people there,” Peter Heatly said. “I never went with him but I had always been interested in sport and never went. Two months after he passed away in 2015, we got the letter that he was going to get into the Hall of Fame. Ironically, that year it would be in Santa Clara. It wasn’t where the Hall of Fame was but it was still great to be there.


Peter Heatly next to his father’s honoree panel. Photo Courtesy: Peter Heatly

“In 2018, Becky Adlington got into the Hall of Fame and said to my wife, ‘why don’t we go over to Fort Lauderdale? Becky Adlington is getting into the Hall of Fame and I know quite a lot of people there and it would be nice to see where dad used to go to. It was a great weekend but the Hall of Fame pool was coming to the end of its lifespan. It was rundown then but you could see how glorious it was, and it’s great to see it being refurbished at the moment.

“I’m a bit of a fanatic of sport and I have a lot of my dad’s records so I am very enthusiastic and I enjoyed it over there. We decided we would come back to see the new pool when it was finished. We wanted to keep my dad’s legacy alive but also my family and I just enjoyed the place and love what they’re doing with the sport.”

Heatly would make frequent visits to the Hall of Fame pool to referee diving events at the facility and had developed a friendship with then ISHOF CEO Buck Dawson, and had even been on the Hall of Fame selection committee. In 2016, Heatly had been invited to attend the Hall of Fame induction on behalf of his late father in Santa Clara, but had booked his plane ticket before the event had been postponed from June to October.

Instead of cancelling, he took the trip to meet with then CEO Bruce Wigo and attended the Santa Clara International Swim Meet and two soccer matches, and again made the trip for the induction in October, with his three siblings, two of his sons, and then three other nephews.

“It was our second home at this point,” Heatly joked about Santa Clara, where he was able to make good relationships with the Hall of Fame staff during his visits, but hadn’t been to the legendary Fort Lauderdale facility. So when Adlington had been selected two years after, Heatly made the trip over to Florida to meet with the staff again and see the museum and pool that his father spent so much time at.

“We didn’t actually know Rebecca Adlington that well, but we wanted to take the opportunity to go over.

“I had the pleasure of looking after my dad’s affairs in the later years of his life and I had been asked by Bruce to make a speech in 2016. At the end of my speech I said we had been to a lot of events where we have organized ourselves for dad’s legacy but this was one we didn’t organize, we were invited to come to. It was the best one of all.”

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Sir Peter Heatly – 2016 Honor Contributor

As a swimmer, he was the Scottish freestyle champion and record holder over several distances between 1942 and 1947 before deciding to concentrate on diving. Self-taught and self-coached, he won gold medals at the 1950, 1954 and 1958 Commonwealth Games on the 10-meter platform and represented Great Britain at the Olympic Games in 1948 in London and in 1952 in Helsinki.

1988 Dad and Buck Dawson with Belle Moore's Memorabilia at the International Swimming Hall of Fame

Sir Peter Heatly (left) with ISHOF’s Buck Dawson. Photo Courtesy: ISHOF Archives

After Peter Heatly’s career as an athlete ended, he decided to give back to the sports he so loved. He would serve the aquatic sports in some capacity for over seventy years at the local, national and international levels as either a manager, official or administrator.

Peter joined the FINA and LEN technical diving committees in 1966, serving as Honorary Secretary of the FINA Committee from 1972 to 1984 and Chairman from 1984 to 1988. He was selected Chairman of the Great Britain Swimming Federation in 1981 and again in 1992. He served as chairman of the National Scottish Learn to Swim Campaign from 1964 to 1974 and went on to become Chairman of the Scottish Sports Council from 1975 to 1987.

Heatly was involved in 17 consecutive Commonwealth Games from 1950 to 2014, becoming Vice -Chairman of the Organizing Committee, when the Games were held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1970, and Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Federation from 1982 to 1990 after the first ever balloted election.

As a Chartered Civil Engineer, he produced and delivered papers on the design of swimming pools to professional bodies both in Great Britain and Europe. He also received Honorary Doctorates from three universities for his contributions to the sport.

Peter Heatly was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1971 and in 1990 was installed as a Knight of the Realm by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. He was inducted into the Scottish Hall of Fame in 2002 and into the Scottish Swimming Hall of Fame in 2010.


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.