The International Swimming Hall of Fame
October 2011
News from the 
International Swimming Hall of Fame

2011 Masters Induction Jacksonville

2011 Masters 

On Friday, September 16th, the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame added five new honorees in a ceremony in Jacksonville Florida.   The honorees attending included Americans, Richard Abrahams (Swimming), Peter DiCroce (Diving), Jeff Farrell (Swimming), Lynn Marshall of Canada (Swimming) and Grunde Vegard of Norway (Diving).  The event featured inspiring acceptance speeches by all.  Last on the program, Vegard brought the crowd of over 200 Masters Athletes to life and echoed his famous shouts Oy, Oy, Oy. Tom Boak did an outstanding job as Master of Ceremonies.  The International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame will celebrate it's Tenth Anniversary in 2012 and is a collaboration between US Masters Swimming and ISHOF.  



USA Swimming's Make a Splash Tour Visits ISHOF

Gold medalist Cullen Jones encourages minorities to learn to swim

September 20, 2011|By Nick Sortal, Sun Sentinel


FORT LAUDERDALE - Cullen Jones may have an Olympic gold medal for swimming, but on
cullen jones

Tuesday he focused on coaxing the next generation of African-Americans to paddle across a pool.

That's because of statistics he quoted: At least seven out of 10 African-American children don't know how to swim. And nationwide, minority children drown three times as often as white children.

"When I heard those numbers, I was shocked," said Jones, who was part of the 4x100 relay team in Beijing in 2008. "But I see an opportunity to change that."

rowdy gainesJones visited the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale to help explain the USA Swimming Foundation's Make-A-Splash program, designed to teach minority children to swim. In the past four years, Make-A-Splash has made grants to more than 400 swim-instruction programs across the U.S., including 11 in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. 
Jones said his father wanted him to play basketball, but fate stepped in when he was 5 and he almost drowned at a Pennsylvania water park. Continue to full story:

New Aquisition (1):  Emil Rausch Olympic Medal Collection


medal collectionmedals 2During her annual visit to her family in Germany, ISHOF's Ivonne Schmid stopped of in Berlin to visit the Gersdorff family and collect one of the treasures of Aquatic History for the IHSOF museum.  Pictured at left are the Olympic medals of Emil Rausch, the German swimmer who won two gold medals and a bronze at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.  Rausch has the distinction of being the last swimmer to win an Olympic medal doing the side-stroke, which he used to win the the 880 yard and one mile swims.  Included in this collection are his participation medals from both the 1904 and 1906 Olympic Games and numerous pre-WWII pins. 

New Aquisition (2):  Gold Medal Synchro Suits From the Josephsons


josephsons swimsuit 
ISHOF also welcomed the addition of  twin Olympic gold medal winning synchronized swimming costumes worn by the Josephson Twins, Sarah and Karen - winners of the gold medal in duet in 1992 and silver medal in 1988.  The ISHOF museum collection of synchronized swimming costumes is the finest in the world and includes performance suits worn by pioneers Annette Kellerman and Eleanor Holm from the 1930's to the most recent World Championships in Shanghai.

New Aquisition (3)  Rowdy Gaines' 1984 Olympic Gold Medal 

1984 medals

When Rowdy Gaines was recently at ISHOF to serve as MC of USA Swimming's Make A Splash Tour, he called up ISHOF's CEO Bruce Wigo to the podium to present him with his 1984, 4 x 100 free relay gold medal as a way of showing his faith and commitment to ISHOF to preserve the history of swimming.  Rowdy won three gold medals in 1984 and gave one to each of his parents and the third to his coach,  ISHOF Honor Coach Richard Quick. When Richard passed away his family returned this medal to Rowdy - and now this piece of history is on display in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.   


HOF's Henning Library Is An Invaluable Tool for Historical Research


Authors of two new books indebted to ISHOF.  See what the authors of "Fighting the Current" and "Five Rings of Water" have to say about ISHOF......... 



"I especially want to thank the staff of the wonderful International Swimming Hall of Fame in Ft. Lauderdale for allowing me to use their archive and library, where I was able to see the personal scrapbooks that had been proudly assembled by these young athletes.  That, more than anything, gave me a sense of the lives of these women, and how swimming had opened up the world to them." 

Lisa Bier (Librarian Southern Connecticut State University), Fighting the Current: The Rise of American Women's Swimming, 1870 - 1926



Once lost, Konrad Legacy is preserved 

by Craig Lord (September 2011)


Legend of distance swimming John Konrads, coached by Don Talbot in the first golden era of KonradsAustralia swimming in the 1950s and 1960s and 1960 1500m Olympic champion, had no intention of locking away his medals in a cupboard after police recovered them 24 years after they were stolen from his home. 

The thieves took Konrads' gains for ill-gotten gains back in 1985 and it took until 2009 for the medals to reappear. "When I rediscovered them, I realised how important they were," Konrads said, revealing to reporters Down Under that retrieving his medals at a police station near Geelong had been "very emotional". Police swooped when a woman tried to sell the medals to a collector in the US. "It was almost like being up there on the dias the first time," Konrads said of the moment he was told that his medals had been recovered.  Read more:


Dear Friends of ISHOF,


You don't have to be an inductee to be in the Hall of Fame. Many of our most treasured bits of memorabilia- including many photos, scrapbooks and swimwear - the things that bring our great sport's history to life - come from ordinary swimmers like me (who never won a medal at the NCAA's and never qualified for an Olympic Trials).  But among the treasures my family has donated are an old exer-genie - remember that - and yearbooks from the late 1940's and early 1950's of the Philadelphia Swim Directors Society. Olympian Sonny Tanabe donated his 1956 Olympic Robe and has shared pictures from his scrapbook and old wooden goggles from the Hawaiian Islands. Olympian Bob Horn has donated old water polo balls and caps.  Yes we love it when honorees like Rowdy and the Josephon's entrust their treasures to ISHOF for safekeeping and the benefit of future generations.   But this is not just a Hall of Fame honoring aquatic greats. It is your World Museum of Swimming  - a shrine that tells the story of an activity we all love - and we not only want you be members, but we want you to be a part of it and tell your story.  So if you think you have something of value to share with the world, please let us know.

            We would also like to ask you to consider joining or renewing your membership with ISHOF (  The shocking truth is that most people are unaware that ISHOF is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. As a museum, the ISHOF relies on the generosity of people like you to help fulfill our mission of being the steward of national and international swimming, diving, water polo, synchro and lifesaving history. 



Bruce Wigo