December 2011



            I'm pleased to send you our December newsletter, which marks the 50th anniversary almost to the day that R. Max Ritter and Dr. Harold Henning proposed to the Swimming Committee of the Amateur Athletic Union the establishment of a Hall of Fame for swimmers, modeled after the baseball and pro football Halls in Cooperstown and Canton.

            I am truly blessed to be the steward of the most incredible collection of swimming memorabilia in the world  - and with the support of people like you we will continue to build upon what Ritter and Henning envisioned half a century ago.  If you have already joined or renewed your membership for 2012, thank you!  If not, please consider being a part of this great institution by joining or making an end-of-the-year, tax-deductible contribution today! (Click here) Thank you for your consideration and,  


Best wishes for a happy and joyous holiday season,



Bruce Wigo, CEO 

The International Swimming Hall of Fame

Recent Visitors to ISHOF 


Pictured at left are members of the British National Swim Team during a recent visit to the Hall of Fame. They were in town for a training camp at the Pine Crest School with coach Jay Fitzgerald.  The team will be competing this weekend, in Atlanta, against team USA in Mutual of Omaha's duel in the pool.  

Michael Moore   



Michael Moore (at right with Bob Duenkel) stopped by ISHOF after a cruise through the Panama Canal.  Not the controversial filmmaker - Swimming's Michael Moore is Chairman of Pacific Masters and was the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 2006 FINA World Master's Swimming Championship in Palo Alto, CA.  Here's what he had to say: "I got to read Ransom Arthur's original monograph that set the stage for Master's Swimming.  It is amazing to see not only how Masters Swimming has evolved over the last 40 years, but how swimming has evolved over the past 100 years.   From the bloomer costumes of the Victorian era to the modern suits and all the other great exhibits you can't find anywhere else in the world.  On top of that, I got to meet Greg Louganis!  The Hall of Fame is really awesome - a great treasure!"    

Mike Smith


Mike Schmidt (at left),  Swimmer and Philadelphia Phillies Baseball Hall of Famer, autographing memorabilia for the International Swimming Hall of Fame.  Mike's grandfather owned and operated the Phillips Aquatic Club in Dayton, Ohio and was a longtime member of ISHOF.  Read more.... 



NCAA Swimming great Frank Legacki (R) points to his image on ISHOF's cartoon wall drawn by world renowned artist William Linzee Prescott. During his recent visit, Frank suggested that the greatest NCAA swimming team of all time was the University of Michigan team of 1959.   Read more:

International Aquatic History Symposium & Film Festival (IAHSFF)


One of the features of the inaugural International Aquatic History Symposium & Film Festival (IAHSFF) May 9-12, 2012 will be a track devoted to the largely untold story of Swimmers from Africa, their role in early colonization of the Americas and their struggles against Jim Crow segregation of beaches and pools.  ISHOF has commissioned a special work of art by award winning sculptor George Gadson to honor their achievements.  To meet the artist and see his work in progress, click here.   For more information about the symposium please visit  or email
Cheryl Furjanic 
Cheryl Furjanic (L), a documentary filmmaker based in New York, autographing copies of her  award-winning documentary  "Sync or Swim" at ISHOF's library. Her film will have a special screening at the ISHOF's International Aquatic History Symposium & Film Festival (IAHSFF) in May 2012.   
golden goggles
Golden Goggles


ISHOF Honorees John Naber, Matt Biondi, Rowdy Gaines, Summer Sanders, Debbie Meyer and Olympian Ryan Lochte are joined by ISHOF staff liaison Meg Keller-Marvin.  The Honorees/Olympians were in Los Angeles to participate in an Olympic and aquatic panel discussion, which was held during the USA Swimming Foundation's Golden Google weekend. For more info, click here. 


New Acquisitions


The recent acquisition of films, reported in our November Newsletter, exceeded all expectations.  Among the surprises was finding footage from the first FINA sanctioned Synchronized Swimming exhibition at the 1951 Pan American Games and highlights of the 1935 Yale Water Carnival.  Another surprise is the quality of footage from the 1948, 1952 and 1960 Olympic Games, especially of water polo.  You can see samples at the links below videoed from a projection screen, a method that yields poor quality compared to telecine transfer. Click on the links below to see examples of clips.

1935 Yale Water Carnival      

1951 Pan Am Synchro    

1952 Olympic Water Polo     


Also donated is a collection of pre-1950 wool bathing suits that adds to our alredy incredible collection of suits.  At right, belted navy blue men's wool trunks with belt and striped singlet (manufacturer unknown) circa 1920s.  Jantzen women's red lastex suit (circa 1940) & Jantzen maroon men's wool, belted trunks, circa 1935. 

Carl Robie Passes Away At 66
Carl Robie, the Philadelphia flyer, who won a silver medal at the 1964 Tokyo OlympicsRobie, Carl and a gold medal in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics has passed away.  He was 66 years old. During his career he broke the world record in the men's 200m butterfly four times, twice the same day in August 1962, at the US Nationals in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.  Carl also won US National Championships in freestyle and individual medley events in a long career of national and international swimming.  He won his first Nationals in 1961 and his last in 1968.  His world records were set from 1961 to 1963.  Read more: 
Ragnhild Hveger Dies At Age 90

Ragnhild Hveger


Danish swimmer Ragnhild Hveger, who set 44 world records and won silver in the 400 freestyle at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, has died. She was 90. 

Hveger is considered by many to be "the most extraordinary swimmer to have ever existed". She held World Records in the 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle and the 200m backstroke. Not until Shane Gould in the 1970's did any other swimmer come close to setting all the freestyle world records. Read more: 

Back on Board - The story of Greg Louganis  
Another Documentary filmed at ISHOF
Greg Louganis at ISHOF 


Documentary filmmaker Cheryl Furjanic came to ISHOF to film segments of her new documentary with Hall of Fame great, Greg Louganis.  Here's what she had to say about ISHOF. 


"I had the pleasure of visiting the International Swimming Hall of Fame recently for the very first time.  I was in Ft Lauderdale to work on my new feature-length documentary film called Back on Board: The Story of Greg Louganis.   We had come to the ISHOF to do some shooting with Greg in the museum and some historical research in the Henning Library and Archive.   I wasn't sure what I would find, as I had only seen the ISHOF in pictures, but it far exceeded my expectations!  I can honestly say that the ISHOF is one of the most impressive cultural institutions I have ever seen!  Upon entering the museum, I was surrounded by extraordinary swimming memorabilia, including a beautiful display honoring Greg Louganis!  After a morning of shooting some amazing footage with  Greg (and a few of his Olympic Golds!) we spent the afternoon diving deep into the Henning collection, where we conducted some in-depth archival research that we couldn't have done anywhere else in the world!  In fact, was so moved by my experience at the ISHOF that I immediately became a proud member!  I look forward to collaborating with the ISHOF and their incredible staff as I move forward with this film about one of the greatest divers of all time, Greg Louganis.  I know I'll be making at least a few more research trips back to the ISHOF before "Back on Board" is complete -- and I look forward to each and every one.

Seasons Greetings from all of us at
 The International Swimming Hall of Fame!