January 2012

Dear Friend of ISHOF, 


In addition to telling you about some exciting events and news, we have created some new videos that I'm sure you will enjoy.  If you are not already a member, there is still time to sign up for 2012 and receive the 2011 Yearbook, in addition to next year's Olympic year book, but you need to join by Feb. 1, the date we will mail out our 2011 book. To go to our membership page, click here.  Thank you for your interest in helping us preserve the history of this incredible sport and if you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please write me. 


Bruce Wigo 

Chief Executive Officer


ISHOF's Swim Safety Device Saves A Life

David Berquist of Minnesota Masters Swimming,

describes how ISHOF's SaferSwimmerTM Swim Safety Device (SSD) saved the life of a swimmer last summer at Christmas Lake, Minnesota.  "It is very gratifying to learn that our invention saved a life," said ISHOF CEO Bruce Wigo. "Having been an open water swimmer my entire life, I hope that our product gains more popularity and will save more lives in the future.  To see David describe the event


ISHOF's CEO Bruce Wigo profiled in USMS "Swimmer" Magazine 

History's Keeper

USMS Magazine's Elaine Howley profiles ISHOF CEO Bruce Wigo. What you may not know is how swimming, or the lack of it, has influenced many major events in history.  Howley also uncovers how Wigo made extra money while attending law school.


Prince Albert at Hall of Fame


To read the full article, please click here:

In This Issue
SwimSafety Saves A Life
Wigo in "Swimmer"
2012 Induction & 1st IAHS
National Drowning Prevention
Recent Visitors
New Aquisitions
Cheetah passes away
ISHOF's Rough Water Swim
Quick Links

New Videos that you are not going to want to miss.  

ISHOF's CEO, Bruce Wigo takes you to Italy & the oldest European aquatic art

The Tomb of Hunting and Fishing
Etruscan Tombs
Tomb of The Diver
The Greek Tombs 


1916  first AAU Nat'l. Championship for women at the Sutro Baths in San Francisco and the amazing story behind the

The Olga Dorfner Vase
The Olga Dorfner Vase


PLAN TO ATTEND the 2012 Induction Ceremony and 1st International Aquatic History Symposium May  9 - 12.

Coinciding with the 2012 Induction Weekend, ISHOF will host the 1stAquatic Symposium
International Aquatic History Symposium & Film Festival.
Plan on joining us May 9 - 12, as we explore the incredible history of swimming.  Among the featured presenters is Professor Kevin Dawson who will speak on  "Swimming, Surfing, and Underwater Diving in West Africa" and  "African Swimmers in the New World: Enslaved Swimmers and Underwater Divers".  Historian Robert Preuter will make a presentation about the record breaking DuSable "Colored" High School of Chicago of the 1930's - 1950's.  And ISHOF will unveil Artist George Gadson's as yet untitled "myth busting" sculpture that recognizes the historical achievements and contributions of African swimmers to the world of aquatics.  To see Artist George Gadson describe his sculpture depicting the rich heritage of African swimmersclick here:

Former ABC correspondent Lynn Sheer will present her new book, that includes her experience of swimming the Hellespont last summer.  Lisa Bier will present her book, "Fighting the Current: The Rise of American Women's Swimming, 1870 - 1926."  To learn more about the 1st International Aquatic History Symposium and Film Festival, and speakers, click here. 

National Drowning Prevention Conference at ISHOF

ISHOF and the National Drowning Prevention Alliance will host the 1st Annual International Adapted Aquatics Conference, at the Hall of Fame, April 30 - May 1, 2012.  Join us for two days of instruction, education and ADA law information exchange. Meet others adapted aquatics professionals and interact, network and learn the most recent techniques.  To learn more, click here: 

Recent visitors to ISHOF
Joe BottomJoe Bottom visits ISHOF with his family


Joe Bottom broke Mark Spitz's "unbreakable" world record in the 100M butterfly five years after it was set. He's one of the greats and recently visited the Hall of Fame with his family for the first time, having missed his induction in 2006. Click here to see video of Joe's visit and his surprise encounter with Masters swimmer Stu Marvin. 

Robert Brown



Bruce Wigo enjoyed a reunion with coach Robert Brown when Brown payed a surprise visit with friends at Ishof.  Coach Brown coached Bruce's son wolf at the Bronx science high school in NY.  Wolf was named new York city's HS swimmer of the decade and played on three US Olympic water polo teams.  Left to rightRobert Norris, Coach Brown, Bruce Wigo, Jim Farrar & Zephrine Cummings.

American University after a tour of  the museum

A former swimmer of Gail Roper finds her coach at ISHOF
New Aquisitions
new aquisitions
Elaine Tanner's niece Michelle donated her aunts memorabilia to ISHOF.


Numerous articles from Ishof Honoree Elaine Tanner (CAN) including FINA World Record Certificates and this Omega stopwatch (pictured left) given to Elaine after setting one of her world records. 


From the Martin family comes a unique Fisher Price Movie viewer toy with cartridges showing how to swim the various strokes from the early 1970's.

Before home videos and Go Swim DVDs the Movie Viewer provided a way for young swimmers to visually learn how to swim like a champion without bringing out a movie projector.  Although designed primarily for pre-schoolers to watch cartoons, these movies featured Murray Rose (Freestyle), Murray Rose and Frank Heckl (starts and turns), Don McKenzie (Breaststroke), Frank Heckl (Butterfly) and Cathy Ferguson (Backstroke).  New technology of video tape made the Movie Viewer quickly obsolete.  Today it provides a fun, interactive look into the past for visitors to ISHOF.   


tokyoOlympic Kickboard Signed by the 1964 USA Men's Olympic Team

Donated by Charlie Butt, Jay Morissette & the State of Maine Swimming & Diving Hall of Fame


At the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Charlie Butt, Bowdoin College swimming coach from 1961 to 2000, traveled with the men's team as the team's observer, record keeper and note taker. During one of the team's training sessions, the men all signed a kickboard for him. Forty-five years later when Charlie was inducted into the Maine Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame   where the board was intended to go, Coach Jay Morissette, coach of the Bath Area YMCA in Maine, suggested presenting the board to the ISHOF. The board joins the signatures of the women's kickboard donated several years ago by Ginny Duenkel. Now retired, Charlie's commitment to swimming was always intense serving on the NCAA Rules Committee from 1961 to 1998, and as a Meet Referee at the NCAA and YMCA Nationals for many years.

Cheetah, Weissmuller's Co-star and Pet Chimp Passes Away


Cheetah, a chimpanzee who starred alongside Hall of Fame swimming legend Johnny Weissmuller in the Tarzan franchise films of the early 1930s, died on Saturday, December 17th. He had experienced kidney failure earlier that week, and was thought to be 80 years old.  

He was also Weissmuller's pet and companion in real life.   Around 1960, after living on Weissmuller's estate, Cheetah retired to Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Cheetah, also known as Cheetah-Mike, acted as Weissmuller's comic sidekick "Cheeta" and was one of several chimpanzees who appeared in the Tarzan films of 1932 to 1934, with Johnny Weissmuller in the starring role of Tarzan and Maureen O'Sullivan as Jane. 

"It is with great sadness that the community has lost a dear friend and family member," the sanctuary announced this week on its website.  Chimpanzees live an average of 45 years in the wild, and captive chimps have an average lifespan of 60 years. 

While at the sanctuary, Cheetah enjoyed listening to nondenominational Christian music and occasionally throwing poop when he was feeling disgruntled. 

2011 ISHOF's Rough Water Swim

The weather conditions prevented the race from living up to its rough-water-swim-Ocean Mile

name as the seas could not have been more calm. Two hundred two swimmers entered the water in four heats to finish the 42nd annual one mile race on Fort Lauderdale's famous beach. The race was won by Fernando Ponte of Brazil swimming for the Davie Nadadores in Davie, Florida in a time of 21:38. The top female was Eva Fabian of Keene, New Hampshire with a time of 23:40. For a complete set of results
, please click here:


To watch the video, click here: