May/June 2013

Fort Lauderdale - Of all the great athletes from the golden age of sports in 
weiss holm williams crabbe
Johnny Weissmuller, Eleanor Holm, Esther Williams, Buster Crabbe
America, only four became Hollywood celebrities - and they were swimmers! Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Crabbe, Eleanor Holm and Esther Williams. They were all here in 1965 for the grand opening of the Swimming Hall of Fame and were loyal supporters and visitors throughout their lives. The passing of Esther, the LAST OF THE IMMORTALS, marks the end of an era.

Please follow this link to read the articles. 
& ISHOF Class of 2013
class of 2013
Class of 2013: LTR: Nathalie Schneyder, Gary Hall Jr., Isabella Castagnetti accepting for Alberto, Dagmar Hase, Milivoj Bebic, Mu Xiangxiong, Chi Lieh Yung, Hu Jia's coach and Peter Montgomery
Milivoj Bebic (YUG, CRO) - Honor Water Polo Player
Alberto Castagnetti (ITA) - Honor Coach
Gary Hall Jr. (USA) - Honor Swimmer
Dagmar Hase (GER) - Honor Swimmer
Hu Jia (CHN) - Honor Diver
Cliff Lumsdon (CAN) - Honor Open Water Swimmer
Peter Montgomery (AUS) - Honor Contributor
Nathalie Schneyder (USA) - Honor Synchronized Swimmer
Mu Chengkuan & Mu Xiangxiong (CHN) - Honor Pioneer Swimmer
2013 Paragon Awards
Jim Droskowski (L) & Steve Foley (R) - Paragon Award Competitive Diving
Recipients of the 18th Annual Paragon Awards, sponsored by Pentair Aquatic Systems. Click on links to learn more.
2013 ISHOF Awards
Melanie Beck
LtR: Steve McFarland, Melanie Beck, Tom Gompf, Janice Rude Wilson and Prentice Willson


Great Olympic Moments 

Visitors to our newest exhibit can relive two of the greatest moments in Olympic swimming history.  At the 1996 Olympic Games, Janet Evans was given the honor of lighting Muhammad Ali's torch during the opening ceremonies in Atlanta. We are  
Lezak Evansproud to have the T-Shirt and shorts Janet wore that day and a 1996 Olympic torch on display to remember this great Olympic moment. The second feature of the display is Jason Lezak's SPEEDO, worn during his unforgettable performance in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. As told through Bud Greenspan's  great documentary, Jason not only swam the fastest 100m split in history, but his performance kept Michael Phelp's dream of winning eight gold medals alive and helped lift his teammate up to unparalleled heights. Jason was kind enough to loan ISHOF the suit he wore in that legendary race.

Memorabilia from our 2013 ISHOF Inductees
  Hase swimsuit
Each year we continue to add to the world's greatest collection of aquatic related memorabilia.  Among the items recently added are items from the honorees of the class of 2013. Here you can see the swimsuit, cap and goggles worn by Dagmar Hase when she won her gold medal in the 400m freestyle in Barcelona  (see picture on left), the Everlast boxing robe Gary Hall, Jr. worn in Athens, along with memorabilia from Italy's coaching genius Alberto Castagnetti, Nathalie Scnheyder's Sychro swimsuit, Peter Montgomery's Aussie polo cap and much, much more.   


chinese exhibit front
During our 2013 Induction weekend we unveiled a brand new exhibit featuring the History of China's participation in the Olympic Games. This was one of the features of our celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Friendship Through Sports cultural exchange between coaches and athletes of the USA and the People's Republic of China. For more details see the links to the international press reports above.

Some Recent Visitors To ISHOF
Victoria Arlen
(Right) 4 time 2012 Paralympics medalist Victoria Arlen visited ISHOF with her mom last month.
Victoria won gold in the 100m freestyle and silver in 4x100m relay, the 50m and 400m freestyle.
(Left) Canadian water polo players Johanne and Martine Gervais, point to the name of their Ste-Foy team that won the AAU women's water polo championship in 1976 on Pewter Pea Hen Trophy.
Miami Country Day School
Coach Megan Pittman brought her swim team from Miami Country Day School to ISHOF for a tour.

Katar Swim Club
Vladimir Komarov and his wife came all the way from Soichi, RUS to see ISHOF and donate their "Katran" swimclub flag.
In The News


ROESELARE - The search for the talent of the past is nearing its end. From May 23 to June 23 is the third and final round of voting in this election, the greatest de burgrave talent that the city has ever known. In this round, everyone can cast a vote for the person or duo that is the talent of the city. You can vote via the website of City Roeselare. In The News Online, you can find the remaining finalists. Today it is Frederick Deburghgraeve's turn. Frederick 'Fredje' Deburghgraeve (Roeselare, 01/06/1973) began swimming at RZV Roeselare and broke through as a competitive swimmer with a specialty breaststroke. His greatest successes he achieved with Ronald Gaastra as a trainer. Deburghgraeve won the 1995 European Championship in Vienna in 1998 and the World Championships in Perth. His biggest success was achieved at the Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, when he broke the world record in the 100m breaststroke and won Olympic gold in the final. After his victory at the Games he received a triumphant welcome in his hometownAfter the renovation of the pool in 2004 it was named "Deburghgraevebad. During his professional career his shaved head was his striking trade mark. He ended his international sports career in 2000 following his disappointing results in the run-up to the Olympics. In 2008 he was inducted into the International Swimming Hall Of Fame as the third Belgian after two prominent water polo players. For original article, click here:




Tania Cagnotto, daughter of Hall of Fame Diver, Giorgio Cagnotto, and the first Italian female to win medals in FINA World Championship competition was the cover girl for Italian Playboy.   More:


Bob E. Kerper, Jr.


Bob KerperRobert E. Kerper, Jr., 89, died May 31, 2013 in his Audubon residence. Bob was born on February 22, 1924 in Reading to Robert E. Kerper and Helen Rourke Kerper. His father graduated from Penn State and was an executive with F.W. Woolworth for many years. Bob's mother attended Villa Maria Academy, near West Chester. His grandfather, William J. Rourke, Esq. was a well known attorney in Reading and served as solicitor of the City of Reading for many years in the early 1900's.
Bob was predeceased by two wives, Regina Gruber Kerper and Arlene Hoffmann Kerper. In 1999 he married his college sweet-heart, Mary-Elizabeth Ciaffoni in St. John's Lutheran Church in Reading.
For Bob's biography, click here:
To read John Spannuth's tribute, click here:
From the Vault

 Ira Abrahamson  


Classic photo of ISHOF member and supporter, Dr. Ira Abrahamson with Miss Universe in 1967.  Dr. Abrahamson, who swam for the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, in 1943 and 1944, was in town to celebrate the induction of Gary Hall, Jr. into the Hall of Fame and his wife Linda's birthday. Back in Cincinnati, it was Ira who encouraged Gary, Sr. to follow his lead and become an ophthalmologist.  

"The Struggle"
by the late Olympian Artist Bob Hughes 

As a water polo player and swimmer for over a decade, Bob competed in the 1952 and 1956 Olympic Games. He is a member of five Halls of Fame including his alma mater, University of Southern California, where his artistic career began.
wp trophy
Thanks to his wife Suzi Hughes, this limited edition and numbered bronze water polo sculpture is now available for sale. A portion of the sale will be donated to ISHOF.

Price: $1,000

Please contact Laurie Marchwinski at 954-462-6536, ext. 207 or if you are interested in purchasing this wonderful piece.
To see images of other pieces by Bob Hughes please visit
Dear friends of ISHOF,

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Esther Williams. Swimming was such a great part of her life. I want to thank her and her husband, Edward Bell, for all of their support over the years.  Ww will miss her, and wiith your help we will keep her memory alive for future generations.  I also want to thank all of our sponsors and members, who made this year's induction weekend, and the inauguration of the "Esther" Awards so special and memorable.   



Best regards,

Bruce Wigo
International Swimming Hall of Fame
One Hall of Fame Dr.
FortLauderdale, FL 33316
phone: 954-559-1622

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