November 2013

Sammy Lee gets name on school
2014 Rough Water Swim
Holiday Gifts
ISHOF remembers JFK
First ISHOF Mascot XOP
New Acquisition
Water Safety for Kids
Willard Garvey
Poseidon Award
Sammy Lee gets name on school
A new Los Angeles school designed to cultivate the next generation of doctors & scientists will feature the name Sammy Lee, one of the most successful divers in American history. Lee, now 93, was on hand last week for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Dr. Sammy Lee Medical/Health Science Elementary School. More:

 Tamas Kasas, 3x Olympic water polo gold medalist for Hungary and future Hall of Famer.

Kirk Finney, grandson of Claire Galligan Finney, the first American woman to hold a world record.

"Thank you for the time you spent with me at the Hall of Fame showing me more about my grandmother Claire Galligan.  This personal effort & enthusiasm for the hall & all its history is inspirational.  You made my visit to the Hall a highlight of my trip to Florida."


Guy Gibbons, 51

Guy Gibbons has passed away at 51 on November 16th.  As Swiss Timing's "Omega Man", Guy was one of the most visible and important officials at swim meets in north America and around the world. As a local resident of nearby Deerfield Beach, FL, Guy was a frequent visitor to the Hall of Fame and will be missed by all.


Charles H. Wigo, Jr.
1926 Atlantic City Beach

Charlie Wigo brought his family to south Florida for the College Swim Forum for the first time in 1956 as a volunteer swim coach with the Germantown YMCA of Philadelphia.  He spent his Christmas holidays in Fort Lauderdale ever since.  A life member of ISHOF, his life was an inspiration to his children and grandchildren in whom he instilled a love of swimming as a key to lifelong health, fitness and happiness.    

2014 Rough Water Swim

Saturday - Jan. 4, 2014
Race Start: 9.30am  
 Terramar Street
Fort Lauderdale Beach
To download the race application, 
online at or 
at the ISHOF Gift Shop
Quick Links

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Preserve Swimming History & Inspire Future Generations of Swimmers

ISHOF Remembers JFK

What Might Have Been?

On December 6th, 1963, U.S. President John F. Kennedy was scheduled to present the first Presidential Medals of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor to the likes of singer Marian Anderson, author E.B. White, cellist Pau Casals, photographer Edward Steichen and Yale's legendary swimming coach, Robert Kiphuth.  Kennedy had been a swimmer at Harvard when Kiphuth was coaching the Eli speedboys. Swimming helped JFK survive WWII and become the war hero that helped launch his political career. Great things might have happened for swimming had an asassin's bullet not cut down JFK 50 years ago.

Click here, find out what might have been.


Finds new Home at the Swimming Hall of Fame

XOP, the celebrity Mascot for the 15th FINA World Championships, helped FINA achieve a record 4.5 million world-wide television viewers who followed the Championships from Barcelona last summer. Created and designed by Albert Mir, XOP was selected by FINA and the BCN2013 Organizing Committee from over 200 entries in a public competition to serve as the official mascot. Following his spectacular performance at the Championships, XOP retired to America, where he will live a quiet life as FINA's greeter welcoming visitors into the Museum.  See a video of his arrival below. 


New Acquisitions 

ISHOF adds Egyptian "spoons" to 

Ancient Aquatic Art History collection. 


To learn more about the oldest swimming sculptures in the world, and what they meant to the ancient Egyptians, click here

Now Available!
Water Safety for Kids

ISHOF is proud to announce the publication of Water Safety for Kids, a unique 2-part Art and Activity book set for children aged 5 - 10. 

In Water Safety for Kids, children learn through art and language. Featuring the Haitian style art of Kimba Peterson, and presented in six different languages, we are hopeful that this set will be a source of joy and education for children and an inspiration for parents and teachers of all cultural, racial and religious backgrounds to teach water safety and make every child a swimmer. The book set sells retail for $10 ($5.95 each individually), and may be ordered through the ISHOF e-store. For quantity orders and wholesale discounts, call Laurie at 954-462-6536 ext. 207.  To see a preview of the book, click here.

 "Willard Garvey: An Epic Life"

ISHOF's 1987 Gold Medallion recipient, Willard Garvey lived at the center of 20th century history and his life's story is being retold in a new book, "Willard Garvey: An Epic Life", by Maura McEnaney.

       At a recent book event broadcast on CSPAN, author McEnaney compared Garvey's life in some respects to that of Forrest Gump, in that Willard's life had traversed the broad canvas of US and World history. "But instead of 'Run Forrest Run', in Willard's case it was 'Swim Willard Swim.'"

     In his youth, Willard Garvey was an avid swimmer, which led him to attend the world's first competitive swimming camp, Camp Chikopi, operated by Matt Mann, in Canada. Garvey followed Mann to Michigan where he was an outstanding freestyler on Michigan's NCAA Championship Swimming Teams between 1936 and 1941.  During World War II, he was a Staff Officer in Eisenhower's Allied Airborne Army and he helped to promote and competed in the Inter-Allied Swimming Meets. Back in his hometown of Witchita, Kanasas he swam and every day into his 80's and helped to found the Witichita Swim Club in 1954, under the direction of legendary coach Bob Timmons. Timmons not only coached Jeff Farrell, 2 x Olympic Gold medalist at the 1960 Olympics, but also legendary track and field star Jim Ryun. 


Poseidon Award

The "Poseidon" award, created by ISHOF's artist in residence Jean Ermann Desimots, depicts Poseidon with his trident, presenting the laurel wreath of victory.  Based on an original sculpture commissioned by bubblegum king, William Wrigley, Jr. in 1927, the first "Poseidon" award was presented by International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame General Secretary, Dale Petranach, to the Organizing Committee of the Global Open Water Swimming Conference, Cork 2013. Sid Cassidy,  a member of FINA's Open Water Swimming Technical Committee, will chair a committee to determine criteria for the presentation of the "Poseidon" award in the future.
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Dear Friends of ISHOF,


We hope you enjoy our newsletters. To continue our work, we need your support. Please join us as a member and/or make a donation so we can continue to preserve the past, educate the present and be an inspiration for future swimmers.  Every dollar makes a difference. 


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Bruce Wigo

President/ CEO 

The International Swimming Hall of Fame