Tuesday, January 28, 2014


FORT LAUDERDALE (Jan 28) - The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) today announced finalized results of the International Nomination Committee’s recommendations as approved by the Board of Directors for the Class of 2014. Led by Australian swimmer Grant Hackett, this year’s class of 15, representing eight different nations, joins an elite group of over 700 aquatic legends from the Olympic aquatic sports of swimming, diving, synchronized swimming, open water swimming and water polo who have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame since 1965. The Class of 2014 will be formally enshrined on Saturday, June 14, 2014 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The Class of 2014 includes swimmers Grant Hackett(AUS), Agnes Kovacs (HUN) and Tom Malchow (USA); Diver Peng Bo (CHN); Synchronized Swimmers Penny and Vicky Vilagos (CAN); Water Polo Players Carlo Silipo (ITA) and Karen Kuipers (NED); Coaches Charlotte Davis (USA) and Jozsef Nagy (HUN, USA, CAN, SPN); Open Water Swimmers Jon Erikson (USA) and Sandra Bucha (USA); Bruce S. Hopping (USA), and Norman Sarsfield (GBR) will be recognized as a Contributor. 

During his Olympic career from 2000 to 2008, Grant Hackett won three gold, three silver and one bronze medal in freestyle events. In his specialty, the 1500m freestyle, he was unbeaten from 1997 to 2007, winning every major world competition and held the world record for a remarkable ten years. 

Hungarian swimmer Agnes Kovacs, a great breaststroke swimmer won a silver medal in the 200m breaststroke at the 1996 Olympic Games before winning the gold medal in the same event in 2000, at the Sydney Olympic Games. 

At the 1996 Olympic Games, Tom Malchow won the 200m butterfly silver medal behind the World Record holder, Denis Pankratov (RUS), only to return four years later to win the gold medal in the same event. During that time, he set the World Record, holding it for almost a year until it was broken by Michael Phelps in 2001. It was Phelps’ first world record and he has held it ever since. 

After a six-year retirement from 1985 to 1990, twins Penny and Vicki Vilagos made an unprecedented comeback at age 27 to win the 1992 Olympic Duet silver medal, only .458 points behind the gold medal winning Josephson twins (USA). 

Born in 1981 in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, in the People’s Republic of China, diver Bo Peng won the gold medal in the 3m springboard at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

The icon of Italian water polo for nearly a decade, Carlo Silipo won seven Italian National titles in the world’s premier professional league, and played on Italy’s Olympic gold and bronze medal winning teams of 1992 and 1996. 

Karin Kuipers is the third female water polo player to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, behind America’s Maureen O’Toole and Australia’s Debbie Watson. In the infancy of women’s water polo during the pre–Olympic years, Karin was a legend. 

Charlotte Davis was instrumental in the formation of the USA National Synchronized Swimming Team program, which began in 1979. She remained active with the National Team for the next 21 years, until she retired in 2000. During her tenure as the Director of the National Team programs, the USA was the dominant force in international synchronized swimming. 

Hungarian born swimming coach, Jozsef Nagy, developed the Wave Breaststroke that has revolutionized breaststroke swimming. Nagy and his Hall of Fame swimmer Mike Barrowman, had a huge impact on the way breaststroke is swum today, originally created on paper, then proven in “practice” years later. 

Rather than retire from swimming after her high school days, as was the case with most female American swimmers in the pre-Title IX era, Sandra Bucha joined the male dominated professional marathon circuit and competed against the men, mano-a-mano, and helped pave the way for Open Water swimming as an Olympic sport.

When he was just fourteen years of age, Jon Erikson made headlines around the world as the youngest swimmer to successfully swim across the English Channel. Twenty-two years later he set another milestone by becoming the first to do a triple crossing of the same Channel. 

Norman Sarsfield gave a lifetime of effort to swimming on local, national and international levels. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) (1981) by Queen Elizabeth, the FINA Prize Eminence (1990) (the only Briton to have received it), the FINA Silver Pin and Luxembourg's Commander of the Order of Merit (1991), all for services to swimming. 

Bruce S. Hopping is Chairman and Founder of the Kalos Kagathos Foundation (KKF). Just as when Baron Pierre de Coubertin awarded Olympic medals for artistic sculpture in each of the Games from 1986 to 1948, the KKF has created lasting symbols of fine art that have been awarded for outstanding performance in the aquatic disciplines. Many of the commissioned artworks and sculptures are on display at the ISHOF. 

About the ISHOF The International Swimming Hall of Fame & Museum was established in 1965 as a not-forprofit educational organization in the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was recognized by FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, in 1968. The Mission of ISHOF is to PRESERVE and CELEBRATE aquatic history, to EDUCATE the general public about the importance of swimming as the key to water safety, drowning prevention, better health and a better quality of life, and to INSPIRE everyone to be a swimmer. ISHOF’s collection of swimming memorabilia, art, photos and films, along with archival documents and rare books in the Henning Library, make ISHOF the premier repository and academic research resource for swimming and aquatic history in the world. 

For more information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-­‐462-­‐6536 ext. 201, or email bwigo@ishof.org

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014 Special Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Induction in Scotland

During a twenty six period between 1970 and 1995, no open water swimmers were considered for inclusion in the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Since that date, the selection processes failed reduce the number of well qualified Open Water Swimmer from being so honored from the nomination lists. To compensate those deserving athletes, the International Swimming Hall of Fame has authorized a special selection for the “truly great” Open Water Swimmers completing during this era. 

A special ceremony will be held on September 21 and 22, 2014 in Loch Lomond, Scotland to induct the following Open Water Swimmers: Judith van Njis (NED), Claudio Plit (ARG), David Yudovin (USA), Mercedes Gleitze (GBR),George Young (CAN).

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


FORT LAUDERDALE – The International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc., (ISHOF) announced today that upon the expiration of its current fifty-year agreement with the City of Fort Lauderdale, in February of 2015, it will not renew and will look for a new home in another city.

Established in 1965, in the City of Fort Lauderdale, ISHOF was the first “International” and one of the first “Amateur” sports hall of fame museums in the world. Recognized by FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, the presence of the ISHOF museum has long been regarded as making Fort Lauderdale the Mecca of the world of competitive aquatics. The ISHOF museum houses the most comprehensive collection of aquatic related memorabilia and art in the world. ISHOF’s Henning Library is an international research resource and the organization’s induction ceremonies annually attract the leadership and leading personalities of the Olympic sports of swimming, diving, water polo and synchronized swimming, and the global leaders of lifesaving, learn-to-swim, aquatic recreation and aquatic wellness.

“This was a very emotional and difficult decision for our organization to make,” says ISHOF CEO Bruce Wigo. “Fort Lauderdale has provided us with a wonderful home for almost fifty years and we had high hopes and great expectations to be part of a new Hall of Fame Aquatic Complex in this City. However, we have come to realize that the problems we have had with the City since at least 2000, and which we have been unable to resolve since, stem from the fact that our organization’s vision of the future and the City’s vision for their new Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex are not in alignment.”

“I want to thank City Manager Lee Feldman for his thoughtful and considerable efforts to work with us on design changes and mutually beneficial terms that might have made it possible for us to maintain a presence in this City,” says Wigo. “But in the end, we concluded that the compromises to our vision and business model that we would have had to make were not in the best interests of our organization. Therefore we have decided to close this chapter of our history and focus on finding a new home in another city that shares or vision.” 

“We believe this difficult decision will give us the opportunity to bring new excitement and energy to both ISHOF and the swimming community as a whole. It will allow us to re-invent ourselves as a modern museum in a way that will rely upon the knowledge and expertise of our membership to create an exciting and interesting attraction that will appeal and be of interest to not only to millions of casual, recreational and competitive swimmers of the world, but to the multitudes of non-swimmers who we believe should be learning to swim for water safety, drowning prevention, better health and a better quality of life.”

“ISHOF’s Board of Directors wish to express their thanks and sincere gratitude and appreciation to the citizens of the City of Fort Lauderdale for all the support they have given to our organization for the past fifty years.”

For more information contact Bruce Wigo, at (o) 954-462-6536, ext 201, (m) 954-559-1622 or at bwigo@ishof.org.