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Black Swimming History Resource International Swimming Hall of Fame Launches

Fort Lauderdale – In conjunction with Black History Month, the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced today the creation of a new section on its website celebrating Black Swimming History. The site which can be accessed through www.ishof.org , is intended to be an informational and inspirational resource for aquatic facilities, schools and parents interested in drowning prevention and swimming. 

“The mission of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is to inspire everyone to be a swimmer,” says Bruce Wigo, President and CEO of ISHOF.  “The fact is that the aquatic community hasn’t done a good job of making the benefits and opportunities that derive from knowing how to swim in certain non-white ethnic communities.   It’s a complex issue and we hope that our website can contribute to the causes of motivating parents to get their kids water safe first, and then swimming forever.

Lee Pitts, nationally known TV personality and swim instructor, introduces the site in a video filmed on the set of his TV show, Lee Pitts Live.  There are several other videos on or about the likes of Anthony Nesty, the first person of African heritage to win an Olympic Gold Medal, Charles Chapman, the first African American to swim across the English Channel, Rick White, a professional high diver and interviews with lifeguards, swimmers and divers who why they think everyone should swim.

There are also history articles and a list of 21 African American firsts in Swimming History. To learn more about Black Swimming History, visit ISHOF.org

“Black swimming history is one of the most incredible stories never told before,” says Wigo.  “Who could imagine that before the Civil War, Blacks were the great swimmers and whites drowned in appalling numbers? It tells a lot about our social and cultural history and it’s a story that will fascinate swimmers and not swimmers alike.”

The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children. It accomplishes this through operation of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to the history, memory, and recognition of the famous swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers and people involved in life saving activities and education whose lives and accomplishments inspire, educate, and provide role models for people around the world.

Greg LouganisEraldo

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