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REBECCA SONI TO BE INDUCTED INTO ISHOF AS PART OF CLASS OF 2020

We are proud to announce that Rebecca Soni, a six-time Olympian, will be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2020 in April.

Soni has won a total of 22 medals in major international competition. 14 gold, seven silver, and one bronze spanning the Olympic, World, Universiade, and the Pan Pacific Championships. She burst onto the international scene at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games where she won three medals, two silvers and a gold. During those Games, she set the world record in the 200 breast, shocking Australian favorite Leisel Jones. Four years later at the 2012 Olympics, Soni successfully defended her Olympic title in the 200m, again in world record time, becoming the first woman to do so in the breaststroke event. She was named Swimming World's World Swimmer of the Year in 2010 and 2011, and the American Swimmer of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2011
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CANADIAN OPEN WATER SWIMMER MARILYN BELL
TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME

At age 16, Miss Marilyn Bell was inspired when she learned that American star swimmer, ISHOF Honoree, Florence Chadwick, was being offered a $10,000 purse to complete a swim across Lake Ontario. Bell wanted the honor to go to a Canadian swimmer. Three swimmers showed up for the attempt with waves of almost 5 meters (15 feet), water temperature of 21°C (65°F) and hungry lamprey eels lurking.  The other two dropped out, but Bell continued. The 20-hour, 59 minutes swim was covered by live radio broadcasts and special newspaper “extras”.
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CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
By-passers are now greeted by an over sized photo mural of 2017 ISHOF Honor Swimmer Ian Crocker (photo by Peter Bick), displayed on the North-East side of the front museum.
This project was made possible with the help of our friends at Hensel-Phelps and the City of Fort Lauderdale.
GEORGE BREEN, A FOUR-TIME OLYMPIC MEDALIST,
DIES AFTER BATTLE WITH PANCREATIC CANCER
BY JOHN LOHN - ASSOCIATE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

 
George Breen, a four-time Olympic medalist between the 1956 Games in Melbourne and the 1960 Games in Rome, died on Nov. 9 after battling pancreatic cancer. He was 84. Breen is considered one of the finest distance freestylers in the history of United States Swimming and was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1975.

Born on July 19, 1935, Breen didn’t follow a typical path into the sport, as he did not begin his competitive career until his freshman year at Cortland State University. At Cortland State, Breen’s natural ability in the pool was guided by legendary coach Doc Counsilman, who molded Breen into one of his first standout athletes.

A 22-time national champion who established six world records during his career, Breen enjoyed his greatest success in the 1500 freestyle, an event in which he set the world record on two occasions. At the 1956 Olympics, Breen set a world record of 17:52.9 in the preliminaries of the 1500 freestyle, but he could not match that time in the final and settled for the bronze medal in a race won by Australian legend Murray Rose. That Olympiad also featured Breen winning a bronze medal in the 400 freestyle and a silver medal as a member of the United States’ 800 freestyle relay.

Four years later, Breen again qualified to represent the United States in Olympic action, winning another bronze medal in the 1500 free after training under Counsilman at Indiana. At the 1960 Games, Breen’s veteran status led to him being named captain of Team USA. A year earlier, at the Pan American Games, Breen was the gold medalist in the 400 freestyle and the silver medalist in the 1500 freestyle.

Breen’s excellence in the sport extended beyond his athletic prowess as Breen also etched himself as an elite coach. Breen was the coach of the University of Pennsylvania from 1966-1982 and also served as a club coach for the Gloucester County Institute of Technology and the Jersey Wahoos.

Among his other achievements include being the Chair of the USA Swimming Olympic International Operations Committee, a longtime Board of Directors member for Middle Atlantic Swimming and a member of the USA Swimming Board of Directors as Coach Vice President of USA Swimming. Breen was also inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Cortland State Hall of Fame.

“I was a lucky person and met a lot of wonderful people,” Breen once said of his time in the sport. “Besides Doc, Indianapolis Athletic Club coach Gene Lee, Ray Essick and Frank Keefe also played an important role in my development. I met George Haines and learned there are a lot of coaches who were pretty smart guys. Then there were the swimmers. I say, ‘I don’t go to work. I go to swimming.’ I was taught to enjoy it. I think of swimming as a business in which you can run into clients for the rest of your life. Swimming offers so many positives, so you don’t have to dwell on the negatives.”
WATER POLO LEGEND ISTVAN SZIVOS PASSES AWAY AT 71

April 24, 1948 – November 10, 2019
 
István Szívós, Jr. – whose father was a two-time Olympic champion (in 1952 and 1956) and whose son, Marton, was a world champion and 2012 Olympian – has died in Budapest.

Szívós took part in four Olympic Games and won four Olympic medals from 1968-1980. In addition to his Montreal title, he won silver medals at the 1972 Munich Olympics, and bronze medals at the 1968 Mexico City and 1980 Moscow Summer Games. In addition, he was a world and two-time European champion. He appeared on the national team at the age of eighteen in 1966 and played a total of 308 times until 1980.

He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame 1996, one year earlier than his father István Szívós, Sr., who won Olympic gold medals in water polo. .
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RIT DIVING COACH CLIFF DEVRIES TO BE FEATURED ON E:60 SPECIAL

A short 20-minute documentary on Division III RIT diving coach Cliff Devries aired on ESPN, Tuesday October 29, 2019 at 9:00 p.m. EST. The documentary centers on Devries’ annual dive of the 3m springboard that he does on his birthday, which is October 30.

Devries is currently in his 17th season as head diving coach of Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York. He currently is the director for Upstate New York Diving, the largest diving club in New York.


Trailer can be viewed here.

This emotional short film takes the viewer through a day in the life of Devries as he prepares himself for his annual jump off the 3m springboard on his birthday, October 30. He has done a dive off the 3m on his birthday every year for over 15 years.

Devries was a former diver at the University of Kentucky in the early 90s where he had Olympic aspirations. But those dreams quickly came crashing down around him when an MRI revealed he had a six-inch tumor that was pressing up against his spinal cord, causing him to lose the function of his shoulder and arm. Devries had a 13-hour surgery on his spinal cord at age 21, and doctors had told him he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
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2019 December Newsletter

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