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Gold Medallion


Dr. James E. Counsilman


The International Swimming Hall of Fame proudly honors Dr. James E. Counsilman, the seventh recipient of the Gold Medallion Award, Unlike the previous six recipients, who were honored for their achievements and contributions to society after swimming, James Counsilman has never left the sport.  While writing, lecturing and filmmaking throughout his lifelong swimming career, he has spread the art and science of swimming around the world, as no other man has done.nd service to teach school children swimming.


In swimming, Dr. Counsilman has done it all. First he was a YMCA kid who gained early recognition in the pool, then he was National Champion and Captain of a National Championship team at Ohio State.  He went through the various stages of coaching apprenticeship while gaining his Masters and Doctorate at Illinois and Iowa Universities.  Splitting his time equally between pool and the classroom lab, his coaching results were brilliant and cumulative, culminating as a two-time winning Olympic coach.  Ultimately it was through the contributions he made in his book, The Science of Swimming, that he reached his greatest and most lasting influence.


More than any other man, "Doc" has been and still is the most acclaimed coach of this half century.  He never hesitated to communicate and translate his knowledge.  His most deserved recognition should be for being the coach of coaches throughout the swimming world.


Dr. Counsilman, using himself as a test case, established worldwide adult fitness standards by swimming the English Channel at age 58 in 1979.  To accomplish this great traditional measure of strength and endurance, he changed his lifestyle and physical conditioning completely, at an end of a career, during which his prime age swimmers set 52 world records and won 21 Olympic gold medals.


For his communication as a writer, film maker, scientist, educator and yes of course, as the supreme swim coach, we honor our founding President Dr. James "Doc" Counsilman with our highest recognition, the Gold Medallion Award.

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