International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF), recognized by FINA, the
international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, has announced the
names of 16 athletes, coaches, contributors, pioneers and one team –
representing six aquatic di
(swimming, open water swimming, marathon swimming, synchronized swimming, di
ving and water polo)
from eleven different nations, who
will be honored during ISHOFs 52nd Annual Honors Weekend, June 3-5, 2016, in Santa Clara, California.

This is an exceptional class of honorees,said Camillo
Cametti, of Verona, Italy, Chairman of ISHOF
s International Selection Committee, and one of the
largest classes in recent years. It will also mark the first time in ISHOF
s history that we
will recognize an entire team in the sport of water polo, but what a team – the
three time Olympic champions from Hungary. This class also includes many stars
well known in their own countries and around the world, and five pioneers, who
have long been overlooked for their accomplishments.

This is truly a great class and I want to personally congratulate all
Honorees and thank Mr. Cametti and the selection committee for their commitment
to honor the best in our sports,
said Donna de Varona, ISHOFs Chairman of the
We recognize that this was a difficult task, particularly this year,
as the committee started with over 175 nominees from all over the world and
many exceptional candidates did not make the final list.

The ISHOF Class of 2016 includes Swimmers Aaron Peirsol (USA), Camille Muffat (FRA) and Dara Torres (USA); Open Water Swimmer Larisa Ilchenko (RUS); Divers
Dmitry Sautin (RUS
) and
Guo Jingjing (CHN); Synchronized Swimmer  Yelena Azarova (RUS); Water Polo Players: Seven
members of the 2000-2008 Hungarian Olympic water polo team (HUN);
Marathon Swimmers Desmond Robert DesRenford (AUS) and Monique Wildschut (NED); Swimming Coach Bob
(USA);  Contributor Sir
Peter Heatly (GBR)
Pioneers Simeon Boychenko (RUS), Horst Gorlitz (GRD/ITA/FRG), Frank Gorman (USA), Hilda James (GBR) and Leonid
Meshkov (RUS).

About the ISHOF

International Swimming Hall of Fame & Museum was established in 1965 as a
not-for-profit educational organization in the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida
and was recognized by FINA 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, a better quality of life, and to INSPIRE everyone to
swim. 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.

The International Swimming Hall of Fames Class of 2016



Russian long distance swimmer, Larisa Ilchenko
has won eight World Championships and gold at the 2008 Olympic Games at age 19.
She has dominated long distance swimming since her first World Championship in
Dubai in 2004, where, aged just 16, she won by over 30 seconds. She won the
gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in the 10 km, using her trademark
closing kick after being behind the leaders for 9,900 of the 10,000 swim.


Aaron Peirsol is one of the greatest backstrokers in swimming and Olympic
history.  He partic
ipated in three
Olympic Games (2000, 2004 and 2008), winning five gold and two silver medals
and still holds three long course world records – as part of the USA
s4 x 100 meter medley relay, and in the 100 and 200 meter backstroke
events.  During his career, he won a
total of 36 medals in major international competitions, 29 gold, six silver and
one bronze. He retired in 2011 sa
ying, I ended up doing
everything I set out to do.


Camille Muffat was a three time Olympic medalist
from the Olympic Nice Natation Club. She specialized in the IM and freestyle
events and her career expanded from 2005 to 2014.  At the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, she won
gold in the 400 meter freestyle, silver in the 200 meter freestyle and bronze
in the 4×200 meter freestyle relay.  In
doing so, she became only the fourth French swimmer to win three Olympic medals
at a single edition of the Olympic Games.
Camille Muffats
brilliant career was tragically cut short on March 9, 2015 when she was killed
in a helicopter crash during the filming of a French TV Reality show, and will
be enshrined posthumously.


Dara Torres won her first US National title at
the age of 14 and her last at the age of 42, proving Age is Just a Number (which
also happens to be the title of one of her best selling books). She is
the first and only swimmer to ever represent the United States in five Olympic
Games (1984, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2008), during an Olympic career that spanned an
incredible 24 years. She won a medal in each of her Olympic appearances and has
twelve Olympic medals overall (four gold, four silver and four bronze).



Competing in five Olympic Games, Dmitry Sautin
has won medals in all four men
diving events and more medals than any other diver in history (two gold, two
silver and four bronze). He started diving at age seven, but his diving career
almost ended in 1991 when he was stabbed multiple times in an attack. After
spending two months in the hospital he represented Russia in the 1992 Barcelona
Olympic Games, where he won a bronze medal in the three meter springboard
event. In 1996, he won gold in the men
s 10 meter platform and in 2000, gold and silver
medals in both synchronized events.


Guo Jingjing, known in
China as the
Princess of Diving, began diving for
the Chinese national team in 1992 and competed at her first Olympic Games in
1996.  At the 2000 Olympic Games she won
two silver medals, the individual and synchronized events in the three meter
springboard. In 2004 and 2008 she was perfect, winning two individual titles
and teaming with partner Wu Minxia to win gold in the synchronized event, all in
the springboard. Her six medals made her the most decorated female Olympic
diver in history.

Synchronized Swimmer:


Yelena Azarova, at the tender age of 14, was the
first Russian synchronized swimmer to win solo and duet titles at the European
Juniors. Always strong technically, she was one of the original members of the
Russian team that won its first gold medal at the World Cup in 1997, its first
Championship in 1998 and its first two Olympic team titles in 2000 and 2004. She
eventually established her own synchronized swimming club in Moscow.

Water Polo Players:

TEAM HUNGARY 2000-2008

During a ten year period, from 1998 to
2008 the Hungarian men
s water polo team built a dynasty
unmatched in modern FINA history. Of the twenty players who won gold medals at
the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympics, this team will be represented by Tamas
Molnar, Tamas Kasas, Tibor Benedeck, Gergely Kiss, Peter Biros, Zoltan Szecsi
and coach Denes Kemeny (already a member of the Hall of Fame). Team Hungary
will be honored as three-time Olympic Champions and the greatest team in water
polo history.

Marathon Swimmers:


, a tall and powerful swimmer from the Netherlands, was the six-time
World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation champion from 1983 to 1988. In
1983 she was the overall winner of the Atlantic City Marathon and was second
overall in the 64 km
Traversée Internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada. As
a solo swimmer, she crossed the English Channel twice and had the fastest swim
of the year in 1984.


Desmond Robert Renford(AUS)

Desmond Robert Des Renford, M.B.E., was born in Australia on the 52nd anniversary of the very
first Channel swim, achieved in 1875 by Matthew Webb.  He took up marathon swimming only at the age
of 39 and from 1975 to part of 1980
, hecrossed the English
Channel 19 times in 19 attempts and wore the title King of the Channel, which
is accorded the swimmer with the most crossings.  For his exploits in the Channel, he was
awarded the MBE, Order of the British Empire. 
Australians remember their Channel swimming sporting legend, who died in
1999, through the Des Renford Aquatic and Leisure Center in Marouba, a suburb
of Sydney. He
be enshrined posthumously.



Bob Bowman is probably best known as the
long-time coach of Michael Phelps, however, he has done much more than
that.  He has been the assistant coach of
the USA swim team for three Olympic Games (2004, 2008, 2012) and has just been
named the Head Men
Coach for the 2016 USA Olympic Team. He has been a three-time World
Championship Head Coach (2007, 2009, 2013) and four time Assistant World
Championship Coach (2001, 2003, 2005, 2011). Bob is an ASCA Hall of Fame
Inductee, a five-time ASCA Coach of the Year, and the most honored Coach in the
40+ years of the award.  He is a six-time
USA Swimming Coach of the Year, four-time USA Swimming Foundation
s Golden Google
Award Recipient and the 2002 USA Swimming Developmental Coach of the Year. 



Throughout a period of 27 years, Sir Peter Heatly
has contributed to the sport of swimming and diving at the local, national and
international levels as competitor, team manager, official and
administrator.  He was a member of both
the FINA and LEN Diving committees from 1966 to 1988, Honorary Secretary of the
FINA Committee from 1972 to 1984 and Chairman from 1984 to 1988. He was Chairman
of Great Britain
s Swimming Federation in 1981 and again in 1992.  In 1990, he was installed as a Knight of the
Realm by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Sir Peter Heatly will be enshrined posthumously.



A legendary figure in early Soviet era swimming,
Simeon Boychenko was the fastest breaststroke-butterfly swimmer in the world,
but because the USSR was not a member of FINA, Boychenko did not get to compete
in the Olympic Games.  However, at the
third International Worker
Olympics in Antwerp (Belguim) in 1937, he considerably outstripped the winners
times from the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin in the 200 meter breaststroke,
earning the first victory of Soviet swimming on the international level.  His lifetime best of 1:05.4 and 2:29.8 in the
100 and 200 meter breast-butterfly would not be touched until after the rules
changed permitting butterfly in the mid 1950
s.  Boychenko will be honored


Horst Gorlitz began coaching in the German
Democratic Republic and after he could no longer agree with the policies of
sport in his country, he escaped the GDR in 1955.  He became the National Team Coach of Italy in
the sport of diving in 1957. In 1964, he coached Hall of Famer Klaus Dibiasi to
Olympic gold on the platform and during the next three Olympic Games, Mexico
City, Montreal and Moscow, Dibiasi and Giorgio Cagnotto won two gold, four
silver and two bronze medals between them. 
In 1969, Gorlitz went back to the Federal Republic of Germany to once
again coach back in his homeland. He also coached divers in Austria, Switzerland,
Norway, Finland and South Africa, and is credited with creating the foam rubber
mattress used to create a soft, dry landing for a sitting, standing or back
position. Gorlitz will be honored posthumously.


Frank competed in an era when there was
only one chance in four years to be seen internationally and when male divers
from the United States dominated the sport. Diving for Hall of Fame Coach, Dick
Smith, Frank just missed the 1960 Olympic Team for the United States, but returned
four years later to win the United States Olympic Trials and then the silver
medal in the 3 meter springboard at the Tokyo Olympics.  While at the Tokyo Games, he outscored
everyone on nine out of ten dives, but missed one badly to take second place.
Competing at Harvard University, he never lost a dual meet and was an
All-American Diver for all four years, 1957-1960.


Hilda James is credited with introducing the six
beat crawl stroke to England, a measure which made swimmers much faster. Nicknamed
English Cometshe held every
British freestyle record, 100 yards to the mile.  She became a darling of the press and was
expected to win three gold medals, all in the freestyle at the 1924 Olympic
Games. Unfortunately, living in the
Victorian era, Hildas parents controversially
prevented her from competing in the Games. After her swimming career, Hilda
spent much of her time coaching and giving demonstrations. James will be
honored posthumously.


Like Simeon Boychenko, Leonid Meshkov is a
legendary figure in Russian swimming history who also broke the recognized
world record in the 100 meter butterfly-breaststroke, and European records in
the 200 and 400 meters freestyle, prior to the outbreak of WWII.  And like Boychenko, his accomplishments were
not recognized.   During the defense of
Stalingrad, he earned hero status, but also sustained severe injuries to his
shoulder and arm that were thought to end all hopes of resuming swimming.  However, after demanding rehabilitation that
lasted many years, he became the first Soviet swimmer to claim a FINA
recognized world record, when he swam the 100 meter butterfly-breaststroke in
1:07.2, in 1949. He later broke his record five more times and held it until
February 1952.  Well past his peak,
Meshkov participated in the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, Finland, at the age
of 36. Meshkov will be honored posthumously.

For more
information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email

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