ISHOF Postpones 2020 Induction Ceremony from April to Fall

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Induction Weekend has been postponed to the fall of this year (2020) due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. A tentative date of October 2nd and 3rd has been selected pending the availability of honorees, award winners, and successful negotiations with Marriott and sponsors.  At this point, our Masters of Ceremonies – Rowdy Gaines and Debbie Meyer – have reaffirmed their intent to remain co-emcees for the event.

“We apologize for any inconvenience.  The circumstances for the postponement of this important event were out of our control.  ISHOF will confirm the new date shortly so that our patrons and supporters can reschedule their flights and reservations as soon as possible.  We look forward to an exciting weekend later this year to celebrate the great achievements of those being inducted and to also recognize the contributions of others in the aquatic community,” said Brent Rutemiller CEO and President of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

This year’s International Swimming Hall of Fame Honorees include:

HONOR SWIMMERSBrendan Hansen (USA)Michael Klim (AUS), Jon Sieben (AUS)Rebecca Soni (USA), and Daichi Suzuki (JPN)


Brendan Hansen has won a total of 25 medals in major international competition; 18 gold, four silver, and three bronze – spanning the Olympic Games, the World Championships, and the Pan Pacific Championships. Hansen swam for ISHOF Coach Eddie Reese at the University of Texas, 2001-2005, where he was a 16-time All-American and won 14 NCAA National Championships. Hansen’s first big international win was at the 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, where he
took gold in the 200m breaststroke and set a championship record. Two years later at the 2003 World Championships in Barcelona, Hansen broke his first world record as part of the men’s 4 x 100 medley relay in a time of 3:31.54. In his individual events, he took silver in the 100 breaststroke, finishing just behind Japan’s Kosuke Kitajima, along with taking a bronze in the 200 breaststroke.

At the 2004 Olympic Trials in Long Beach, Hansen was unstoppable. He won both the 100 and 200m breaststroke, breaking the world record in each event, and made his first Olympic team. At the Athens Olympics, Hansen won his first Olympic gold medal on the USA’s 400m medley relay. He also medaled in both breaststroke events, winning silver in the 100m breaststroke and a bronze in the 200 breast. By most accounts, 2008 would prove to be another successful Olympic Games for Hansen. He was elected captain of the USA team and was part of the gold medal winning relay which allowed Michael Phelps to walk away with his historic eighth gold medal.  At the 2012 London Olympics, he won the bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke, after gaining the last spot in finals and swimming in lane 8.

Hansen finished his career with a total of three gold, one silver and two Olympic bronze medals. He is a ten-time world champion, breaking 11 world records.

Michael_Klim_2Michael Klim has been called the best relay swimmer ever.  He is a three-time Olympian, multi-time world champion and 21-time world record holder.  1998 was Klim’s year in the sun. In January, the FINA World Aquatics Championships were held in Perth, Western Australia, and in front of a boisterous home crowd, he was the leading swimmer of the meet. He triumphed in the 200m freestyle and the 100m butterfly, added silver in the 100m freestyle and bronze in the 50m freestyle. He was a member of each of Australia’s three relay teams, winning gold in the 4×200m freestyle relay and 4×100m medley relay, and a silver in the 4×100m freestyle relay.

Jon Sieben_1984Aussie Jon Sieben set the world record with a blistering 1:57.04 in the 200m butterfly, winning the event in Los Angeles, in the major upset of the 1984 Olympic Games.  He surprised everyone and beat Michael Gross of Germany. The record stood for 11 months until Gross regained it in 1985.  Sieben continued swimming through two more Olympic cycles, 1988, Seoul and 1992 Barcelona. his career ended, he walked away with 16 Long Course National Championships, 11 Open National Championships and numerous other championship medals.

Swimming as an NCAA swimmer, he competed for the University of Alabama under ISHOF Honor Coach, Don Gambril, who took him to the NCAA National Championships.  There, he won silver in the 200m butterfly and bronze in the 100-meter butterfly.

Although swimming competitively for Gambril, Laurie Lawrence was always Sieben’s coach while competing at the Olympic Games, under the Australian flag.

rebecca-soni-carbon-airRebecca Soni is an American breaststroke specialist who is a six-time Olympic medalist. She is a former world record holder in the 100m breaststroke (short and long course) and the 200m breaststroke (short and long course). Soni was the first woman to swim the 200m breaststroke in under 2 minutes and 20 seconds.

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. 


Daichi Suzuki stunned the world when he beat the USA’s David Berkoff at the 1988 Olympic Games in the 100-meter backstroke. Hall of Famer, David Berkoff is widely credited with “inventing” swimming backstroke underwater with a dolphin kick, the origin of the technique is far from clear. The first record of swimming in this manner in competition credits Hall of Famer Jesse Vassallo with being the first. Perhaps independently, Daichi Suzuki of Japan developed the skill and, as a 17-year-old, became the first to swim 25 meters underwater at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.  At about the same time, David Berkoff started experimenting with what became known as “the Berkoff Blastoff” in the USA.  Fast forward to the preliminaries of the 1988 Olympic Games, Berkoff and Suzuki went head-to-head, with Berkoff staying five more meters underwater on the first lap than his opponent and winning by over a body length in world record time.

In the finals, it was a different story.  Berkoff surfaced at 40 meters with a half-body lead over Suzuki.  Suzuki caught up and out-touched Berkoff for the gold medal, in what was considered the major upset of the Games. Suzuki retired immediately after the Seoul Olympics and has continued to be active at nearly all levels of the sport.

HONOR DIVER: Matthew Mitcham (AUS)


Australian Diver, Matthew Mitcham is credited with having received the highest single-dive score in Olympic history.  At the 2008 Olympic Games, in Beijing, China, Mitcham chose to execute a two-and-one-half somersault with two-and-one-half twists in the pike position for his last dive.  The dive had a very high degree of difficulty with 3.8.  Mitcham scored four 10’s, giving him, not only the highest score on a single dive ever, but the gold medal for the event as well.  By winning the 10-meter platform in 2008, Matthew Mitcham became the first Australian to win an Olympic gold medal in diving, since Dick Eve at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, France.

Although the platform was Mitcham’s favored event, he was quite good on the springboard as well.  At the 2009 World Championships, Mitcham won the bronze medal on the 1-meter, silver on the 1-meter, synchro 3-meter, 10 meter and synchro 10-meter, and at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, he took gold in the synchro 10-meter platform and silver in the 1-meter and synchro 3-meter.



Russian synchronized swimmer, Elvira Khasyanova was a member of the Russian National Team from 1999 through 2011. She participated in three Olympic Games, winning gold medals in the team competition in 2004 in Athens, 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London.  She won the World Championships in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2011 in the team and the free combination events, along with the European Championships in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010 in the same events. announced her retirement in November 2012 and began a new role, working with Special Olympics as the Director of Northern Europe and the Russia Region until she came to the United States in 2015.



Mirko Vičević has won gold at every major event on the water polo world stage; the Olympic Games, the World Championships and the FINA World Cup.  His original club was Primorac of Kotor, Montenegro (formerly Yugoslavia), where he played from 1982 to 1989. After that, he played for several teams, Jadran, in Split, Croatia, Savona (Italy) Barcelona (Spain) Brixia (Brescia, Italy) and Pro Recco (Italy). Vicevic won the LEN Trophy for the years 2002, 2003 and 2006 with his club Brixia, and was selected as Best Sportsman of the Municipality of Kotor in 1986, 1988 & 1989 and Best Sportsman in Montenegro in 1988.

After retiring in 1991 Mirko graduated from the School of Water Polo Trifun-Miro Ćirković and began coaching water polo. He received his coaching diploma in 1997. As a coach he won the Italian Junior Championships with the water polo club Savona in 1999. Since 2008, he has been the A-Team Coach of the newly-founded club, Vaterpolo Akademija Cattaro, where he is also the team manager, winning the LEN Trophy in the season 2009/2010. Vičević won the European championship gold medal in 2013, with the National Junior Team of Montenegro.  He has also been the adviser of sport in the municipality of Kotor since December 2013.



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”. a result, her landing was witnessed by a crowd of 300,000 people in Toronto. Bell was awarded the purse. This young woman’s courage and achievement resulted in the Canadian Press naming her the Canadian Newsmaker of the Year in 1954.

Bell went on to become the youngest person to swim the English Channel. She later swam the Strait of Juan de Fuca off the Pacific coast – her woman’s speed record held for more than 60 years! Bell became a Canadian hero, and the awards and recognition include: Induction into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame and the Ontario Swimming Hall of Fame.  She was named one of Canada’s top athletes of the century and was presented with the Order of Ontario.

HONOR COACH: Ursula Carlile (AUS) and David Marsh (USA)


For more than half a century, Ursula Carlile, teamed up with her husband, Forbes, to form swimming’s first internationally-prominent husband and wife coaching team.  The two collaborated at every level of the sport by sharing teaching, coaching, filming and administrative duties at their own Ryde Swim Club.  The club originated in a backyard pool of their home in the Sydney suburb of Ryde.  The pool is still there today!  There they taught thousands of youngsters to swim and have coached some of Australia’s most celebrated Olympians.

Ursula Carlile began her international coaching career in the Netherlands, where she and Forbes co-coached the Dutch National team from 1962-64 and where she was the Dutch Olympic Co-Head Coach with her husband.  In the following decade, the husband and wife team made frequent periodic visits to the People’s Republic of China, working with China’s top coaches and national team.  In 1980, the Carliles were named Honorary Olympic Coaches for China.

and meet Carlile in person and hear his incredible life story at the ISHOF Induction dinner on Saturday, April 25, 2020. Become an ISHOF Legacy Member and attend the ISHOF Induction Dinner for FREE. Can’t attend the event? Please consider donating to ISHOF, support Ursula and our other inspirational Honorees.

In 1972, Ursula became Australia’s first female Olympic swimming coach when she was selected as an assistant coach to Don Talbot, for the Munich Games. She served as an assistant to Terry Gathercole the next year at the World Championships, held in Cali, Colombia. In 1974, she was selected as Australia’s first female Head Coach for the Commonwealth Games, held in Christchurch, New Zealand.  In yet another sterling accomplishment, during the 1970’s and ’80’s, she and Forbes coached five Olympians – all of them world record-holders: Karen Moras, Shane Gould, Jenny Turrall, Gail Neal and John Bennett.


David Marsh was the 2016 Head U.S. Olympic Women’s Swim Coach in Rio, leading Team USA to the most medals in USA Swimming’s already storied history. Marsh’s leadership, Team USA dominated the swimming competition in Rio with a final medal haul of eight gold, four silver and four bronze. His Team Elite club placed more U.S. Olympians than any program in the country, six, with Kathleen BakerCammile Adams, co-captain Anthony ErvinJimmy FeigenRyan Lochte and Katie Meili all earning gold medals. If Team Elite were a country, they would have placed third in the 2016 Rio Olympics medal standings.

Prior to founding Team Elite, Marsh was the men’s and women’s swimming coach at Auburn University. Marsh led the men’s team to seven NCAA national championships (1997, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007) and the women’s team to five national championships (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007). Marsh is the most successful Auburn coach regardless of sport and he is arguably the most successful in the state of Alabama and the SEC. Marsh’s 12 NCAA titles surpass the six won by football coach Bear Bryant at Alabama. Marsh has won 17 SEC titles (13 men and 4 women), by far the most of any Auburn coach or team. In 2003 he led both the men’s and women’s teams to a sweep of the NCAA titles, a first in collegiate Swimming and Diving. Marsh and the Tigers went on to repeat this accomplishment three more times (2004, 2006, and 2007).

Marsh has coached 49 Olympians from 19 different countries. His swimmers have combined to win 89 individual NCAA titles and 277 individual SEC titles.

HONOR CONTRIBUTOR: Bob Duenkel (USA) and Peter Hürzeler (SUI) 


Bob Duenkel’s greatest contribution to swimming, was his 40+ years of dedication and service to the International Swimming Hall of Fame, which he began in 1976. As ISHOF CEO, Buck Dawson’s assistant, he absorbed the history of swimming like a sponge, and not just from Dawson, but from the real greats, like Johnny Weissmuller, Eleanor Holm, Buster Crabbe, Esther Williams and many, many more. knowledge of swimming history was encyclopedic. He studied and knew all the minutiae of swimming and swimmers, from the ancient Greek swimmer Leander to the most recent inductee, every Olympiad, every event, every time and every stroke.


Peter Hürzeler is the master of Swiss timekeeping technology – Swiss Timing. Since 1969, his organizational and creative skills have successfully delivered innovation, technology and timekeeping to Swimming. Throughout the decades, Hürzeler and his colleagues have invented and created many innovations in the Aquatic disciplines and other sports as well. What he has done in sports and technology in Swimming no one else has ever achieved. 1970, Hürzeler has spent 3,708 days on the road, engaged in sports timekeeping. This includes 17 editions of the Olympic Games, 36 Continental Games, a total of 19 swimming World Championships, 23 European Championships and over 300 athletics meetings.

In addition to the Class of 2020, two Honorees from the Class of 2019, who were unable to attend last year, will be present to be inducted. Honor Swimmer: Otylia Jedrzejczak (POL) and Honor Diver: Li Ting (CHN).

Otylia Jedrzejczak butterfly 2019 ISHOF honoree

Otylia Jedrzejczak, an Olympic Champion, a two-time World Champion, a five-time European Champion and a three-time world record holder, will become the first Polish honoree to be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019 during the Honoree Induction ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 18, 2019.  Otylia Jedrzejczak was born in Ruda Slaska in December of 1983. She has been elected best sportsman three-times in Poland and received the Knight’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (5th Class) in 2004.

Li Ting ISHOF Honoree

At just seven years old, Li Ting’s emerging diving talent caught the eye of Chinese diving coaches.  She, along with her twin sister, Li Rao, were sent for formal training and eventually joined the Chinese National Team.  Li Ting continued on with a successful career in diving which included a trip to the Athens Olympic Games at just 17 years old in her specialty event the synchronized 10-meter platform, the London Olympic Games, two World University Games, and many other World Championships and elite international competitions.  In 2003, Li Ting was paired with new partner, Lao Lishi.  The new pair went on to win the 10th FINA World Championships (Barcelona) on the 10-meter platform in the synchronized event.  The same year, Li Ting was selected for the 2004 Olympic Team, at the age of just 17 years old.

For Li Ting’s first experience on the Olympic stage, she certainly did not disappoint.  She and Lao Lishi won the women’s synchronized event on the 10-meter platform, her signature event.  They also won the 14th FINA World Cup (Athens) earlier in the year.

After the Athens Olympic Games, in 2005, the coaches decided it was time for Li Ting to expand her diving and transition to springboard diving, now that she had mastered the tower.  It was a hard transition for Li but she mastered it successfully, as she did most challenges.

Li Ting competed for the first time as a synchronized 3-meter springboard diver at the FINA Diving Grand Prix in Canada and took gold.  She went on to win the FINA World Championships in the same event.  Later in the year, Li participated in the 23rd World University Games, where she came away with three gold medals, the first in the 10-meter individual event, and the next two in the 3- and the 10-meter synchronized events.

This Year’s Paragon Award Recipients:

Competitive Diving

Dave Burgering

2020 Paragon Award Winner Dave Burgering

Dave Burgering competed on the U.S.A. Diving National Team from 1977-1984 and was he a member of the 1980 USA Olympic Team that boycotted the Moscow Olympic Games Burgering became the head diving coach of Swimming Hall of Fame at the Hall of Fame Pool, where he currently coaches. He has coached over 169 Junior National finalists, which include 30 gold medalists at the Junior National level and 11 Senior National gold medalists. He is the past President of USA Diving, was the 2008 U.S. Olympic Diving Coach, and has been a member of the USA Diving Coaching staff for numerous other events, including Grand Prix events, World Series and Junior Pan-Am Games.

Artistic (Synchronized) Swimming


2020 Paragon Award Winner Betty Hazle

Betty Hazle has been on the U.S. Synchronized Swimming’s International Relations committee for the past 20+ years.  She overseas the exchange programs through clubs with other nations with a mutual understanding of athletes learning fellowship, culture and sport.  Hazle is a FINA A judge, she is on the UANA Technical committee and will be a judge representing the United States, in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Water Polo

Lynn Comer Kachmarik

2020 Paragon Award Winner Lynn Comer Kachmarik

Lynn Comer Kachmarik is the founder and CEO of True Brand Sports LLC, and Vice President of Equilibria in Sports. She has 47 years of leadership and coaching experience at all sport levels. She was a twelve-time All-American water polo player and swimmer at Slippery Rock University. She was a 10-year member of the United States National Water Polo team, and then served on their Executive Committee. Throughout an 18-year career at Bucknell University, she held various coaching positions, including serving two decades as the head coach for the Men’s and Women’s Water Polo and Swim teams.  Kachmarik has been inducted into six athletic Halls of Fame, including the United States Water Polo Hall of Fame, Bucknell University Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Collegiate Water Polo Coach Hall of Fame

Competitive Swimming 


2020 Paragon Award Winner Teri McKeever Photo Courtesy: Cal Athletics

Teri McKeever was in her 28th season overseeing the University of California women’s swimming & diving program in 2019-20.  She has guided the Golden Bears to four NCAA and four Pac-12 team championships.  She was the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Head Coach and has been a two-time U.S. Olympic Team Assistant Coach.  McKeever has coached 26 swimmers who have won 36 Olympic medals, 64 swimmers and divers who have been named CSCAA All-American Scholars and has coached 133 swimmers and divers who have been named to the Pac-12 All-American Academic Team.  She has been inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Hall of Fame and the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame.

Recreational Swimming

Special Event photography in South Florida.

2020 Paragon Award Winner Florence Werner Photo Courtesy: Jeff Kolodny

Florence Werner was an active American Red Cross Instructor for over 50 years.  For Werner, swimming was her life.  And although she is retired, she continues to offer guidance to swimmers and instructors alike.  Her career began in 1961 at the Curtis Pool, a City of Miami Pool, just a few blocks from downtown Miami, which was once located along the Miami River. She was recognized for her 50 years of service and teaching by the American Red Cross, but what really mattered to Werner was teaching people to swim, young and old and making them safe.

Water Safety

Linda Quan

2020 Paragon Award Winner Linda Quan

Linda Quan is a Pediatric Emergency Medicine Physician at the Seattle Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center and a professor at the University of Washington’s Department of Pediatrics (Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development).  Dr. Quan has been involved in drowning research and guidelines for many years on a national and international level. Dr. Quan and her longtime collaborator, Elizabeth Bennett’s research helped define the problem that in King’s County, teens 15-19 were at greater risk of drowning than any other age group besides preschoolers, and that drowning in lakes and rivers posed the greatest risk to teens.

Pentair Logo

This year’s ISHOF Specialty Award Recipients:

Jordan Whitney Wei — 2019 Buck Dawson Author AwardISHOF 

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Buck Dawson Author’s Award will be Jordan Whitney-Wei for his book, Katharine Whitney Curtis – The Mother of Synchronized Swimming.  This award is presented by ISHOF in the name of William “Buck” Dawson, ISHOF’s founding Executive Director, to an author of work that promotes and educates people about aquatics.

Jordan Whitney-Wei

2020 Paragon Award recipient Jordan Whitney-Wei

Jordan Whitney-Wei is the great-grandnephew of Katharine Whitney Curtis. His book, Katharine Whitney Curtis – Mother of Synchronized Swimming will be released on February 25, 2020.  His previous writing and research focused on philosophy and poetry, but this time, it focuses on family, synchronized swimming and his “Aunt Kate”, a woman ahead of her time.  This is Whitney-Wei’s third book and his first award.   Katharine “Kay” Curtis was the originator of synchronized swimming, as we know it today, she even wrote a book about it in 1936.  But there was much more to her life and career.  Unbound by fear, or the narrow expectations of society, this was a woman who lived ahead of her time making things happen along the way.  She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1979.  The book will be available on Amazon for purchase.

About Buck Dawson: Dawson was a veteran of WWII who served as assistant and publicist for Generals Gavin and Ridgeway in the 82nd Airborne. From the time he was chosen to lead ISHOF in 1962, until his death in 2008, Buck traveled the world armed with Hall of Fame brochures, books, and bumper stickers, always spreading the word, always willing to talk and teach swimming and swimming history to anyone who would listen. He wrote hundreds of articles and was the author of eight books, ranging in subjects from bathing beauties to war, but especially swimming.

Russell Weaver — 2020 International Swimming Hall of Fame Service Award

The Staff of the International Swimming Hall of Fame are pleased to announce that Russell Weaver will receive the 2020 ISHOF Service Award.  The ISHOF Service Award is given to an individual who has selflessly volunteered their time, energy, and/or resources to advance the interests and work of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Russell Weaver

2020 Paragon Award recipient Russell Weaver

Russell Weaver has easily given over 25 years of his time, connections, and resources to ISHOF.  He is involved extensively with business networks throughout South Florida.  When he attends these meetings and events, he always has in his mind, “Can this help ISHOF in any way?”  As president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Sisters Cities International and co-chair of Tower Club Internationals, Weaver works closely together with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Broward County, and the City of Fort Lauderdale to promote Broward County’s business and cultural highlights to the Miami based Consulates and binational chamber of commerce organizations.   During these international monthly meetings, new business and government relationships are established, highlighting Fort Lauderdale and Broward County as a world class destination.   As always, Weaver remembers ISHOF and always gives us the opportunity   to showcase our Honorees at some of these events and educate the international local community and others, about what our museum has to offer.

James S. O’Connor — 2020 Judge G. Harold Martin Award

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Judge G. Harold Martin Award is James (Jim) O’Connor.  The G. Harold Martin Award is presented to someone for their long and exceptional leadership, insight, and dedication to the water safety of children and the cause of making “Every Child A Swimmer”.


2020 Paragon Award recipient James S. O’Conor

Jim O’Connor has more than 40 years-experience as an aquatic professional and is committed to the prevention of aquatic accidents and teaching children to swim.  O’Connor is the Aquatics Program Manager for Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Open Spaces Department, the third largest parks and recreation department in the United States and the largest municipal learn to swim provider in the state.

Mr. O’Connor has held numerous aquatic positions, served on the “Advisory Council” of the “National Drowning Prevention Alliance”, has been an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, Aquatics Coordinator for the American Red Cross Greater Miami and Keys Chapter, and was the Aquatic Director and Head Swim Coach at the University of Oregon.

About G. Harold Martin: Back in 1908, G. Harold Martin almost drowned in the Ohio River. Over the next two decades he almost drowned two more times. From these experiences evolved a mission to make “Every Child A Swimmer.” His civic involvement led to the building of Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s first municipal pool in 1927, Kiwanian sponsored free swim lessons at the pool, and eventually the decision by ISHOF to locate in Fort Lauderdale. An active Kiwanian his entire adult life, he was instrumental in making the Key Club an integral club within Kiwanis International and the adoption of Every Child A Swimmer as a Kiwanian project.

Patricia Cirigliano — 2020 Virginia Hunt Newman International Award

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that Patricia Cirigliano will be the 2020 recipient of the Virginia Hunt Newman International Award.


The award is sponsored by Kiefer, the “Keep ‘em Swimming” company founded in 1947 by Hall of Fame swimming great Adolph Kiefer, this award annually recognizes outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of infant and young child swimming instruction in the name of the “Mother of Infant Swimming,” Virginia Hunt Newman.

Dr. Patricia Cirigliano

2020 Paragon Award recipient Dr. Patricia Cirigliano

Dr. Patricia Cirigliano started the first Argentine swimming school for babies in 1960, together with her holistic method, Matronatacion®, which is a creative and original approach to aquatic initiation for babies that involves human integrity and respect for the child and the family. To present, 17,000 babies, toddlers and young children beginning at 15 days old have learned to swim and have enjoyed the Matronatacion® method at Cirigliano’s school, whose motto is “Swimming is learnt by playing”.  They are at the very core of learning. The Method distinctive characteristics are freedom, game, active mother role, intelligent learning according to child maturity development, without conditioned response and didactical use of toys and materials.

Dr. Cirigliano is member of a great number of associations such as: International Physical Education Federation and Panathlon Club in Buenos Aires and the National Swimming Schools Association in U.S.A.  As from 1991, she has been an active member of the Argentine Pediatrics Association.

Julia Meno — 2020 John K. Williams, Jr. Adapted Aquatics Award

The Adapted Aquatics Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that Julia Meno will receive the 2020 John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award. The annual award, honoring individuals or organizations who have made significant and substantial contributions to the field of adaptive aquatics, is presented by S.R. Smith, a world-leading manufacturer of commercial and residential swimming pool deck equipment headquartered in Canby, Oregon.


Julia Meno, CTRS, ATRIC, CMT, is the founder and owner of Therapeutic Aquatics, LLC. and is an internationally known presenter and instructor on aquatic therapy and wellness. She currently instructs group wellness classes and provides individual aquatic therapy sessions. She is the author of several instructional aquatic therapy technique manuals & DVD’s. She was the recipient of the ATRI International Tsunami Spirit Award (2005) and The Aquatic Therapy Professional Award (2012).

Julia Meno

2020 Paragon Award recipient Julia Meno

Wayne Goldsmith — 2020 Al Schoenfield Media Award

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Al Schoenfield Media Award will be Wayne Goldsmith for outstanding contributions to the promotion of aquatic sports through journalism.  This award is presented by ISHOF in memory of Al Schoenfield.


2020 Paragon Award recipient Wayne Goldsmith

Wayne Goldsmith has been a thought-provoking leader and influencer in the swim industry for more than 25 years.  As a regular contributor to Swimming World Magazine, his “Goldmind” articles discuss goal setting, visualization, and team building concepts.  He has worked directly with many of the world’s leading coaches, athletes, teams and sporting organizations in over 30 different countries.  Wayne is a recognized global expert in coaching, coach education, and coach development for peak performance.  His lessons in leadership, team development, change acceleration and continuous improvement provide swim coaches with quality, credible, engaging information via articles, videos, podcasts, seminars, clinics, and talks.

Al Schoenfield was the Editor and Publisher of Swimming World Magazine (1960-1977) and served on various international committees of swimming, including the FINA Technical Swimming Committee (1980-1984).  Schoenfield’s life was a commitment to swimming and he participated in its administrative structure and spread its stories through his magazines and promotions.  Al died in 2005, but his legacy will forever endure to all who have benefited from his lifetime of service to swimming.

 John Leonard — 2020 ISHOF Presidential Award

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Presidential Award will be John Leonard.  This award is presented by ISHOF conferred in recognition of an extraordinary or exceptional achievement to promote the mission of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.


2020 Paragon Award recipient John Leonard

John Leonard has served as the Executive Director for the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) for over 35 years. During his tenure, ASCA has grown from 1,000 to 11,000 coach members.  Along the way, Leonard and his staff created a certification program that educated swim coaches and professionalized the sport.  In fact, over 24,500 coaches have been certified by ASCA since 1985.  To further that mission, swim coaches, aquatic professionals, and industry giants gather every fall at the ASCA World Clinic, which is now the largest gathering of its kind in the world.  Leonard enhanced ASCA’s service to the aquatic community by creating Swim America for coaches to run learn-to-swim programs to teach proper technique and save lives.  He has published numerous articles and commentaries while overseeing ASCA’s publications throughout his career.  As an advocate for coaches and athletes, no other person has been more outspoken on issues relating to doping, athlete rights, and coaching representation on an international level.


The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) museum opened its doors to the public in December of 1968 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That same year, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) – the governing body for Olympic aquatic sports – designated the ISHOF museum as the “Official Repository for Aquatic History”.   In 2018, Sports Publications Inc, publisher of Swimming World Magazine and its multi-media platforms, merged with ISHOF to expand the museum’s reach and impact.  Today, ISHOF’s vision is to be the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports.  Show your support for the sport of swimming by becoming a member of ISHOF.

Questions: contact Meg Keller-Marvin at or 570-594-4367

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