Japanese Swimmer Daichi Suzuki to be Inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as part of Class of 2020


Daichi Suzuki stunned the world when he beat the USA’s David Berkoff at the 1988 Olympic Games in the 100-meter backstroke.  

While 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, and 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 though, it was a different story.  Both Suzuki and Berkoff surfaced at about 40 meters, Berkoff with a half-body lead. On the final lap, Suzuki caught up and out-touched Berkoff for the gold medal, in what was considered a 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.

Come and meet Suzuki 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 Suzuki and our other inspirational Honorees.

More about Daichi Suzuki:

Upon retirement, Suzuki became the varsity coach at Juntendo University.  He also sat on the board of Japan’s Anti-Doping Agency, as well as serving on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s Athlete Committee.  He eventually was selected as President of the Japan Swimming Federation, and more recently was named to head Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. 

 About the International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Weekend:

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Induction Ceremony is shaping up to be a star-studded weekend with ISHOF Honoree and Sullivan Award Winner, Debbie Meyer, acting as emcee and host of the induction with multiple events spread out over two days in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  Make your plans now to attend the weekend of April 24-25, 2020!  ISHOF Members can purchase the Weekend Package and Save!  Can’t attend the event? Donate to ISHOF to support our Honorees.

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

HONOR SWIMMERS:  Brendan Hansen (USA), Michael Klim (AUS), Jon Sieben (AUS), Rebecca Soni (USA), and Daichi Suzuki (JPN); HONOR DIVER: Matthew Mitcham (AUS); HONOR SYNCHRONIZED (ARTISTIC) SWIMMER: Elvira Khasyanova (RUS); HONOR WATER POLO: Mirko Vicevic (YUG); HONOR OPEN WATER SWIMMER: Marilyn Bell (CAN); HONOR COACHES: Ursula Carlile (AUS) and David Marsh (USA); HONOR CONTRIBUTORS: Bob Duenkel* (USA) and Peter Hurzeler (SUI).


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

The Weekend Schedule:

Friday, April 24, 2020

     Paragon & ISHOF Specialty Awards Night

     5:30 PM Cocktails,

     6:30 PM ISHOF and Paragon Awards at ISHOF Museum

Saturday, April 25, 2020

      Honoree Induction Day Luncheon

    12-1:30 PM Luncheon ISHOF Museum

      Official 56th Annual International Swimming Hall of Fame                  

      Induction Ceremony at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach 

      Resort and Spa

    6:00 PM VIP Reception,

    7:00 –10:00 PM Induction Ceremony


   April 24-26 Complete Weekend Package 

  (Includes Paragon/ISHOF Awards Night, Luncheon, and Induction Ceremony)

      ISHOF Members $350

     ISHOF Non-Members $425 BEST PRICE!!

   APRIL 24 ISHOF Awards and Paragon Awards Night

     (Hors D’oeuvres and Free Bar) 5:30 PM

      ISHOF Members $75       

      ISHOF Non-Members $100

  APRIL 25 Luncheon

     ISHOF Members $35       

     ISHOF Non-Members $50 per person


    ISHOF Members $275

    ISHOF Non-Members $300

    10 Person Table $3,500 and $5,000 options

2021 ISHOF & MISHOF Honoree Induction Ceremony & Dinner


Host Hotel: Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa

Four and a half star upscale retreat with private beach access, two pools, four restaurants, full service spa and oceanside bar. Location of the Saturday evening induction ceremony. ¼ mile south of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

3030 Holiday Drive, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 (954) 525-4000

Special ISHOF Guest Rate of $279 per night

Book your group rate for International Swimming Hall of Fame


Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach

440 Seabreeze Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 (954) 524-8733

Special ISHOF Guest Rate of $229 per night

Book your group rate for IHSOF Honoree Ceremony

For more hotel or ticket Information contact: Meg Keller-Marvin 

meg@ishof.org / 570-594-4367

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