FORT LAUDERDALE – The International
Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced today that legendary Sports Illustrated
photographer Heinz Kluetmeier will become one of seventeen (17) honorees to
enter the International Swimming Hall of Fame as the Class of 2017. Kluetmeier
is the fourth individual to be named for ceremonies to be held August 25-27, in
Fort Lauderdale. Previously, swimmer Wu Chuanyu (CHN), diver Zhang Xiuwei (CHN)
and long distance swimmer Walter Poenisch (USA) have been announced. Kluetmeier
will enter the Hall of Fame in the contributor category and will become the
first photographer/photo journalist to be so honored. 

Heinz Kluetmeier
was born in Berlin, Germany before moving to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He started
his photo career early on, photographing professional football games in Green
Bay, Wisconsin for the Associated Press at the age of 16. Upon his high school
graduation, the AP offered him a full time job as a photographer, but his
education took precedence. After a brief stint as engineer following graduation
from Dartmouth College and as a staff photographer for the Milwaukee Journal,
he was hired by Time, Inc., working for LIFE Magazine and Sports Illustrated
until 1973, when LIFE magazine ceased as a weekly and worked full time for
Sports Illustrated until 2014. He has shot over 125 covers for Sports
Illustrated and twice served as the magazines director of photography.

While he has shot
virtually every sport and has covered every Olympic Games, winter and summer
except one since 1972, he, as a swimmer in high school, has always had a
special affinity for the aquatic sports and photos of aquatic athletes are
among his favorites. 

1988, Heinz donated his time and original photography to raise money for USA
Swimming through a tabletop book, Swimming: A Collection of Photographs by
Heinz Kluetmeier, Commemorating One Hundred Years of Amateur Swimming in
A pioneer in underwater photography, he was the first to
experiment with an underwater camera at international competitions during the
1991 FINA World Championship in Perth. The next year he became the first
photographer to place a camera underwater to capture an Olympic swimming event,
in Barcelona. Sixteen years later, he operated a remote underwater camera that
landed the signature image of the Beijing Olympic Games:  Michael Phelp
s Miracle Finishin the mens 100 meter butterfly
race – frame
by frame. The photographs in sequence showed Michael Phelps
touching the wall before Milorad Cavic, even as Cavic appeared to win from
above the water.  The photo defined a
moment in time that a lot of people did not believe. People don’t trust things
they cannot see and with his photos, people were able to see it and trust the
electronic timing system.

In a career
spanning almost fifty years, Heinz Kluetmeier’s pictures have virtually defined
what great sports photography is all about. He has photographed every great
swimmer from Mark Spitz to Michael Phelps and a collection of his photos will
be featured in a special exhibit on the history of swimming through photography
that will make its debut during ISHOF
s induction weekend in August.


The International
Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization
located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to promote the benefits and
importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and
the water safety of all adults and children.
 It accomplishes this through operation
of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, a dynamic shrine dedicated to
preserving the history of swimming, the memory and recognition of the famous
swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers and people involved
in life saving activities and education whose lives and accomplishments
inspire, educate, and provide role models for people around the world. For more
information contact Bruce Wigo at 954-462-6536 ext. 201, or by email

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