Not every major event in swimming is a gigantic swim meet , with glitzy superstars and big medals handed out. Sometimes, swimming schedules are highlighted by more competitively low-key (but still excitement-heavy) events, and this weekend is a great example. Specifically, those of you living in South Florida need to wipe your schedules clean this weekend, and get ready for a swim-fan’s paradise.
The big will be the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s induction weekend in Fort Lauderdale. This event brings out tons of stars in a very fan-friendly atmosphere, and is a great stop for the kids. Amongst the inductees this year are Lenny Krayzelburg (who is personally one of my favorite swimmers of all time) and Ian Thorpe, though I feel the latter is unlikely to attend given his latest comeback ambitions. Among those confirmed to attend will include Prince Albert of Monaco, who is being inducted this year. Yes, a real prince!
To read about all of the inductees, click here. As a part of the festivities, which start tomorrow and run through Sunday, the International Swimming Hall of Fame will host an AT&T/USA Diving Grand Prix event. In a spectacular open-air venue, located on the intercoastal waterway, this is an awesome way to enjoy some incredible aerial acrobatics. And for those of you who enjoy something a little more daring, at 9 PM on Saturday night, the ISHOF will host a free event where a World Record attempt will be made for the highest dive into just 12 inches of water.
There will be tons of other events associated, including live music and entertainment, so definitely something that’s worth checking out.
Another event, which has been rolled into the ISHOF weekend, is the first annual Fran Crippen SafeSwim 10k and Dash for the Cash open water events. This race is not only meant to remember a great swimmer and great man, Fran Crippen, who passed away in a race last year, but to emphasize safety and safety awareness. The 1-mile swim will be a straight-course and will be open to all competent USA Swimming, USA Triathalon, and US Masters swimmers, and is a great way for everyday swimmers to honor Fran. Following that race will be a 10k open water swim reserved for elite swimmers. There will be a lot of big names there, but one I can remember off the top of my head is former Michigan star Emily Brunneman, Olympic champion Aaron Peirsol, National Teamer Madison Kennedy, 2010 NCAA Swimmer of the Year Conor Dwyer, and National Team Open Water Swimmer Christine Jennings.
Following all of the races, there will be a free clinic for all USA/USMS/USA-Tri swimmers (which, with a star-studded lineup like that is in and of itself is a can’t miss event).
Even if you’re not a huge swim fan, and just enjoy the sport, this is a can’t-miss event for fans of every level.