Halls of Fame Roundup: Lundquist, and a Move to California

A wrap-up of three major news stories about various Halls of Fame, beginning with…

…the big one: the International Swimming Hall of Fame. The Santa Clara weekly reports that real estate tycoon Tod Spieker has made a “substantial commitment” to bringing the Hall to Santa Clara from its long-time home in Ft. Lauderdale, where is has sat since it was officially incorporated no November 23rd, 1964. This move has been talked about for a while, with the Hall proposed to become a part of the new football stadium for the San Francisco 49’ers. He’s one of many big-name pledges, including 49ers president Gideon Yu, Hilton Hotel owner Lawrence Lui (who pledged between $1 million and $12 million to the project), and venture capitalist Patrick Yam. Spieker is one of the biggest benefactors of aquatic sports in the history of the sport: the aquatic complex at UCLA bears his name…

…In other Hall of Fame news, Steve Lundquist has been inducted to the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame. The two-time 1984 Olympic gold medalist (in the 100 breast and on the 400 medley relay) was the world’s dominant sprint breaststroker in the early 80’s. The 52-year old was born in Atlanta and swam collegiately at SMU. Lundquist was a true celebrity of swimming in his era, including earning an honor from People Magazine in 1985 for “Best Chest” among male celebrities. He was also a part of the 1980 team that never competed because of the Olympic boycott, and has become a huge figure it the Swim Across America program. Lundquist is part of a 2013 class that were honored in a ceremony on June 22nd that includes local high school basketball coach Ron Bradley, “Mr. Atlanta Baseball” and minor-league icon Earl Mann; Football Hall of Famer “Neon” Deion Sanders; and former Georgia Tech AD Homer Rice. Rice was the Athletic Director for the Yellow Jackets until 1997, and his tenure included the construction of the 1996 Olympic pool as a legacy for the University…

…And finally, Seton Hall University has inducted Jennifer Heider Berenyi to their Hall of Fame, making her the first female swimmer to earn the honor. She was a member of Seton Hall’s team in the 1990’s where she became the first swimmer in program history to win a Big East Championship by sweeping the 1991 backstroke titles as a freshman…

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7 years ago

While Tod Spieker is certainly one of the biggest benefactors of aquatics sports, I believe the complex at Cal is named after his brother.

Reply to  iSwimCoach
7 years ago

You are correct, the Spieker Aquatic Complex at Cal is named after Ned, his brother and Cal water polo letterman. There is also a similarly named complex at UCLA, named after Tod (and his wife, I believe). Two UC campuses, two Spieker Aquatic Complexes. Benefactors indeed.

7 years ago

Steve Lundquist was a giant in his day. I remember as a boy watching the 1984 Olympic 100 breaststroke finals. I think I was as nervous as Lundquist was! His 1:01.6 was just awe-inspiring. I remember at SMU he went a 1:55.0 for the 200 yard breast, at a time when few were even breaking 2:00. Really ahead of his time. An excellent 200 IM as well, he made the 1984 team in that.

Swimswam, if you can get an interview with Lundquist sometime, that would be very special.

Reply to  Mike
7 years ago

An interview with Lundquist would be inspiring. He was a beast and ahead of his time.

Lane Four
Reply to  Todd
7 years ago

I agree. PLEASE, if at all possible get an interview with Steve. Such a great great champion. Starting back in 1978 with his very first world record in the 200 I.M. all the way to that mind blowing 1:01.65 in Los Angeles. He was absolutely fearless. And don’t forget that Steve was the first man under the 2:00 barrier for 200 yards back at the 1979 Short Course national Championships in East Los Angeles.

Lane Four
Reply to  Lane Four
7 years ago

Note* I meant that he was the first man under the 2:00 barrier for the 200 yard breastroke BACK in in 1979. Sorry if there was any confusion.

7 years ago

Steve Lundquist was a monster talent. With today’s training I have no doubt he’d hold a world record or two.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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