The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) today announced results of the International Selection Committee’s vote for the Class of 2014. Led by Australian swimmer Grant Hackett, this year’s class of 12, representing eight different nations, joins an elite group of over 700 aquatic legends from the Olympic aquatic sports of swimming, diving, synchronized swimming and water polo who have been enshrined in the Hall of Fame since 1965. The class of 2014 will be formally enshrined on a date and location that will be announced in the coming weeks.
The Class of 2014 includes swimmers Grant Hackett (AUS), Agnes Kovacs (HUN) and Tom Malchow (USA); Diver Peng Bo (CHN); Synchronized Swimmers Penny and Vicky Vilagos (CAN); Water Polo Players Carlo Silipo (ITA) and Karen Kuipers (NED); Coaches Charlotte Davis (USA) and Jozsef Nagy (HUN, USA, CAN, SPN); Norman Sarsfield (GBR) will be enshrined posthumously in the Contributor category, and Bruce S. Hopping (USA) will be honored as a Pioneer.
During his Olympic career from 2000 to 2008, Grant Hackett won three gold, three silver and one bronze medal in freestyle events. In his specialty, the 1500m freestyle, he was unbeaten from 1997 to 2007, winning every major world competition and held the world record for a remarkable ten years.
Hungarian swimmer Agnes Kovacs, a great breaststroke swimmer who won a silver medal in the 200m breaststroke at the 1996 Olympic Games before winning the gold medal in the same event in 2000, at the Sydney Olympic Games.
At the 1996 Olympic Games, Tom Malchow won the 200m butterfly silver medal behind the World Record holder, Denis Pankratov (RUS), only to return four years later to win the gold medal in the same event. During that time, he set the World Record, holding it for almost a year until it was broken by Michael Phelps in 2001. It was Phelps’ first world record and he has held it ever since.
After a six-year retirement from 1985 to 1990, twins Penny and Vicki Vilagos made an unprecedented comeback at age 27 to win the 1992 Olympic Duet silver medal, only .458 points behind the gold medal winning Josephson twins (USA).
Born in 1981 in Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, in the People’s Republic of China, diver Bo Peng won the gold medal in the 3m springboard at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. The icon of Italian water polo for nearly a decade, Carlo Silipo won seven Italian National titles in the world’s premier professional league, and played on Italy’s Olympic gold and bronze medal winning teams of 1992 and 1996.
Karin Kuipers is the third female water polo player to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame, behind America’s Maureen O’Toole and Australia’s Debbie Watson. In the infancy of women’s water polo during the pre–Olympic years, Karin was a legend.
Charlotte Davis was instrumental in the formation of the USA National Synchronized Swimming Team program which began in 1979 and remained active with the National Team for the next 21 years, until she retired in 2000. During her tenure as the Director of the National Team programs, the USA was the dominant force in international synchronized swimming.
Hungarian born swimming coach, Jozsef Nagy, developed the Wave Breaststroke that has revolutionized breaststroke swimming. His Hall of Fame swimmer Mike Barrowman, had a huge impact on the way breaststroke is swum today, originally created on paper, then proven in “practice” years later.
Norman Sarsfield gave a lifetime of effort to swimming on local, national and international levels. He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) (1981) by Queen Elizabeth, the FINA Prize Eminence (1990) (the only Briton to have received it), the FINA Silver Pin and Luxembourg’s Commander of the Order of Merit (1991), all for services to swimming.
Bruce S. Hopping is Chairman and Founder of the Kalos Kagathos Foundation (KKF). Just as when Baron Pierre de Coubertin awarded Olympic medals for artistic sculpture in each of the Games from 1986 to 1948, the KKF has created lasting symbols of fine art that have been awarded for outstanding performance in the aquatic disciplines. Many of the commissioned artworks and sculptures are on display at the ISHOF.
About the selection process
Criteria for selection includes a rule that no swimmer shall be eligible for nomination unless retired from competition for at least four years, or at least one Olympic quadrennial. The terms “Swimmer” and “Swimming” shall refer to swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers. Of most importance in the selection process is the nominee’s international career record. A coach must have been coaching for at least 25 years. A contributor must have been in swimming not less than 20 years and have had a significant or profound impact on swimming. The Pioneer Category allows the Selection Committee and Board of Directors to review credentials and circumstances of nominees whose achievements or contributions have had a profound effect on swimming, but which have been overlooked or lost in the shuffle of time. Any person or organization may offer a nomination. Nominees are evaluated and voted upon by the International Selection Committee consisting of aquatic experts from around the world.
The International Swimming Hall of Fame & Museum was established in 1965 as a not-for- profit educational organization in the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was recognized by FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, in 1968. The Mission of ISHOF is to PRESERVE aquatic history, to EDUCATE the general public about the importance of swimming as the key to water safety, drowning prevention, better health and a better quality of life, and to INSPIRE everyone to be a swimmer. ISHOF’s collection of swimming memorabilia, art, photos and films, along with archival documents and rare books in the Henning Library, make ISHOF the premier repository and academic research resource for swimming and aquatic history in the world.
This release was provided to SwimSwam courtesy of ISHOF.