ISHOF Awards

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is the parent organization to IMSHOF covering all aquatics. 

Joe Grossman, 1970

Commander Gerald Forsberg, OBE, Master Mariner, FNI, Royal Navy (Retired), 1971

William Forrest "Buck" Dawson, 1972

Willy Van Rysel, 1973

Jerry Nason, 1974

Audrey Scott, 1975

Ray Scott, 1975

Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean, 1976

Conrad Wennerberg, 1977

Charles "Red" Silvia, 1978

Dennis Matuch, 1979

Not awarded 1980-2001

James Doty, 2002

British Long Distance Swimming Association, 2003

Roger Parsons, 2004

Val Parsons, 2004

Lynn Blouin, 2005

Dale Petranech, 2006

Silvia Beatríz Dalotto, 2007

Shelley Taylor-Smith, 2008

Michael P. Read, MBE, 2009

Christopher Guesdon, 2010

Steven Muñatones, 2011

Drury Gallagher, 2012

Ned Denison, 2013

Melissa Cunningham, 2014

Dennis Miller, 2015

David Yudovin, 2016

Richard Broer, 2017

Stéphane Lecat, 2018

Sue Guesdon, 2019

S.A. "Sid" Cassidy, 2020

Colin Hill, 2021

Elizabeth Fry, 2022

Award History:

The Irving Davids/Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award was established in 1970 by the New England Marathon Swimming Association (NEMSA) and to honor and recognize those making major contribution to open water swimming and serve as a perpetual memorial to Irving Davids and Captain Roger Wheeler.

 

NEMSA is the oldest organization in the USA dedicated solely to open water/marathon swimming with the goals: to promote amateur open water swims and races; to promote water safety, research water pollution and clean water (including the effects on aquatic life), and to encourage the publishing of papers and other information materials related to open water swimming and the environment.

 

NEMSA accomplishments include: organization and conduct of the Boston Light House Swim (first held in 1909); contribute materials and other memorabilia on open water/marathon swimming to the New England Sports Museum and Library; assist in the development and distribution of safety equipment for open water swimmers; and make major contribution to the Massachusetts Audubon Society and assist in creating a data base for their water related research projects.

 

The names of the recipients of the award are inscribed on a beautiful large silver tray that International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) Honoree James Doty secured from the Taylor Corman Jewelry Store in Brookline, Massachusetts. It is a major award of the International Swimming Hall of Fame and displayed in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida museum. Each winner received a small silver bowl or plate to commemorate their award.  Once the tray is fully engraved, future recipients will be included on an adjacent plaque.

 

Initially a committee consisting of IMSHOF Honorees:  Joe Grossman, Dennis Matuch, Buck Dawson, and James Doty selected the award winners. The award was presented annually from 1970 through 1979. For unknown reason, the award was not presented from 1980 to 2001 and the tray was just another bit of history on the museum walls of the International Swimming Hall of Fame. In 2001, it was reestablished and IMSHOF now selects and presents a winner at their annual Induction and Awards Ceremony.

 

Irving Davids was an open water/marathon swimming historian and archivist. He pioneered the study of tides and currents and was invaluable in plotting proper courses. His private collection of photographs and newspaper clippings on professional marathon swimming was unparalleled. He served as trainer for IMSHOF Honoree Regent LaCoursiere, from Quebec.

 

Captain Roger W. Wheeler from Rhode Island was an outgoing, charismatic race organizer and marathon swimmer administrator. He used his considerable political connections (creator of the Rhode Island State Life-Saving system in the 1930s and is also the namesake of a state beach in Rhode Island) to secure funds and recognition for local marathon swimming races including course design and publicity to ensure large crowds to watch the races.  These included:  the John E Fogarty Memorial Distance Swim on 24 August 1968 and the 26.7-mile (42.9 km) America's Marathon Swim in 1970.  Both were sanctioned by the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation.  Doty announced the award at the 1970 race.

  

Davids and Wheeler died within a year of each other in the late1960’s. They still serve as examples and role models for the administrators and organizers in the sport of open water swimming.

 
Award Winners at 2018 Ceremony:  from left - Melissa Cunningham, Val Parsons, Richard Brower, Stéphane Lecat, Michael P. Read, MBE, Beth Yudovin [for David], Ned Denison and Chris Guesdon
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The Poseidon Award recognizes high level achievement from personal effort or initiative in a field of endeavor that contributes to the performance of marathon swimmers or to the development and status of Marathon Swimming to the world. The winner is decided by the IMSHOF Selectors.
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The Organising Committee of the Global Open Water Swimming Conference, 2013

Not awarded 2014 & 2015

Chloë McCardel, 2016

Steven Muñatones, 2017

Christopher Guesdon, 2018

Michael P. Read, MBE, 2019

Petar Stoychev, 2020

Sarah Thomas, 2021

Shelley Taylor-Smith, 2022

Chloë McCardel at the 2016 Ceremony
(Presented by Bruce Wigo CEO of ISHOF)
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Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the lifetime dedication and achievements in the swimming community.

Greta Andersen, 2015 (Presented by Bruce Wigo CEO of ISHOF on left and IMSHOF Honoree Ned Denison)

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Service Award is given periodically to an individual who has selflessly volunteered their time, energy and/or resources to advance the interests and work of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Dale Petranech, 2019

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Presidential Award is conferred in recognition of an extraordinary or exceptional achievement to promote the mission of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Bob Duenkel, 2004

Lewis Pugh, OIG, 2011

Lewis Pugh

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Gold Medallion Award is presented each year to a former competitive swimmer for his or her national or international significant achievements in the field of science, entertainment, art, business, education, or government.

Dr. James “Doc” Counsilman, 1990

Jim Moran, 1994

James Whelan, 1999

 

James Whelan

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Buck Dawson Authors Award is presented to the author of an aquatics - related book for which the book’s content has had a profound educational or entertaining impact on the aquatic disciplines or population in general.  The dates below are the book publishing year and presented in alphabetic order.

 

Dr. James “Doc” Counsilman, 1968 & 1977

Lynne Cox, Honourable Mention 2004 & 2006

William Forrest "Buck" Dawson, Inspired the award

Penny Lee Dean, 1998

Dr. Jane Katz, 1981, 1985, 1993 & 1996

Annette Kellerman, Honourable Mention 1918

Diana Nyad, Honourable Mention 1978

Conrad Wennerberg, Honourable Mention 1974

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Al Schoenfield Media Award

 

Diana Nyad, 2002 (at ISHOF event)

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G. Harold Martin Award is presented for long and exceptional leadership, insight and dedication to the water safety of children and the cause of making Every Child A Swimmer.

 

Dr. Jane Katz, 2016 

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Paragon Awards are sponsored by Pentair Aquatic Systems and are presented for outstanding contributions to: Competitive Swimming, Water Polo, Competitive Diving, Aquatic Safety, Synchronized Swimming and Recreational Swimming.

Dr. Jane Katz, 1999 & 2009 

S.A. "Sid" Cassidy, 2014

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Irving Davids and Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award recognizes contributors to the administration of open water swimming.  The winner is decided by the IMSHOF Selectors.
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