Honorees for the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF)
Honor Contributor: Administrator, Organization, Coach or Pilot. These are the dedicated personnel that assist in various functions to support and develop the sport of Marathon Swimming. Their contribution should be made over a period of years, and be truly outstanding. All nominations can include a reference to: Inspirational, Disabilities, Safety, Other contributions to the sport or society, etc.
IMSHOF only allows individuals to be inducted under one category. As a result many Honor Swimmers (for example) who later contribute for decades as administrators and/or coach are not honored again.
Awards from the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF)
ISHOF: The Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award
This award recognizes contributors to the administration of open water swimming to the world. Nominees must have generally made a major contribution at the international level to marathon swimming. Mere long term service by a nominee is insufficient.
ISHOF: The Poseidon Award This 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 in the world
Nominees for the two ISHOF Awards must already be Honorees in the IMSHOF.
All nominations can include a reference to inspirational, disabled, water safety, other contributions to the sport or society, etc.
The sport contains two similar yet different disciplines.
Traditional Marathon Swimming in straits, channels, rivers, lakes, and oceans.
Elite/World Aquatics (previously FINA) Competitive Swimming in the Olympic Games, World Championships, Grand Prix and 10K Marathon Swim Cup Events. The primary consideration should be given to those swimmers winning or having a high percentage of medal performances.
IMSHOF Swimwear and Aids
To be considered for elevation to Honoree in the IMSHOF, the nominee must have generally complied with the swimwear rules of the body in control of each event listed in the nomination.
In organized competition conducted under the auspices of a recognized international or national body, the nominee must comply with both the relevant swimwear requirements and other performance regulations as required under that body’s rules. As an example for World Aquatics, wetsuits are required in elite races in lower temperatures,
For solo swims conducted under the auspices of the body governing that event, the nominee must comply with both the relevant swimwear requirements and other performance regulations as required under that body’s rules.
For other swims performed outside of known organizations, private, professional or cause-related, nominees must provide evidence of the swim through credible observers with clear details of a costume or any other practices out of the norm of traditional open solo swims.
Honor Organization, the Channel Swimming Association, had formal rules starting in the late 1920s. The early elite racing organizations also had formal rules from the late 1920s until World Aquatoics (previous FINA) took over. For solo swims in waters not governed by established organization - there were no formal rules and hence some variations to the "generally accepted" rules in place in 2023.
Several Honor Swimmers (in earlier years) completed swims in swimwear with aids and practices with substantial differences to 2023 "generally accepted" rules. A few examples include: Walter Poenisch (shark cage, flippers and allowed boat time); Otto Kemmerich (a kind of rubber suit); and Paolo Donaggio (flippers). IMSHOF have tried, for historic reasons to note these in their biographies. In some cases (example Lilian Harrison and John Sigmund - swimming in the 1930s and 1940s) the media reports typically don't go into theses kinds of details.
Honorees will live the values associated with the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame including commitment, integrity, courage, respect and excellence.
Drug Test Failure (adverse analytical findings, atypical finding, and other assorted anti-doping rule violations) by WADA or an authorized WADA body in any aquatics sport prevents a nominee from being selected and results in the removal of an honoree from the IMSHOF. This does not apply if the finding is overturned on appeal (reduction or removal of any punishment on appeal is not considered if the finding is not overturned). This can be a current test or a future test on an old sample.
Conviction of Sexual Assault on a Child (and all appeals exhausted) by a local court prevents a nominee from being selected and results in the removal of an honoree from the IMSHOF.
Fraud in an organized fashion to create false marathon records (example an organization altering observer logs or selling false marathon completion certificates) prevents a nominee from being selected and results in the removal of an honoree from the IMSHOF.
IMSHOF believes that the sport of marathon swimming should encourage safe participation by all interested swimmers and contributors. Individuals or Organizations which repeatedly engage in creating entry barriers or a non-welcoming environment based on disability; race; country of origin; sex or sexual orientation/preference do not meet our ethics criteria. IMSHOF continues to monitor this criteria and evolve it over time.
Unfortunately, the five specifics above may not be exhaustive in the future. The IMSHOF deplores any ethical violations that seriously diminish the reputation of the IMSHOF and the sport of open water swimming. Even a charge or suspicion of such an ethical violation may cause a nomination or announcement to be withdrawn.
For inductees, IMSHOF will generally wait for a determination by the courts (and appeals exhausted) before removal is considered. Where an individual has been removed from IMSHOF - there will be no references or individual pictures on this website.