IMSHOF holds first Awards dinner in since 2019

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The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) held its first live ceremony since the covid-19 pandemic on 7 May at the prestigious and beautifully situated Circolo Canottieri, in Naples.

The location was fitting as it is the finish point of the famous Capri to Naples swim, one of the most iconic on the international marathon swimming circuit and which started in 1954. The event itself was recognised as an Honor Organisation by IMSHOF in 2021.

IMSHOF strives to live up to the “International” part in its name by recognising and celebrating achievements in and contributions to marathon swimming by people and organisations around the world. In addition, it looks back through the history of the sport and makes posthumous awards. For example, this year, IMSHOF inducted Alick Wickham from the Solomon Islands as an Honor Coach.

Alick is considered to be the person who introduced front crawl to the western world in the early 1900s. In 1910 he set an unofficial world record for 50-yards freestyle. He was also a keen high diver, once diving from 62m into the Yarra River in Melbourne, and is credited with the development of body surfing.

A second posthumous award was made to Georges Michel from France who in 1926 was the ninth person to swim the English Channel, setting a record time that stood for 24 years. He made 10 attempts to cross the Channel before succeeding. He went on to race in two Canadian National Exhibition swims earning the equivalent of around $100,000 in today’s terms.

The full list of IMSHOF Inductees for the Class of 2022 is as follows:

  • Dr Caroline Block, Honor Swimmer, United States of America
  • Rachele Bruni, Honor Swimmer, Italy
  • Georges Michel, Honor Swimmer, France
  • Evan Morrison, Honor Administrator, United States of America
  • Sharon van Rouwendaal, Honor Swimmer, Netherlands
  • Serpentine Swimming Club, Honor Organisation, Great Britain
  • Ferry Weertman, Honor Swimmer, Netherlands
  • Alick Wickham, Honor Coach, Solomon Islands
  • Beth Yudovin, Honor Administrator, United States of America

Full details can be found on IMSHOF’s website.

Additionally, Elizabeth Fry was awarded the Irving Davids/Capain Roger W. Wheeler Award and Shelley Taylor-Smith received the Poseidon Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Steven Muñatones received the Dale Petranech Award.

IMSHOF was founded in 1971 and honours swimmers and contributors to marathon swimming going back more than 400 years. It is an affiliate organisation to the International Swimming Hall of Fame and is a “non-profit educational sports hall of fame devoted to marathon swimming.”

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View from Circolo Canottieri with Vesuvius on the left and Capri on the right.

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Issue 61 May 2022

  • New faces in open water swimming
  • Swimming for Ukraine
  • Explore: London, Copenhagen and Bristol & Bath
  • Yoga for swimmers
  • Understanding the pool clock
  • On Test: Entry-level wetsuits

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