CORK, Ireland, February 25. FROM Florida to California, from the United Nations to the Queen Mary, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and World Open Water Swimming Association has held its ceremonies in various locations from the West Coast to the East Coast in the U.S.
For the first time in its history since 1961, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame will take its induction ceremony outside the United States.
"The luminaries in the sport of open water swimming will be celebrated and honored by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in Ireland this year," explains Chief Administrator and Vice President Steven Munatones.
"From Captain Matthew Webb to Lynne Cox, from Gertrude Ederle to Kevin Murphy, from Annette Kellerman to Maarten van der Weijden, the honourees come from all walks of life and 36 countries including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Fiji, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USA and Yugoslavia.
The honourees include swimmers, pilots, administrators, inventors, writers and organizations. They all possess the common threads of a deep passion for, and a sustained excellence in, the open water. These humble ambassadors of the sport will be celebrated in Cork, Ireland. This year, we look forward to expanding the Hall of Fame's global footprint with the leadership of Oswald Schmidt and Paschal Horgan of the Cork Lions Club. With so much positivity and passion on the open water swimming front emerging in Ireland, from ice swimming to channel crossings, it makes total sense to have Cork as the center of the open water swimming world in October."
This year on Oct. 11-13, the Board of Directors and the membership of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and the World Open Water Swimming Association look forward to honoring the following individuals in the open water swimming hotbed of Cork:
* Lewis Pugh (South Africa): Honour Swimmer, one of the greatest cold water swimmers of all time
* Melissa Cunningham (Australia): Honour Swimmer, world 25 km champion and announcer of the 2008 Beijing Olympics marathon swim
* Nick Adams (Great Britain): Honour Swimmer, President of the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation and one of the world's best contemporary English Channel swimmers
* Ned Denison (Ireland): Recipient of the Irving Davids-Captain Roger Wheeler Memorial Award for promotion of the sport of open water swimming
* Dennis Miller (Fiji): Honour Administrator, FINA Liaison for Open Water Swimming, and one of the architects of the Olympic 10K Marathon Swim
* Don Watson (USA): Honour Administrator, coach of some of the greatest and most successful professional marathon swimmers of all time
* Midmar Mile (South Africa): Honour Organisation and the world's largest open water swim
* Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation (Great Britain): Honour Organisation and the largest channel swimming governing body in the world
* Indonesian Swimming Federation (Indonesia): recipient of a Certificate of Merit for organizing a professionally run Asian Open Water Swimming Championships
* Rose Pitonof (USA): Honour Pioneer Swimmer, one of the pioneers of marathon swimming in the early 20th century
* Mercedes Gleitze (Great Britain): Famed marathon swimmer and International Swimming Hall of Fame finalist for Honor Swimmer
* Dale Petranech (USA): International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honorary Secretary and International Swimming Hall of Fame finalist for Honor Administrator
* David Yudovin (USA): International Swimming Hall of Fame finalist for Honor Swimmer and one of the most prolific marathon swimmers in history
In collaboration with the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, the following World Open Water Swimming Association will recognize the recipients of its 2012 WOWSA Awards:
* Annaleise Carr (Canada): 2012 World Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year (for her solo swim across Lake Ontario)
* Stephen Redmond (Ireland): 2012 World Open Water Swimming Man of the Year (for his unprecedented achievement of the Oceans Seven)
* SWIM Channel (Brazil): 2012 World Open Water Swimming Offering of the Year (for publication of an outstanding monthly magazine)
* Juan Ignacio Martenez Fernandez-Villamil (Spain): 2012 World Open Water Swimming Performance of the Year (for 55 years of organizing the Descenso a Nado de la Ria de Navia)
"We look forward to celebrating these luminaries of the sport in Cork and bringing together passionate open water swimmers from around the world to Ireland," said Schmidt. "We are also going a number of exciting experts in a variety of fields speaking including Professor Tom Doyle of University College Cork who is an expert on jellyfish."