FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., January 29. THE Class of 2005 — the third class of Masters aquatic greats who will be inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) — was announced today by Dr. Sam Freas, President of the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) in Fort Lauderdale.
The IMSHOF is an independent wing of the nearly 40 year-old International Swimming Hall of Fame.
The nine Masters aquatic greats selected for induction next January include six swimmers, two divers and a writer/contributor.
Masters swimming, which was founded by Dr. Ransom Arthur in 1970 as a means to promote vigorous lifelong health and fitness, has mushroomed into one of the world’s largest participatory sports, with hundreds of thousands of athletes ranging in age from 25 to more than one hundred.
“Masters swimming is literally tearing down our notions of what is possible at age 40, 50, 60, even 90 and 100,” said Dr. Freas. “The men and women whose names we announced today are at the forefront of this social revolution.”
To qualify for consideration for IMSHOF, Masters swimmers must have been dominant for at least 15 years and in at least four five-year age groups. Athletes in other aquatic disciplines and contributors must have comparable achievements to their credit.
The following is a brief summary of the achievements of the 2005 honorees, the third class to be inducted into the Hall:
FLORA CONNOLLY (Great Britain). Since 1986, she has competed in five age groups: (45-49 through 65-69) and set 64 Masters world records, primarily in butterfly, breaststroke and individual medley.
BURWELL JONES (USA). A member of the 1952 U.S. Olympic team, Dr. Burwell “Bumpy” Jones began competing in Masters at the very beginning, in 1972, starting in the 35-39 age group. He has competed in five age groups, setting 29 Masters world records in freestyle, backstroke and I.M. events.
BETSY JORDAN (USA). Known primarily as a backstroker, Betsy has been in Masters swimming since its inception more than 30 years ago, setting 38 Masters world records – 31 in the backstroke.
SANDY NEILSON-BELL (USA). As Sandy Neilson in 1972, Sandy won three Olympic gold medals in Munich: the 100 m freestyle and both relays. As Sandy Neilson-Bell, she has accumulated 43 Masters world records in freestyle, I.M. and sprint butterfly.
RICHARD REINSTADLER (Germany). At 92 the oldest of the 2005 selectees, Richard has competed in four age groups (75-79 through 90-94) during a 17-year Masters career. During that time he has set 43 Masters world records, mostly in freestyle and backstroke.
RICHARD TOD SPIEKER (USA). During Tod Spieker’s Masters swimming career, which began in 1977, he has set 20 Masters world records in distance freestyle, backstroke and I.M.
The remaining three selectees:
JOHN DEININGER (USA). A founding member of U.S. Masters Diving in 1974 and President from 1994-2000, John has been both a professional high diver and entertainer as well as a diving coach for over 40 years. As a competitor, he has won over 30 Masters World Diving championships.
WILLIAM McALISTER (USA). A successful diving coach, Bill McAlister competed in seven age groups for Masters Diving beginning in 1973 with the 60-64 group. Sometimes regarded as the "Father of Masters Diving", he was instrumental in organizing Masters Diving in 1973. During his Masters career he won a total of 10 Masters world titles on the 1m, 3m and 10m platform. Bill died in January, 2000 at the age of 89.
PHILLIP WHITTEN (USA) – The first "Contributor" selected to the IMSHOF, he is the Editor-in-Chief of SWIM, Swimming World and Swimming Technique magazines and the SwimInfo website. The author of 18 books and over 300 major articles on on swimming and other topics, he is one of world’s leading advocates for swimming at all levels.
The first “Contributor” selected to the Masters Hall of Fame, Dr. Phil Whitten has been, since 1992, the editor-in-chief of the USA’s three leading swimming magazines, which are read worldwide. He also serves as editor and chief writer for the world’s #1 web site, SwimInfo.com. His best-selling Complete Book of Swimming is one of the leading authorities on swimming, fitness and health. As editor of Swim Magazine, he constantly writes about Masters athletes and achievements, promoting the Masters movement worldwide.