2021 ISHOF Specialty Awards to be presented during its Honoree Induction Weekend, October 8-9, 2021


The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced today the recipients of the ISHOF Specialty Awards.  The ISHOF Specialty Awards are presented annually to individuals for outstanding contributions to aquatics.  This year’s awards will be presented on Friday evening October in conjunction with the Paragon Awards, and the 56th Annual ISHOF  Honoree & Masters (MISHOF) Weekend, October 8-9, 2021 at the International Swimming Hall of Fame, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.  Get ticket information now or call 570 594-4367.

This year’s ISHOF Specialty Award Recipients:

  • Jordan Whitney-Wei — Buck Dawson Author Award: Katharine Whitney Curtis – Mother of Synchronized Swimming
  • Russell Weaver—ISHOF Service Award
  • James S. O’Connor —Judge G. Harold Martin Award
  • Patricia Cirigliano—Virginia Hunt Newman Award
  • Julia Meno—John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award Sponsored by S.R. Smith
  • Wayne Goldsmith—Al Schoenfield Media Award Sponsored by Swimming World Magazine
  • Eddie Reese – 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Buck Dawson Author’s Award will be Jordan Whitney-Wei for his book, Katharine Whitney Curtis – The Mother of Synchronized Swimming.  This award is presented by ISHOF in the name of William “Buck” Dawson, ISHOF’s founding Executive Director, to an author of work that promotes and educates people about aquatics.

Jordan Whitney-Wei

2021 Paragon Award recipient Jordan Whitney-Wei

Jordan Whitney-Wei is the great-grandnephew of Katharine Whitney Curtis. His book, Katharine Whitney Curtis – Mother of Synchronized Swimming will be released on February 25, 2020.  His previous writing and research focused on philosophy and poetry, but this time, it focuses on family, synchronized swimming and his “Aunt Kate”, a woman ahead of her time.  This is Whitney-Wei’s third book and his first award.   Katharine “Kay” Curtis was the originator of synchronized swimming, as we know it today, she even wrote a book about it in 1936.  But there was much more to her life and career.  Unbound by fear, or the narrow expectations of society, this was a woman who lived ahead of her time making things happen along the way.  She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1979.  The book will be available on Amazon for purchase.

About Buck Dawson: Dawson was a veteran of WWII who served as assistant and publicist for Generals Gavin and Ridgeway in the 82nd Airborne. From the time he was chosen to lead ISHOF in 1962, until his death in 2008, Buck traveled the world armed with Hall of Fame brochures, books, and bumper stickers, always spreading the word, always willing to talk and teach swimming and swimming history to anyone who would listen. He wrote hundreds of articles and was the author of eight books, ranging in subjects from bathing beauties to war, but especially swimming.

Russell Weaver — 2021 International Swimming Hall of Fame Service Award

The Staff of the International Swimming Hall of Fame are pleased to announce that Russell Weaver will receive the 2021 ISHOF Service Award.  The ISHOF Service Award is given 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.

Russell Weaver

2021 Paragon Award recipient Russell Weaver

Russell Weaver has easily given over 25 years of his time, connections, and resources to ISHOF.  He is involved extensively with business networks throughout South Florida.  When he attends these meetings and events, he always has in his mind, “Can this help ISHOF in any way?”  As president of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Sisters Cities International and co-chair of Tower Club Internationals, Weaver works closely together with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Broward County, and the City of Fort Lauderdale to promote Broward County’s business and cultural highlights to the Miami based Consulates and binational chamber of commerce organizations.   During these international monthly meetings, new business and government relationships are established, highlighting Fort Lauderdale and Broward County as a world class destination.   As always, Weaver remembers ISHOF and always gives us the opportunity   to showcase our Honorees at some of these events and educate the international local community and others, about what our museum has to offer.

James S. O’Connor — 2021 Judge G. Harold Martin Award

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Judge G. Harold Martin Award is James (Jim) O’Connor.  The G. Harold Martin Award is presented to someone for their long and exceptional leadership, insight, and dedication to the water safety of children and the cause of making “Every Child A Swimmer”.


2021 Paragon Award recipient James S. O’Conor

Jim O’Connor has more than 40 years-experience as an aquatic professional and is committed to the prevention of aquatic accidents and teaching children to swim.  O’Connor is the Aquatics Program Manager for Miami-Dade County Parks and Recreation Open Spaces Department, the third largest parks and recreation department in the United States and the largest municipal learn to swim provider in the state.

Mr. O’Connor has held numerous aquatic positions, served on the “Advisory Council” of the “National Drowning Prevention Alliance”, has been an adjunct professor at the University of Miami, Aquatics Coordinator for the American Red Cross Greater Miami and Keys Chapter, and was the Aquatic Director and Head Swim Coach at the University of Oregon.

About G. Harold Martin: Back in 1908, G. Harold Martin almost drowned in the Ohio River. Over the next two decades he almost drowned two more times. From these experiences evolved a mission to make “Every Child A Swimmer.” His civic involvement led to the building of Fort Lauderdale, Florida’s first municipal pool in 1927, Kiwanian sponsored free swim lessons at the pool, and eventually the decision by ISHOF to locate in Fort Lauderdale. An active Kiwanian his entire adult life, he was instrumental in making the Key Club an integral club within Kiwanis International and the adoption of Every Child A Swimmer as a Kiwanian project.

Patricia Cirigliano — 2021 Virginia Hunt Newman International Award

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that Patricia Cirigliano will be the 2020 recipient of the Virginia Hunt Newman International Award.

This award annually recognizes outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of infant and young child swimming instruction in the name of the “Mother of Infant Swimming,” Virginia Hunt Newman.

Dr. Patricia Cirigliano

2020 Paragon Award recipient Dr. Patricia Cirigliano

Dr. Patricia Cirigliano started the first Argentine swimming school for babies in 1960, together with her holistic method, Matronatacion®, which is a creative and original approach to aquatic initiation for babies that involves human integrity and respect for the child and the family. To present, 17,000 babies, toddlers and young children beginning at 15 days old have learned to swim and have enjoyed the Matronatacion® method at Cirigliano’s school, whose motto is “Swimming is learnt by playing”.  They are at the very core of learning. The Method distinctive characteristics are freedom, game, active mother role, intelligent learning according to child maturity development, without conditioned response and didactical use of toys and materials.

Dr. Cirigliano is member of a great number of associations such as: International Physical Education Federation and Panathlon Club in Buenos Aires and the National Swimming Schools Association in U.S.A.  As from 1991, she has been an active member of the Argentine Pediatrics Association.

Julia Meno — 2021 John K. Williams, Jr. Adapted Aquatics Award

The Adapted Aquatics Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that Julia Meno will receive the 2021 John K. Williams, Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award. The annual award, honoring individuals or organizations who have made significant and substantial contributions to the field of adaptive aquatics, is presented by S.R. Smith, a world-leading manufacturer of commercial and residential swimming pool deck equipment headquartered in Canby, Oregon.


Julia Meno, CTRS, ATRIC, CMT, is the founder and owner of Therapeutic Aquatics, LLC. and is an internationally known presenter and instructor on aquatic therapy and wellness. She currently instructs group wellness classes and provides individual aquatic therapy sessions. She is the author of several instructional aquatic therapy technique manuals & DVD’s. She was the recipient of the ATRI International Tsunami Spirit Award (2005) and The Aquatic Therapy Professional Award (2012).

Julia Meno

2021 Paragon Award recipient Julia Meno

Wayne Goldsmith — 2021 Al Schoenfield Media Award

The Awards and Recognition Committee of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the recipient of the 2020 Al Schoenfield Media Award will be Wayne Goldsmith for outstanding contributions to the promotion of aquatic sports through journalism.  This award is presented by ISHOF in memory of Al Schoenfield.


2021 Al Schoenfield Award recipient Wayne Goldsmith

Wayne Goldsmith has been a thought-provoking leader and influencer in the swim industry for more than 25 years.  As a regular contributor to Swimming World Magazine, his “Goldmind” articles discuss goal setting, visualization, and team building concepts.  He has worked directly with many of the world’s leading coaches, athletes, teams and sporting organizations in over 30 different countries.  Wayne is a recognized global expert in coaching, coach education, and coach development for peak performance.  His lessons in leadership, team development, change acceleration and continuous improvement provide swim coaches with quality, credible, engaging information via articles, videos, podcasts, seminars, clinics, and talks.

Al Schoenfield was the Editor and Publisher of Swimming World Magazine (1960-1977) and served on various international committees of swimming, including the FINA Technical Swimming Committee (1980-1984).  Schoenfield’s life was a commitment to swimming and he participated in its administrative structure and spread its stories through his magazines and promotions.  Al died in 2005, but his legacy will forever endure to all who have benefited from his lifetime of service to swimming.

Eddie Reese — 2021 ISHOF Lifetime Achievement Award


Photo Courtesy: Swimming World Magazine

The ISHOF Lifetime Achievement Award is only giving when ISHOF deems someone worthy.  The award has only been given out four other times in ISHOF’s 56 year history.   The ISHOF Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the lifetime dedication and achievements from someone in the swimming/aquatics community.

Coach Reese is the perfect selection for this award, particularly after his record breaking NCAA DI Championships win in 2021. Coach Reese had just won his un-precedented 15th National Championship at the University of Texas.  After flirting with the idea of retirement,  Reese decided there was still more he wanted to achieve with his group of guys.  His decision to continue coaching will just add to lifetime achievements and enhance this award.

Reese will begin the 2021-2022 season, which will be his 44th as the Longhorns’ head coach.  The school will be seeking back-to-back national championships after earning a 27-point victory over California in March. Texas won the championship despite winning no individual swimming events at the meet and just two events overall, the 800 free relay and 1-meter diving.

Reese has won more NCAA team championships than any other swim coach, with wins in 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021. Reese has coached 22 Olympic gold medalists and been the head coach of the U.S. men’s Olympic team in 1992, 2004 and 2008. He was an assistant coach on the U.S. Olympic team in 1996, 2000 and 2012. Three swimmers under his current tutelage qualified for the 2021 U.S. Olympic team, including Townley HaasDrew Kibler and Gunnar Bentz, while three others missed the team by one spot.

In addition, this year, former Texas Longhorn, Brendan Hansen will be inducted as an 2021 Honor Swimmer on Saturday night, October 9, 20021 and will be inducted by his coach, the one and only, Eddie Reese.

Additional Awards During 56th Annual Hall of Fame Honoree Weekend

2021 Paragon Awards

Pentair Logo
“For more than 20 years now, Pentair has been honored to be associated with the International Swimming Hall of Fame in recognizing leaders in the aquatic industry who play a prominent role in the promotion of aquatics with the Paragon Awards”, said Jim Drozdowski, Institutional Aquatics Sales Manager for Pentair Aquatic Systems.

“The annual Paragon Awards is a spectacular event that celebrates the unsung heroes who make competitive and recreational aquatics possible.  These are the people who save lives, promote water safety, and further aquatic education around the world.  We are so proud to recognize these important people at the International Swimming Hall of Fame through the sponsorship of Pentair every year,” said ISHOF President/CEO Brent Rutemiller.

2020 Paragon Award Recipients:

Competitive Swimming:  Teri McKeever
Water Polo:  Lynn Comer Kachmarik
Competitive Diving: Dave Burgering
Artistic Swimming: Betty Hazle
Aquatic Safety: Linda Quan,M.D.
Recreational Swimming:  Florence Werner


The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) museum opened its doors to the public in December of 1968 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That same year, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) – the governing body for Olympic aquatic sports – designated the ISHOF museum as the “Official Repository for Aquatic History”.   In 2018, Sports Publications Inc, publisher of Swimming World Magazine and its multi-media platforms, merged with ISHOF to expand the museum’s reach and impact.  Today, ISHOF’s vision is to be the global focal point for recording and sharing the history of aquatics, promoting swimming as an essential life-skill, and developing educational programs and events related to water sports.  Show your support for the sport of swimming by becoming a member of ISHOF.

About the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) & Masters (MISHOF) Induction Weekend:

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) & Masters Induction Ceremony is shaping up to be a star-studded weekend with ISHOF Honoree and Sullivan Award Winner, Debbie Meyer, and double Olympic gold-medalist and everyone’s favorite Olympic swimming broadcaster, Rowdy Gaines acting as co-emcees and hosts of the induction with multiple events spread out over two days in beautiful Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Make your plans now to attend the weekend of October 8-9, 2021!  ISHOF Members can purchase the Complete Weekend Package (see below) and save! (Get info on membership here.) Can’t attend the event? Donate to ISHOF to support our honorees.

This year’s International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Honorees include:

HONOR SWIMMERSBrendan Hansen (USA)Michael Klim (AUS), Jon Sieben (AUS)Rebecca Soni (USA), and Daichi Suzuki (JPN)

HONOR DIVER: Matthew Mitcham (AUS)




HONOR COACH: Ursula Carlile (AUS) and David Marsh (USA)

HONOR CONTRIBUTOR: Bob Duenkel*(USA) and Peter Hürzeler (SUI)

This year’s (MISHOF) Master’s International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) Honorees include:

HONOR SWIMMERS: Edith Bohm (GER), Olga Kokorina (RUS), Clay Britt (USA), Shigehisha Sekikawa (JPN)

HONOR DIVER: David Cotton (USA)



HONOR COACH: Kerry O’Brien (USA)



The ISHOF & MISHOF Induction Weekend Schedule

Friday, October 8, 2021

Paragon & ISHOF Awards Night

  • 5:30 pm Cocktails
  • 6:30 pm ISHOF and Paragon Awards

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Honoree Induction Day Luncheon – Meet Rowdy Gaines and go on a behind the scenes tour of the Aquatic Complex construction

  • 12-1:30 pm Luncheon

Official 56th Annual International Swimming Hall of Fame & Masters (MISHOF) Induction Ceremony and Dinner

  • 5:30 pm VIP Reception
  • 6:30 –10:00 pm Induction Ceremony & Dinner

Ticket Information

*See all ticket options here.



Host Hotel: Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa

Upscale retreat with private beach access, two pools, four restaurants, full service spa and oceanside bar. Location of the Saturday evening induction ceremony. ¼ mile south of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

3030 Holiday Drive, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 (954) 525-4000

Special ISHOF Guest Rate of $259 per night

Book your group rate for International Swimming Hall of Fame



Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach

440 Seabreeze Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 (954) 524-8733

Special ISHOF Guest Rate of $169 per night

Book your hotel through the group rate for ISHOF Honoree Ceremony

Questions: contact Meg Keller-Marvin at meg@ishof.org or 570-594-4367

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