Brazilian Water Polo Player Joao “Pepito” Meirelles To Be Inducted Into the Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame

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The International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) is proud to announce that Joao “Pepito” Meirelles, will be inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2019 during the MISHOF Induction ceremony in St. Louis, MO, on Friday evening, September 13, 2019, to be held in conjunction with the United States Aquatic Sports convention.  The MISHOF Induction Ceremony is open to the public and free of charge, so come join ISHOF in honoring Joao “Pepito” Meirelles.

 

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2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest; Photo Courtesy: Joao Meirelles

About Joao “Pepito” Meirelles

Joao Meirelles, better known as Pepito, was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1964.  He began playing water polo in his early teens. As a member of the Brazilian National team, he won bronze medals at the 1987 and 1991 Pan American Games.

In 1994, at the age of 31, Pepito, as he is known, decided to start playing Masters Water Polo. He still had the athletic ability and Masters was the perfect sport for him at this point in his life. Although Masters tournaments were already organized and well established in the USA and in some European countries, Brazil had no history of it, prior to 1995.  Meirelles decided to bring organized Masters water polo to Brazil.  He was one of the founders of the AMPA (Associacao Master de Polo Aquatico), which helped to organize the game in Brazil.

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1991 Pan Am Games Bronze Medal celebration with Fidel Castro in Havana, Cuba; Photo Courtesy: Joao Meirelles

As a Masters player, Pepito competes as a member of the “Masters Old Fellows” team and has competed in 10 FINA World Championships, during the years, 1996 to 2019.  Their best showing was a silver medal in the 40+ age group at the 2006 FINA Masters World Championships.  They have won 3 bronze medals in total, one in 2000 in Munich in the 30+ age group, the second in Christchurch in the 35+ age group, and the final in Perth, in the 40+ age group.  They also have two fourth places under their belt, one in 2004, in the 40+ and the other in more recently in 2017 in the 50+.

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Joao, 19 years old, during military service; Photo Courtesy: Joao Meirelles

 

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1986 CSLA water polo team; Photo Courtesy: Joao Meirelles

Meirelles will be inducted as part of a group of nine (9) outstanding individuals that will be inducted at MISHOF’s annual ceremony. The event will be held at the Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch in conjunction with the 2019 United States Aquatic Sports Convention.

MISHOF Induction Class of 2019

The prestigious MISHOF class of 2019 includes five swimmers, one diver, one synchronized swimmer, one water polo player and one contributor, from five (5) different countries: the USA, Canada, Lithuania, Brazil and Japan:

SWIMMER INDUCTEES:

CAROLINE KRATTLI (USA)

SATOKO TAKEUJI (JPN)

RICK COLELLA (USA)

ROWDY GAINES (USA)

WILLARD LAMB (USA)

DIVER INDUCTEE:

ASTA GIRDAUSKIENE (LIT)

SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMER INDUCTEE:

MARJORIE ANDERSON (CAN)

WATER POLO PLAYER INDUCTEE:

JOAO “PEPITO” MEIRELLES (BRA)

CONTRIBUTOR INDUCTEE:

JIM MILLER (USA)

 

Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame

View all inductees in the Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Get more information about nominating a candidate for the 2020 MISHOF Induction class.

About MISHOF

The purpose of the MISHOF is to promote a healthy lifestyle, lifelong fitness and participation in adult aquatic programs by recognizing the achievements of individuals who serve as an example for others. To be considered, honorees must have participated in Masters programs through at least four different masters age groups and are qualified by an objective point system based on world records, world top 10 rankings and World Championship performances. The MISHOF is a division of the International Swimming Hall of Fame, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, please visit ISHOF website.

About ISHOF

The International Swimming Hall of Fame, Inc. (ISHOF), established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. Recognized by FINA, the International Olympic Committee’s recognized governing body for the aquatic sports in 1968, its mission is to preserve the history of swimming, celebrate the heroes, promote the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all children and adults, and connect older generations of swimmers to youth.

For more information, call Meg-Keller-Marvin at 570 594-4367 or e-mail:meg@ishof.org

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