International Swimming Hall of Fame Re-Announces 2021 Induction Class and Annual Ceremony

The event will be held Saturday, October 9, 2021 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

International Swimming Hall of Fame Announces

2021 Induction Class and Annual Ceremony

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) is proud to announce its prestigious Class of 2021.   This year ISHOF will induct thirteen honorees from seven countries; five swimmers, two coaches, one diver, one water polo player, one synchronized swimmer, one open water swimmer, and two contributors.  ISHOF Honoree and Sullivan Award Winner, Debbie Meyer, and double Olympic gold-medalist and everyone’s favorite Olympic swimming broadcaster, Rowdy Gaines will be co-emcees and hosts of the induction on Saturday, October 9, 2021 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

This year’s 2021 International Swimming Hall of Fame honorees include:

HONOR SWIMMERS:  Brendan Hansen (USA), Rebecca Soni (USA). Note: Michael Klim(AUS) Moved to 2022 (AUS) , Jon Sieben (AUS) (AUS) Moved to 2022, and Daichi Suzuki (JPN) (AUS) Moved to 2022

HONOR DIVER: Matthew Mitcham (AUS) Moved to 2022 (AUS)


HONOR WATER POLO: Mirko Vicevic (YUG) Moved to 2022

HONOR OPEN WATER SWIMMER: Marilyn Bell (CAN) Moved to 2022

HONOR COACH: David Marsh (USA) and Ursula Carlile Moved to 2022 (AUS)

HONOR CONTRIBUTORS: Bob Duenkel (USA) and Peter Hurzeler (SUI) Moved to 2022.

Honor Swimmers

Brendan Hansen is an American swimmer who specialized in the breaststroke events.  He is a six-time Olympic medalist and is a former world record-holder in both the 100m and 200m breaststroke events (long course).  Hansen competed in three Olympic Games, 2004, 2008 and 2012, where he brought home three gold, one silver and two bronze. More info here.

Rebecca Soni is an American swimmer and breaststroke specialist who is a six-time Olympic medalist. She is a former world record holder in the 100m breaststroke (short and long course) and the 200m breaststroke (short and long course) and was the first woman to swim the 200m breaststroke in under 2 minutes 20 seconds.  Soni has won a total of 22 medals in major international competition, 14 gold, seven silver, and one bronze spanning the Olympics, the World Championships, the Universiade Games, and the Pan Pacific Championships. More info here.

Note: The Following Have Been Moved to 2022 Due to Covid Travel Restrictions

Michael Klim is a Polish born Australian swimmer that competed in three Olympic Games, beginning in 1996, 2000, and 2004.  Klim specialized in the butterfly and sprint freestyle events.  In Olympic competition, he won two gold, three silver and one bronze.  Klim has broken nine world records in long course and four world records in short course events.  More info here.

Jon Sieben set a world record with a blistering 1:57.04 in the 200m butterfly, winning the event in a major upset of the 1984 Olympic Games.  Swimming as a NCAA swimmer, he competed for the University of Alabama under ISHOF Honor Coach, Don Gambril, while ISHOF Honor Coach, Laurie Lawrence was his coach at the Olympic Games. He competed in three Olympic Games, 1984, 1988 and 1992; the first time an Australian swimmer had competed in three games, since Dawn Fraser had done it in 1956, 1960 and 1964.  More info here

Daichi Suzuki, as a 17-year-old backstroker, became the first person to swim 25 meters under water at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. At about the same time, ISHOF Honor Swimmer, David Berkoff started experimenting with what became known as “the Berkoff Blastoff” in the USA. Fast forward to the preliminaries of the 1988 Olympic Games, Berkoff and Suzuki went head-to-head, with Berkoff staying five more meters underwater on the first lap than his opponent and winning by over a body length in WR time. The finals were a different story. Both surfaced at about 40 meters, with Berkoff having a half-body lead. On the final lap, Suzuki caught up and out-touched Berkoff for the gold medal, in what was considered a major upset of the ’88 Games. Suzuki retired immediately after the Seoul Olympics and has continued to be active at nearly all levels of the sport. More info here.

Honor Diver – Moved to 2022 Due to Covid Travel Restrictions

Matthew Mitcham is an Australian diver. He is the 2008 Olympic champion on the 10m platform, and notably received the highest single-dive score in Olympic history. He was the first Australian male to win an Olympic gold medal in diving since Dick Eve at the 1924 Summer Olympics. More info here.

Honor Water Polo Player –  Moved to 2022 Due to Covid Travel Restrictions

Mirko Vicevic is a Yugoslavian/Montenegrin water polo player who, during his era, won gold at every major event on the world stage: the Olympics, World Championships and FINA World Cup.  He won Olympic gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, gold at the 1986 and 1991 World Championships, and gold at the 1990 and 1991 FINA World Cup.  He won the LEN Trophy for the years 2002, 2003 and 2006 with his club Brixia, Best Sportsman of Municipality of Kotor in 1986, 88 & 89 and Best Sportsman in Montenegro in 1988. More info here.

Honor Synchronized Swimmer (Artistic Swimmer)

Elvira Khasyanova is a synchronized swimmer from Russia.  As a member of the Russian Senior national team from 1999 to 2011, Elvira participated in three Olympics, winning gold medals in the team competition in 2004, 2008 and 2012. She won World Championships in 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2011 in team and free combination along with European Championships in 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2010 in the same events. More info here.

Honor Open Water Swimmer – Moved to 2022 Due to Covid Travel Restrictions

As a 16-year old Canadian, Marilyn Bell’s 20-hour 59 minutes swim across Lake Ontario was covered by radio station broadcasts and special newspaper “extras” covering the swim.  As a result of the publicity, her landing was witnessed by a crowd of 300,000 people in Toronto. This young woman’s courage and achievement resulted in the Canadian Press naming her the Canadian Newsmaker of the Year in 1954. She went on to become the youngest person to swim the English Channel and later the Strait of Juan de Fuca off the Pacific coast where her women’s speed record held for more than 60 years! Marilyn Bell became a Canadian Hero, and the awards and recognition include induction into several Halls of Fame. More info here.

Honor Coaches

Note: Ursula has been moved to 2022 due to Travel Restrictions

For more than half a century, Ursula Carlile, teamed up with her husband, ISHOF Honor Coach, Forbes Carlile, to form swimming’s first internationally-prominent husband and wife coaching team.  Beginning in 1962-64, she and Forbes coached the Dutch National team where she was named the Dutch Olympic Co-Coach.  In 1972, Ursula became Australia’s first female Olympic swimming coach when she was selected as an assistant coach to ISHOF Honor Coach, Don Talbot, for the Munich Olympic Games. She served as an assistant to ISHOF Honoree, Terry Gathercole the next year at the World Championships, held in Cali, Colombia. More info here.

In 1974, she was selected as Australia’s first female Head Coach for the Commonwealth Games.   In yet another sterling accomplishment, during the 1970’s and ’80’s, she and Forbes coached five Olympians – all of them world record-holders: Karen Moras, ISHOF Honor Swimmer; Shane Gould, Jenny Turrall, ISHOF Honor Swimmer; Gail Neal and John Bennett.  A Life Member of the Australian Swimming Coaches and Teachers Association, Ursula Carlile lectures frequently around the world.

David Marsh
was the 2016 Head U.S. Olympic Women’s Swim Coach in Rio, leading Team USA to the most medals in USA Swimming’s already storied modern history.  Team USA dominated the Rio Olympics, with a final medal haul of eight gold, four silver and four bronze. Marsh placed more U.S. Olympians than any program in the country, six, all earning gold medals. Prior to founding Team Elite, Marsh was the men’s and women’s swimming coach at Auburn University, where he led the men’s team to seven NCAA national championships (1997, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007) and the women’s team to five national championships (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007). Marsh is the most successful coach at Auburn, regardless of sport.   Marsh has coached 49 Olympians from 19 different countries.  More info here.

Honor Contributors

Bob Duenkel’s greatest contribution to swimming was his 40+ years of dedication and service to the International Swimming Hall of Fame. As Buck Dawson’s assistant for many years, he absorbed the history of swimming like a sponge, not just from Dawson, but through the stories of ISHOF Honorees, Johnny Weissmuller, Eleanor Holm, Buster Crabbe, Esther Williams and many, many others. His knowledge of swimming history was encyclopedic.  He studied and knew all the small details of swimming and swimmers, from the ancient Greek swimmer Leander to the most recent inductee, every Olympiad, every event, every time and every stroke. Bob was ISHOF’s museum curator and presided over 40 years of its induction ceremonies. He was a wonderful ambassador to swimming.  There will never be another person more knowledgeable about every aspect of aquatics than Bob Duenkel.  Bob passed away in February 2019. More info here.

Note: Peter has been moved to 2022 due to Travel Restrictions

Peter Hurzeler is the master of Swiss’ timekeeping technology Omega. Since 1969, his organizational and creative skills have successfully delivered innovation, technology and Omega timekeeping to the Olympics.  Throughout the decades, Hurzeler and his team have invented and created virtually every timing system for every sport in both the summer and winter Olympic Games. What he has done in sports and technology in the Olympic movement no one else has ever achieved. More info here.

The Induction Weekend Schedule

Saturday, October 9, 2021

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

  • 11:30-12:30 pm Luncheon Followed By Tour

Official 56th Annual International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner

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

    Purchase Your Tickets 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

    NOTE: RESORT FEE IS INCLUDED in the $259 rate

    Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach

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

    Special ISHOF Guest Rate of $169 per night

    Honoree Ceremony October 9, 2021
    Start Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2021
    End Date: Tuesday, October 12, 2021
    Last Day to Book: Friday, September 15, 2021

    Book your group rate for Honoree Ceremony October 2021

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