ISHOF Announces the Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame Class of 2021

Hall of fame drive
This group of nine will be inducted on Saturday evening, October 9, 2021 at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach and Resort

The Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame (MISHOF) is proud to announce the 2021 class of Honorees.  This group of nine (9) outstanding individuals will be inducted on Saturday evening, October 9, 2021 at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach and Resort in conjunction with the 2021 ISHOF Honoree Induction Ceremony weekend

The prestigious MISHOF class of 2021 includes four swimmers, one diver, one synchronized (artistic) swimmer, one water polo player, one contributor, and one coach, from five (5) different countries.  The countries include USA, Russia, Germany, Puerto Rico and Japan.  Click here to learn more about the 2021 ISHOF weekend     Book your hotel now 

NEW MASTERS INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME SWIMMERS:

FEMALE SWIMMERS:

EDITH BÖHM (GER)

Since 1986, Edith Bohm has been in the Top Ten 22 times until 2008 when she competed in her last swim meet in Bavaria. She set 15 long course and 13 short course FINA Masters World Records in the breaststroke, one of them lasting seven years. Bohm has competed in seven FINA Masters World Championships between 1986 and 2004 winning a total of 29 medals, 18 of them gold. 

She is now 94 years old and lives in Munich where she still trains twice a week. She is also still actively involved in coaching handicapped children.

OLGA KOKORINA (RUS) 

Russia’s Olga Kokorina, born November 1st, 1923, has been a swimmer her entire life but did not start swimming Masters until 1998, when she was already 75 years old. She broke world records in almost every competition she entered. She then decided to risk it all and flew to the USA using all her money to take part in the World Masters Games in Portland, Oregon where she won three gold medals and established a world record in the 100m breaststroke. The next year at the European Championship in Innsbruck she broke two world records and won two golds.

Her last recorded races were in 2015 where she swam in the 90-94 age group at the Russian Masters cup. In her 17 years in Masters swimming she broke 34 world records and won more than 50 gold medals. 

MALE SWIMMERS:

CLAY BRITT (USA)

Clay Britt has been swimming competitively for 54 straight years. He has 23 FINA Masters World Records to his name and has competed in seven age groups. He has been in the Top Ten every year for a total of 30 times, between the years 1988 through 2018.

After a successful swimming career at the University of Texas,  Britt joined a Masters team in Dallas and travelled to Australia in 1988 to compete at the World Masters Championships.  He broke his first world record in 1989 in the 50m backstroke. 

Shortly after Australia, he moved to the Washington DC area and immediately joined a local Masters team. There he met a core group of friends that he still trains and travels with to this day.  He expanded his passion to coaching and found himself heading up a local team called the Montgomery Ancient Mariners. He has now been involved with the team for nearly 30 years. 

The last five years have been more about exercise and stress reduction than training to break records, although he does try to get one meet in a year.

SHIGEHISA SEKIKAWA (JPN)

Since 1991, Shigehisa Sekikawa has been in the Top Ten world rankings 24 times.  He has set 14 long course and 17 short course FINA backstroke Masters World Records. His 1998 200m backstroke short course world record in the 65 to 70 age group stood for 7 years. In world rankings since 1991, he has 16- number 1, 26- number 2 and 7- number 3 long course and 18- number 1, 25- number 2 and 4- number 3 short course for a total of 34- number 1, 51- number 2 and 11- number 3 total world rankings in the backstroke. He has not competed in any FINA Masters World Championships he accumulated his points by swimming world records and world rankings.  He last competed in 2015

NEW MASTERS INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME DIVERS:

DAVID COTTON (USA)

David Cotton has competed in USA Masters Nationals since 1992, has competed in the Pan Am Masters, the Masters World Games and eight FINA World Championships, winning 26 World Championship medals:  11 gold, 12 silver and three bronzes.  He has set two world records.  

He has served as a judge for USA Senior Diving Nationals, NCAA events, and is a FINA judge.

Cotton has come back to diving after open heart surgery, and multiple shoulder surgeries.  He “reinvented” himself, learning an all feet-first platform list so he could still compete. He also converted his 3-meter list to mostly feet first dives.  

NEW MASTERS INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMERS:

BIRTE HOHLSTEIN – JANSSEN (GER)

Birte Hohlstein-Janssen and her sister, Silke, were experienced national level synchronized swimmers who new nothing about the Masters level of the sport until Silke was in a terrible car accident in 1992.  Her sister was in a coma for a week and was told she would never walk again. Silke fell into a deep depression and thought that she would have nothing to live for without synchronized (artistic) swimming.  Birte did some research, came to the hospital and informed her about something called Masters Swimming. Birte told Silke about the upcoming Masters World Championships in 1994 in Montreal, Canada. She gave Silke a goal and a reason to get out of bed, a reason to fight and to get back in the pool. Birte and Silke travelled to Montreal in 1994 and became the gold medalists in the duet competition in the 25-29 age group! That was the start of their second synchronized swimming career. 

Since then, they have been loyal Masters synchronized swimmers. Birte has attended 11 FINA Masters World Championships since 1994 and has won at least one gold or silver medal in 10 of the 11 meets. This success comes despite being hampered by the fact that there is no Masters team in her region. So she and Silke have been limited to only doing solo and duet, except when they briefly joined a team based in Berlin. This brought them the gold medal in team, as well as duet, at the 1998 FINA Worlds in Casablanca, Morocco.

Birte has seemed to be in the shadow of her older sister but has achieved much on her own because she is the more talkative and outgoing of the sisters. She is always willing to help anyone who needed coaching assistance, no matter what country they may be from, even if they are in direct competition with her and Silke. Her always positive attitude and ready smile have gained her many friends throughout the world.

Silke went on to be inducted into MISHOF in 2017.  Now it is Birte’s turn.

NEW MASTERS INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME WATER POLO PLAYER:

GUENTER WOLF (GER)

Günter Wolf (born September 27, 1949) was an active water polo player from 1962 to 1978, a five-time German National Champion with a team called SV 05 Würzburg. Wolf played 131 matches for the German National Team between 1969 and 1976 and took part in the 1972 (4th) and 1976 (6th)  Olympic Games

From 1983 to 1998 he coached the Water Polo “Bundesligamannschaft” SV 05 Würzburg.

From 2000 until now he has been involved with Masters Water Polo. With his team SC Duesseldorf, he has participated in eight FINA Masters World Championships, winning five gold, two silver and one bronze. 

In the LEN European Championships his team won three gold and two silver and more than 30 German National Championships.

NEW MASTERS INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME CONTRIBUTOR:

ROSE CODY (PUR) Masters Artistic Swimming Contributor

Rose Cody is one of the most influential people in Masters Artistic (Synchronized) Swimming. She became a member of the FINA Masters Committee in 1994 and remained on the committee until 2017. During this time she served as the Synchronized Swimming Director at every FINA Masters World Championships from 1994 through 2017. 

Cody put synchronized swimming on the map in Puerto Rico in 1976, after having seen it for the first time in the Pan American Games in Mexico City in 1975. By 1977, Puerto Rico was participating in regional competition.

She was a FINA judge from 1976 to 2004 when mandatory age requirements caused her retirement. She has been a referee, judge and administrator at all events from grassroots to CCCAN, CISC and CAC (Central American and Caribbean Games). She has conducted clinics in over 18 countries throughout Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Rose can be called the “Mother of Synchronized Swimming in Puerto Rico” as she has the distinction of introducing Synchronized Swimming in her country and helped to develop the sport there and around the region. 

NEW MASTERS INTERNATIONAL SWIMMING HALL OF FAME COACH:

KERRY O’BRIEN (USA) – Masters Swimming Coach Contributor

Kerry O’Brien’s engagement and commitment to swimming has been a lifelong endeavor.  His participation in U.S. Masters Swimming has resulted in significant enhanced member benefits such as increased skill development, participation and overall enjoyment.  Kerry’s contributions and service to U.S. Masters have focused on all facets of coaching. His 40-year tenure leading Walnut Creek Masters defines his is a legacy of service and giving back to the sport.

Among his many accomplishments, Kerry received the USMS Coach of the Year award in 1987.  In collaboration with Jim Miller, MISHOF inductee 2019, Kerry created the Masters Coaching Curriculum for the American Swim Coaches Association. He has been a regular participant in USMS’s mentor/mentee program for coaches and also serves as a mentor to other coaches across the country. Under his leadership, Walnut Creek Masters conducted an annual Intensive Training Camp for over 30 years, it attracted 45-50 Masters Swimmers from around the world and became the model for the USMS Intensive Training Clinics. Kerry is in demand at clinics throughout the country.


About Masters International Swimming Hall of Fame (MISHOF)

The purpose of the MISHOF is to promote a healthy lifestyle, lifelong fitness, and participation in adult aquatic programs. MISHOF recognizes the achievements of individuals who have participated in Masters programs through at least four different masters age groups.  Most must pre-qualify by an objective point system based on world records performances, 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:  www.ishof.org

About International Swimming Hall of Fame (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.  It was first recognized by FINA, the International Olympic Committee’s recognized governing body for the aquatic sports, in 1968.  ISHOF’s mission is to collaborate with aquatic organizations worldwide to preserve, educate and celebrate the history of aquatic sports while promoting Every Child A Swimmer.

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

14 comments

  1. avatar
    Patty Landers

    I could not be happier or more excited about Kerry O’Brien’s induction in to the Hall of Fame! He is not only an amazing coach, he is also one of the most giving, supportive, committed, and kind human beings to ever grace this world.
    Way to give recognition to a VERY deserving individual!!!

    • avatar
      Sidney Dowell

      Yes yes yes. Kerry has been such a gift and inspiration. Deserving of this recognition over and over again

      • avatar
        Kerry O'Brien

        Thank you Sid for your years of friendship and service to The CREEK! Part of the “many hands” philosophy that made WCM so special!
        Kerry

    • avatar
      Kerry O'Brien

      Patty, I am so grateful for all the years of friendship and support that you sent my way. A lot of good water under The CREEK 🙂

  2. avatar
    pat robak

    This is absolutely brilliant and special and couldn’t go to a more deserving coach. Thank you Kerry for all you have taught me, my family and friends – always with a smile and sense of humor.
    pat robak

    • avatar
      Kerry O'Brien

      Way to kind, Pat. A complete joy to have the opportunity to work with you. You’re cut from great Creeker stock!
      Miss you.
      Kerry

  3. avatar
    Javier guevara

    So happy and proud to know and say…Kerry is a personal friend to me and our family. He graciously wanted to help our son who had an accident and , of course, my son was able to swim again. Great person!
    Jav

    • avatar
      Kerry O'Brien

      Thank you so much Jav! What a wonderful journey, and all aspects and all stops along my coaching career combined to get me to this moment.
      God is good!

  4. avatar
    Paul Lamothe

    I haven’t heard about Kerry since his days in Junior College at Diablo Valley. Kerry hails from a wonderful father and mother, as well as two outstanding brothers and a sister. All were absolutely wonderful people. His father, Bob, was an exceptional athlete and he was a mentor to me in my college years. Congratulations Kerry!!

  5. avatar
    Bob Justice

    Many congratulations to Dave Cotton for finally being recognized for all the time he has spent in diving and coaching. At one time he was coaching 4 of the 9 teams in our local high school conference. I was fortunate enough to have been his coach at our area’s community college back in ‘72. Since then we have become friends, which I consider a real privilege. Bob

  6. avatar
    Frank Piruzmand

    kerry,
    Congratulations! This is great news. I am happy that I have been a member of WCM and having you as a coach for all these years.

    • avatar
      Kerry O'Brien

      Thank you frank. it means a greta deal!
      Kerry

  7. avatar
    Gary

    Congratulations Kerry ! I did not swim for The Creek but I always looked forward to chatting with you at every meet.You were always supportive of EVERY swimmer and wished us well in our events !Thank you for all your contributions to Masters swimming. A well deserved honor. Gary Brenner

    • avatar
      Kerry O'Brien

      Gary, Big Thanks for the shout out! I like to think that me “swimming family” extends past WCM and looks just as good in colors other than purple 🙂
      All the best

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