Marcy MacDonald Joins ISHOF’s One in a Thousand Campaign, “I Donate For the Future”

Marcy MacDonald (right) getting inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2019; Photo Courtesy: JM STREINER

2019 Honor Open Water Swimmer Marcy MacDonald has joined the ISHOF’s One in a Thousand Campaign, designed to help the International Swimming Hall of Fame grow and prosper during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I remember the first time I went down there and I saw the picture of Johnny Weissmuller and seeing Tarzan in 1993,” MacDonald said. “I was coaching the swim team during Y Nationals and I’m looking forward to having that meet again because I think the kids really enjoyed going in there and learning about their sport. I think anyone that appreciates history can appreciate Hall of Fames like Cooperstown…and Fort Lauderdale!

“It’s such a great place to see the history of this sport that so many of us love and even people who are not swimmers, I think are captivated by the Hall of Fame. I have seen people say, ‘I didn’t even know that was there!’ If you don’t know how to swim, you are truly mesmerized by people who know how to move in the water and they almost look like they were born in the water, and I think that is what the Hall of Fame does. It brings all that beauty of the water with these humans that have learned how to tame the water and go really fast.

“I’m really excited that the Hall of Fame celebrates all forms of swimming – synchro, water polo, open water. I remember seeing the exhibit with the advertisements for cigarettes from the 30’s and how Kiefer was advertising for them, and it just made me laugh! I’ve talked to some of my swimmers and didn’t realize there weren’t very many pools around and you actually had to compete in open water venues. It’s a great place to celebrate our sport of swimming and water.

“I donate for the future. I want the people of the future to appreciate what has happened in the past.”

Join the One in a Thousand Club by helping ISHOF on a monthly or one-time basis.


For larger corporate sponsorships and estate-planning donations, please contact us at

Marcy MacDonald – 2019 Honor Open Water Swimmer

When she was just 12-years-old, she knew open water swimming was her passion, and she told her younger sister that she would swim the English Channel one day.

In high school, Marcy MacDonald swam competitively until she was 17, and went to American International College as a softball player. While in college, she would sneak into the nearby Springfield College pool during her free time to swim.

In 1993, MacDonald first heard of an opportunity to swim around the island of Manhattan and has since completed the 28.5-mile swim five times.

In 1994, Marcella MacDonald made her childhood dream come true, at the age of 28. Since then, she has swum the English Channel 16 times, including three times when she did a double cross, swimming there and back. MacDonald was the first American woman to swim across the Channel, from England to France and back in 2001.

At 18.2 nautical miles, the English Channel is considered by many to be the “Mount Everest” of open water swims. Only 1500 men and women have successfully swam the English Channel and many, many more have tried. The trek generally starts at the White Cliffs of Dover at Shakespeare Beach and ends on the shore of Cape Gris Nez. By many accounts, it is the most difficult swim to finish. It’s a very cold, 20-mile swim in water that is much saltier, and the changing tides approaching the French shore can force swimmers to basically swim in place for up to four hours.

The English Channel and the Manhattan Island Marathon swim are a part of the Triple Crown of open water swimming, which also features the Catalina Channel Swim, a 20.1-mile swim from Catalina Island to the shores of San Pedro, California. MacDonald completed the triple crown in June, 2013 when she swam the Catalina Channel in 12 hours and 9 minutes.

Marcy MacDonald has also successfully completed the 24-mile Tampa Bay, Florida Marathon Swim, a solo swim around Mercer Island in Washington, and a 17-mile swim across the Long Island Sound in New York.

She has successfully crossed the Ka ’iwi Channel and Maui Channel in Hawaii and has also completed the 41-mile Round Jersey solo swim in the United Kingdom. MacDonald also swam the Lochness, a 22 mile swim.

In addition to her open water swimming accomplishments, Dr. Marcy MacDonald is a Podiatrist who operates her own practice in Manchester, Connecticut. In her spare time, she enjoys coaching at the Laurel East Hartford YMCA and gives talks about her exciting adventures and open water swims.

MacDonald has already been inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 2005 and was named the Open Water Swimming Woman of the Year in 2011 by the World Open Water Swimming Association.

Marcy MacDonald still finds the time to train to ensure she is ready for the next big swim. She is usually in the water training every day at 5:30 a.m. This July, she is set to swim the English Channel again, on the 25th anniversary of her first crossing. The way she puts it, “it’s just right stroke, left stroke, right stroke, left stroke — for hours on end.”


The International Swimming Hall of Fame wants to know if you are one in a thousand?  We think you are! Show how special you are and become a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s “One In A Thousand” Club.  Help keep the International Swimming Hall of Fame moving forward toward a new vision and museum by joining now!

During these unprecedented times, the ISHOF Board is calling on every member in the aquatic community to make a small monthly commitment of support to show how special you are and how special the International Swimming Hall of Fame is to everyone.

Our goal is simple. If we get 1,000 people to simply commit $10, $25 or $50 per month, we will generate enough revenue to go beyond this Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis.” – Bill Kent – Chairman of the ISHOF Board

Those that believe in our vision, mission, and goals can join us in taking ISHOF into the future and be a part of aquatic history.”  – Brent Rutemiller – CEO and President of ISHOF

Since 1965, ISHOF has been 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. ISHOF’s vision for the future is to build a new museum and expand its reach by offering its museum artifacts digitally through a redesigned website.

The ISHOF Board of Directors is calling on all members of the aquatics community to make a small monthly commitment to show their dedication to aquatics and how special the International Swimming Hall of Fame is to everyone.

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