ISHOF to Honor Alex Blavatnik With Gold Medallion Award


The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF), recognized by FINA, now World Aquatics, in 1968 as the International governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports as its official Hall of Fame, is proud to announce that Alex Blavatnik will receive the organization’s highest honor, the Gold Medallion Award, at this year’s 59th annual Induction Ceremonies, which will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Saturday, October 5, 2024.

“The purpose of the Gold Medallion Award is to provide positive, successful role models for today’s youth,” said Bruce Wigo, ISHOF Curator and Historian.  Blavatnik certainly meets the criteria for ISHOF’s Gold Medallion Award, which was created by ISHOF’s founding Father, William F. “Buck”  Dawson in 1983 to honor those individuals who began in their youth as competitive swimmers and have gone on to become extraordinarily successful individuals in their particular field, whether it be politics, science, entertainment, business, science, etc.

Alex Blavatnik is an Executive Vice President Deputy Chairman of Access Industries, a privately held, New York-based industrial group with long-term holdings worldwide in natural resources and chemicals, media, technologies, and real estate. He is a 1993 graduate of Columbia Business School, and he joined Access in 1996 to manage the company’s growing activities in Russia.  Blavatnik currently  oversees Access’ operations out of its New York-based headquarters and serves as a director of various companies in the Access global portfolio. In addition, Mr. Blavatnik is engaged in a number of philanthropic endeavors, as well as sitting on the boards of charitable and educational organizations.

He was a Division I collegiate swimmer at Miami University (Oxford, OH) and he currently swims with the Masters program competitively at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Center with Swim Fort Lauderdale.

He is a frequent participant at National Masters competitions. Blavatnik is also active in Maccabi sports and has competed at several international Maccabi events, including two World Maccabiahs in Israel. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the USA Swimming Foundation, and is a former member of the Board of Directors of ISHOF.

ISHOF’s Gold Medallion has been conferred almost annually since 1983 upon an individual who has been a competitive swimmer, diver, water polo player or synchronized swimmer – who has achieved national or international recognition for accomplishments in the fields of science, government, entertainment, business or education, and whose life serves as a positive role model for youth. Past recipients of the award include, US President Ronald Reagan, US Senator Barry Goldwater, US Ambassador to the United Nations Andrew Young, H.S.H. Prince Albert of Monaco, Businessman and Secretary of the Treasury William E. Simon and Olympic and Baseball boss, Peter Ueberroth.  Mr. Blavatnik will become the 39th recipient of ISHOF’s Gold Medallion this year and it will be presented to him during the 2024 Honoree Induction Ceremonies.

The Class of 2024 Honorees to be inducted will include, Swimmers Lars Frölander (SWE), Daniel Gyurta (HUN), Dana Vollmer (USA), and the 1976 Women’s Gold Medal 4 x 100 Freestyle Relay,  Divers: Alexandre Despartie (CAN), Yulia Pakhalina (RUS) and (from 2023) Wu Minxia (CHN), Water Polo Players, Carmen “Lilli” Allucci (ITA), and Vladimir Akimov (USR)*, Syncnhronized/Artistic Swimmer, Virginie Dedeiu (FRA),  Coach Dennis Pursley (USA) and Contributor Dale Neuburger (USA).

For tickets or additional information, please call Meg Keller-Marvin at (570) 594-4367 or visit

About the ISHOF

The International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum was established in 1965 as a not-for-profit educational organization in the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was recognized by FINA, the international governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, in 1968. The Mission of ISHOF is to PRESERVE and CELEBRATE aquatic history, to EDUCATE the public about the importance of swimming as the key to water safety, drowning prevention, better health and a better quality of life, and to INSPIRE everyone to swim, ensuring “Every Child a Swimmer”.  ISHOF’s collection of swimming memorabilia, art, photos, and films, along with archival documents and rare books in the Henning Library make ISHOF the premier repository and academic research resource for swimming and aquatic history in the world.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with ISHOF. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact 

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