Robert Strauss Joins ISHOF’s One in a Thousand Campaign, “The Hall of Fame is the Temple of Swimming”

Robert Strauss
Robert Strauss and family at the 2019 ISHOF Paragon Award Ceremony, Photo Courtesy: JM STREINER

1972 Olympic swimmer Robert Strauss 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. Strauss represented Mexico in the 1972 Olympics, but is more well known for his dedication to teaching young children how to swim all over the world, having won the 2019 Virginia Hunt Newman Award sponsored by Kiefer.

“It’s a shrine! The hall of fame is the temple of swimming!” Robert Strauss said. “It’s something that needs to be promoted. I’m a swim teacher and coach. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up but I’ve coached swimming since 1973. When I arrived to the University of Miami, I came here with a swimming scholarship in 1971. In Miami, I had heard of the Hall of Fame and when I got there it was like, ‘wow! How could I ever join one of these folks?’ They had just painted Felipe Munoz on the stairwell leading upstairs and he was Mexico’s only gold medalist at the Olympics and it was like, ‘how will I ever get in here?’

“I never swam fast enough. People ask what place I got and I say very confidently, ’29th!’ It’s abnormal to win Olympic medals. If it was normal, everyone would get them. And so 47 years after the dream of ‘how will I ever get my name in here?’ I got in there as a teacher! It’s a place that makes dreams come true. And now with the beautification process, it’s superb.

“In countries like Brazil and Australia, you see advertising banners with swimmers! Here, you see ball players but over there the swimmers are doing the milk commercials and I think swimming is going to be on the up and up.”

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

Robert Strauss – 2019 Virginia Hunt Newman Award Winner

Professor Robert Strauss, M. Ed. has dedicated his professional career to aquatics. Through aquatic education, he has enriched the lives of babies, toddlers, school-age children, teens and adults, assisting them in discovering how to be safer and stronger swimmers. Coach Robert is well known for the development of instructional skills based on soft-touch and soft-voice; these skills have been taught to thousands of teachers around the world.

Coach Strauss and his life partner, Jennie, founded Swim Gym in 1984; re-inventing the swim school business in a warehouse. After several moves, in the fall of 2012, the Swim Gym Swim School opened its doors at the Galbut JCC in Miami Beach, its present home and only location.

Swim Gym is one of the Top 25 authorized providers of the American Red Cross in the South Florida Chapter, and includes certification of water safety instructors and life guards, as well as the learn to swim program, that teaches an average 500 children per week during the school year and approximately 1000 children per week during the summer camps.

Most educators teach their subject in a classroom; Coach Strauss teaches water wisdom in a warm water pool, and coaches in a semi-Olympic pool, fast swimming.

From 1979 to present, Robert Strauss has contributed to learn to swim and competitive swimming conferences around the globe: México, his country of birth, numerous countries in South and Central America, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China & Iceland. He is a well sought-after speaker, as he is fluent in English, Spanish, Portuguese and German.

Strauss’ vision, is that every person should have the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to safely enter and exit a body of water; he believes, the value is through the art form of swimming, people learn to pay attention, to share, to cooperate, to wait their turn, to become valuable team members, and most important be safe in, around and under water; his mission is ‘To eradicate drowning from our communities, through education’; his objective, is to assist all participants to discover swimming in order to find the joy and passion coupled to the benefits inherent to swimming in particular and water sports in general.

And lastly, his Goal: Everyone should be Water Wise.


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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