Ryan Held Congratulates Adolph Kiefer Award Winners Anna Claire Fleenor & Jack Foley

ryan-held
Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

Ryan Held is the Adolph Kiefer Ambassador, designated by the International Swimming Hall of Fame to honor the memory of Adolph Kiefer and to recognize his long association with the YMCA. Adolph Kiefer was a swimmer from Illinois, like Ryan Held and Adolph was also a USA Olympic Gold Medalist, just like Ryan Held.

Ryan is the only YMCA National Champion to have won an Olympic Gold Medal. Ryan was a member of the 4 x 100m freestyle relay that included Michael Phelps who was swimming in his last Olympic event, earning his 23rd Olympic Gold Medal.

Adolph Kiefer won his Gold Medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. Kiefer was a former world record holder and the first man in the world to swim the 100 yard backstroke in under one minute. Adolph died at the age of 98 in May of 2017, but told many of his friends that he learned to swim at the YMCA. He served in the US Navy during World War II and taught seaman how to swim when it was learned that more American sailors lost their lives by drowning instead of due to enemy attacks. Kiefer was a successful business man in the swimming industry and is credited with inventing the nylon swimsuit.

In 2017 the Kiefer family established the $50,000 Kiefer Scholarship Fund. Since 2018, a college scholarship in the amount of $2500 has been distributed to the male and female recipients of the Adolph Kiefer Youth YMCA Character Award.

The award recognizes one male and one female for demonstration of the YMCA core values as well as their accomplishments in the pool, and is usually awarded at the YMCA National Championships which were not held this year.

Ryan Held offered college advice to the two Adolph Kiefer Youth Character Award winners as they head off to their respective schools in the fall. The session can be viewed here.

Anna Claire Fleenor is a swimmer at Salem Family YMCA in Virginia and will be headed to Kenyon as an environmental studies major.

Jack Foley is a swimmer at Somerset Valley YMCA in New Jersey and will be headed to Providence as a finance major.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with YMCA Swimming and Diving. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact Advertising@SwimmingWorld.com.

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