International Swimming Hall of Fame Honorees By Category - Open Water Swimmer

Marcella MacDonald (2019)
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.
Petar Stoychev (2018)
Petar Stoychev is unique among all the world’s open water swimmers. Stoychev’s versatility in open water swimming is unprecedented. A superman in the water, he has been able to cross great channels and swim in extreme conditions with water temperatures ranging from 35 to 90 degrees. He was the first swimmer to cross the English Channel in under seven hours.
Desmond Renford (2016)
When Matthew Webb’s feet touched the sandy beach at Cape Gris Nez, France on the morning of August 25th, 1875, after an ordeal of almost almost 22 hours, he became the first man to swim unaided across the English Channel and became a world-wide celebrity as “King of the Channel.”
Larisa Ilchenko (2016)
This eight-time World Champion was unbeatable in major international competition beginning with her 2004 debut in Dubai as a 16-year-old, to her dramatic victory at the inaugural Olympic open water race at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Irene van der Laan (2015)
The one thing successful open water swimmers all seem to have in common is their appreciation for their crew and team. It’s usually all they can talk about after a swim, and Irene van der Laan is no different.
Judith van Berkel-de Nijs (2014)
When women’s swimming was added to the Olympic program in 1912, it was inconceivable that women could ever compete equally against men in sports. The impossible became possible when Gertrude Ederle beat the record time of the male Channel swimmers in 1926.
Claudio Plit (2014)
Enrique Tiraboschi. Lillian Harrison. Jeanette Campbell. Horatio Iglesias. Claudio Plit. These are the great names in Argentine swimming history.
Sandra Bucha (2014)
Like Annette Kellerman before her, this little girl earned her place in swimming history in the water and in the courtroom.
David Kenneth Yudovin (2014)
The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a man’s determination.Open Water Swimmer David Yudovin is known for his determination to conquer waters that have previously been considered unswimmable, and becoming the first person to swim them. But by all rights, he shouldn’t be alive right now. He should have died off the California coast on his 27th birthday in 1978, when he was attempting to be the first person to swim from California’s Anacapa Island to Ventura and went into cardiac arrest just 250 yards from shore.
Jon Erikson (2014)
As his father Ted was getting interested in open water swimming, he took his son to swimming lessons with Chicago Park District’s Ridge Park program. The boy’s rapid progression led him to follow in his father’s wake as a great marathon swimmer.
Cliff Lumsdon (2013)
Perhaps it was something in the water that drew him to it. At the young age of 16, he turned professional, becoming one of the world’s greatest professional marathon swimmers in the world.
Michael Read (2011)
Mike Read was an English school-boy butterfly champion who earned a position on Great Britain's 1960 OlympicTeam in the 4x200 meter freestyle relay. But he loved swimming in the open water and between 1960 and 2000, he swam in more than 150 Brit­ish Long Distance Swimming Association Championships setting more than 25 records. He was the 25 Kilometer Lake Windermere International Champion in 1970 and the first person to swim four lengths of Lake Windermere in succession, a total of 42 miles in 26 hours. In total, Michael Read has completed England's longest lake Windermere 39 times.
Paul Asmuth (2010)
Move over Abou Heif, Herman Williamsee and John Kinsella, the greatest marathon swimming racers the world had seen. That’s until Paul Asmuth ascended on the world scene in the 1980’s becoming the most dominant racer on the professional circuit and one of the world’s greatest professional marathon swimmers.
Kevin Murphy (2009)
On an August day in 1968, wearing his cap and goggles, Kevin Murphy stood on the stony Folkstone’s Shakespeare beach ready for his first crossing as a swimmer of the English Channel. During the next 41 years, he successfully completed the Channel a total of 34 times, making him The King of the English Channel with the most crossings by a male. Murphy became one of the greatest solo swimmers of all time.
Shelley Taylor-Smith (2008)
Born in Perth, Australia, in 1961, Shelley Taylor-Smith was so passionate about swimming that she would sneak off to bed each night in her bathers. Not overly talented and diagnosed with crippling scoliosis, her determination overruled what her doctors predicted and her swimming took off to heights which no one but herself anticipated.
Herman Willemse (2008)
There are marathon swimmers, long distance racers and open water swimmers, but Herman Willemse was all of these.