International Swimming Hall of Fame Honorees By Category - Swimmer

Otylia Jedrzejczak (2019)
She was born in Ruda Slaska, Poland in December 1983 and began swimming at six-years-old because doctors thought it would help the slight curvature in her spine. She originally had no interest in the sport, but her father had the last word.
Stephanie Rice (2019)
Rice first showed promise of being a great swimmer at 16, when she qualified for the 2005 Junior Pan-Pacific Championships. It was there that Stephanie Rice won two gold medals for Team Australia.
Britta Steffen (2019)
She was winning youth championships in Germany at age 14 and was quickly becoming one of the top junior swimmers in all of Europe. At the 1999 European Junior Championships when she was just 15, Britta Steffen won six gold medals.
Jason Lezak (2019)
From the beginning, Jason Lezak showed great promise in the pool, but he constantly butted heads with his coach, Dave Salo, over his commitment to training. Recruited to swim at UC Santa Barbara, Jason’s problems with authority continued until coach Gregg Wilson finally dismissed him from the team. This was the wake-up call he needed. He loved to swim and compete, and after promising to improve his training habits, he rejoined the team. In his Senior year, he was named Big West Conference Swimmer of the Year,
Amanda Beard (2018)
When Amanda Beard started serious training as an 11-year old, no one could have imagined that this California girl, whose role model was the flamboyant bad boy of basketball, Dennis Rodman, would become America’s best female breaststroker at the tender age of 13. Training under coach Dave Salo at Novaquatics Swim Club, her progress was so meteoric that she skipped Junior Nationals, jumping directly from competing against 12-year olds to the Senior Nationals.
Libby Trickett (2018)
Libby Lenton, joined her first swim team at age four. By age ten, she was one of Queensland’s top age groupers. In 1995, the family moved to Brisbane, where Libby started training under coach John Carew, mentor of Hall of Famer, Kieren Perkins. But in early 2002, Libby began training under coach Stephan Widmar.
Rebecca Adlington (2018)
The youngest of three girls, Rebecca Adlington naturally wanted to do what her older sisters did, and the sisters were all swimmers. Before long, her desire to keep up with them made her into a serious competitor.
Ian Crocker (2017)
When 17-year old Ian Crocker entered the 2000 US Olympic Trials, it was with a view to gain experience for 2004, but he left the meet winning the 100m butterfly. Then, at the Olympic Games in Sydney, he won a gold medal as a member of the USA’s world record breaking 4x100m medley relay team.
Alain Bernard (2017)
Born in Aubagne, Bouches-du-Rhône, France, Alain Bernard trained at a local club until the age of 16, when he switched to Club Marseille to train under coach Denis Auguin. He made slow but steady progress until 2007, a break-out year in which he set the French record in the 100m freestyle and later claimed his first European Championship title in the same event. Then, at the European Championships in March 2008, he set his first world records, winning the 50m and 100m freestyle. A month later he qualified for the Beijing Olympic Games in both events.
Maarten van der Weijden (2017)
Born in Haastrecht, Netherlands on March 31, 1981, Maarteen van der Weijden, followed in his older sister Etta’s wake in the pool and open water. As a young boy, he liked challenges and at the age of 11 he swam 100x100m in training. From 1998 to 2000 he became a 12-time Dutch national champion at the 1500m freestyle, 400m freestyle, and 5km open water. Then, in 2001, he was diagnosed with acute leukemia and his chances for survival were very small. For the next two years, Maarten had little control over his life and he depended on the medical specialists to guide him through successful chemotherapy treatment and a stem cell transplantation. In 2003 he started to train again and amazingly qualified for the FINA Open Water World Championships in Barcelona. In 2004, he swam across the Ijsselmeer in 4:20.58hours, breaking the former record by almost 15 minutes to collect 50,000 Euros, which he donated for cancer research. Van der Weijden had his own website named “Maarten van der Weijden zwemt tegen kanker” (Maarten van der Weijden swims against cancer) where he informed his fans about his life and his career. He also collected more money to invest for cancer research. His dream was to become World Champion and over the next few years he trained hard and worked on his tactics. In 2008, he fulfilled this aim when he won the 25km at the World Championships in Seville. He also won a bronze medal in the 5km there and finished fourth at the 10km. This result qualified him for the first 10km open water marathon race at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. There he ended up winning the gold medal on August 21, narrowly edging out David Davies of Great Britain. He thus became the first mens’ Olympic Champion in the 10km open water competition. He announced the end of his professional swimming career during his acceptance speech as Dutch Sportsman of the year in 2008. But that’s not the end of his story.
Leisel Jones (2017)
She first learned to swim in her backyard pool in Katherine, Northern Territories. As a ten-year old Brisbane school girl, she watched Samantha Riley win the bronze medal in the 100m breaststroke at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. Less than four years later, she ousted her idol from the Australian Team by winning the 100m breaststroke at the 2000 Australian Olympic trials at the age of 14. Shortly after her fifteenth birthday, she swam the race of her life to claim the silver medal in the 100m breaststroke and added another silver in the 4x100m medley relay at the Sydney Olympic Games.
Laure Manadou (2017)
Laure Manaudou was born on October 9, 1986 in Villeurbanne, France. She swam for the club of Ambérieu-en-Bugey, in Ain, from the age of 6 to 14 years old. In 2000, coach Philippe Lucas spotted her and convinced her parents that he would make her a champion. She then left the family nest to join her new coach in Melun, and a year later she won two silver medals at the European Junior Championships in Malta. Everyone started talking about her enormous potential.
Dara Torres (2016)
Dara Grace Torres grew up in Beverly Hills, California, where she learned to swim in her family’s backyard pool. At the age of seven, she followed her brothers to swim practice at the local YMCA. During her junior year of high school, Torres moved to Mission Viejo, CA, to train with Hall of Fame Coach Mark Schubert, and in 1983 she broke the world record in the 50-meter freestyle. The next year, while not yet a senior in high school, she won her first Olympic gold medal as a member of the USA’s 4x100 freestyle relay team.
Aaron Peirsol (2016)
Growing up in the seaside communities of southern California, his love affair with the water came to him naturally. He was introduced to competitive swimming under coach Stacy Zapolski at the Costa Mesa YMCA when he was just five years old. At age eight he moved to a summer swim and water polo league in Corona del Mar with coach Ted Bandaruk. At ten, he joined Junior Lifeguards in Newport Beach before making the move to Irvine’s Novaquatics to swim under Brian Pajer.
Camille Muffat (2016)
Camille Muffat began swimming competitively at Club Olympic Nice Natation, at the age of nine. Training under coach Fabrice Pellerin, Camille first came to prominence in 2005, when she upset 2004 Olympic Champion Laure Manaudou in the 200-meter individual medley at the French Nationals. She was just 15 years old. A few months later, she won the same event at the European Junior Championships in Budapest, along with a silver medal in the 100-meter freestyle.
Hilda James (2016)
To avoid attending Church of England religious education classes, which conflicted with her parents religious beliefs, this 11-year old Liverpudlian was assigned to swimming classes at the Garston Baths.
Monique Wildschut (2016)
Before turning professional, Monique Wildschut was a five-time Dutch Open Water Champion from 1978 through 1982. She was also a Dutch National Champion in the pool, holding records in the 800-meter freestyle and the 400 medley relay.
Diana Mocanu (2015)
Olympic gold medals are cherished in any country, but in 2000, Romania was especially desperate to be seen as something other than a poor unstable Balkan nation. That is when an unknown 16 year old girl emerged, who would become known as “Golden Diana”.
Jodie Henry (2015)
Growing up on the beautiful beaches of Queensland, Australia, Jodie Henry spent a lot of time at the beach with her two sisters, thanks to her parents love for the water. She learned to swim at the early age of three at the local Brisbane Swim School, but didn’t start competing until she was a teenager, which is quite late for a future Olympic Champion in this era.
Grant Hackett (2015)
This swimmer joins a list of Australians who have won more Olympic gold medals in the fifteen-hundred meter freestyle than any other nation - starting with Andrew “Boy” Charlton in 1924. Following Charlton were Murray Rose-1956, Jon Konrads-1960, Robert Windle-1964 and Kieran Perkins in 1992 and 1996.
Enith Brigitha (2015)
Enith Brigitha was born on the West Indian Island of Curacao, where she first learned to swim in the Caribbean Sea. By the time she moved to Holland with her mother and brother in 1970, she had become the island’s most promising swimmer.
Agnes Kovacs (2014)
Born in Budapest, Agnes Kovacs learned to swim when she was just two and a half years old, and loved the water from the very start. When she was just nine years old, her swimming teacher, Bea Szucs recommended she join the program at the Kőér St. Pool where she made rapid progress. At the age of 13 she had her first success in the Hungarian National Age Group Championships and as a fourteen year old, she won the European Junior Championship in the 100 yard breaststroke. Within days of her fifteenth birthday, she won the Olympic bronze medal in the 200 meter breaststroke in Atlanta, in 1996.
Tom Malchow (2014)
He was introduced early to the water and started swimming competitively at the age of seven to help combat his chronic asthma. A naturally tall and lean kid, Tom Malchow played a little basketball and baseball in grade school, but it was swimming that he showed the most promise. Swimming for coach Paul Lundsten, state, zone and sectional times came easily to him. At St. Thomas Military Academy he held the pool record, in every event except for diving, and was recruited by some of the nations top collegiate programs. He chose Michigan because he liked the coachJon Urbanchek, and the overall program.
Pieter van den Hoogenband (2013)
His mother, Astrid Verner, is a former 800 meter freestyle silver medalist of the European Championships. His father Cees is the team doctor with the PSV Eindhovan professional football team and a FINA doctor. Astrid became coach of the Dutch swimming team and Cees provided the foundation to secure a financial base to keep the team operating.
Dagmar Hase (2013)
She was born in Thale, a small town in East Germany into a family that wasn’t interested in sports. However, at age seven under the East German sport system, she was discovered by talent scouts, learned to swim, started to compete and was soon sent to a centralized sports academy away from home to further develop her talent.
Gary Hall Jr. (2013)
As a two year old, his dad carried him on to the pool deck of the Montreal Olympic swim stadium. Five years later, he was in Fort Lauderdale to see his dad’s induction into the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
Yana Klochkova (2013)
She was born into an athletic minded family in 1982, in Simferopol, Ukraine, when it was the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within the old Soviet Union. Because of the Soviet Union’s emphasis on physical education, the Ukraine was left with hundreds of stadiums and swimming pools. This little girl picked the swimming pool to excel. She first started in gymnastics, but once she started swimming at age seven, she never looked back.
Jozsef Szabo (2012)
In Jozsef Szabo’s competitive swimming days, he became part of a family of swimmers and teammates. Like a family, each member had a role. He was known as the clown, to provide and keep everyone in good spirits and laughs.
Domenico Fioravanti (2012)
Domenico Fioravanti was born in Novara, Italy on the 31st of May, 1977. He started to swim competitively at the age of nine. One year later, following in the footsteps of his older brother, Massimiliano, he began training daily.
Gustavo Borges (2012)
Gustavo Borges, at 6 feet 8 inches tall, was often mistaken for a basketball player. However, make no mistake, he is one of the greatest sprint swimmers of all time.
Leonid Krayzelburg (2011)
Leonid “Lenny” Krayzelburg was born in Odessa, the Soviet Union. After spending his boyhood years in what is now the Ukraine, his family immigrated to the United States to escape Soviet Jewish anti Semitism and the call of the Soviet army, settling in a Soviet Jewish enclave in Los Angeles. This soft spoken Russian, a product of the Soviet sports system, wanted to continue his swimming in America, training first at the Jewish Community Center and eventually at the University of Southern California and Trojan Swim Club with coaches Bruce Becker at the Westside JCC, Stu Blumkin at Santa Monica College and Mark Schubert at USC.
Franziska van Almsick (2010)
Growing up in Berlin, Germany in the former GDR, "Franzi" loved swimming, joined a team and by the time the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, she was ready to burst onto the international swimming scene. At age 14, at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelo­na, she was the youngest participant of the re-united German team, and sensationally won the 200m and 100 m freestyle silver and bronze medals, as well as silver and bronze medals on Germany's medley and freestyle relays. She set the 200m freestyle World Record at the 1994 World Cham­pionships in Rome, breaking an eight-year record held by Heike Friedrich, the last of the GDR swimmers. She broke her own record in 2002 in Berlin. Overall, her 200m freestyle World Record stood for 13 years until broken by Federica Pellegrini of Italy in 2007. Franziska held the record longer than any other female in that event except for Hall of Fame swimmer Ragenhild Hveger of Denmark from 1938 to 1956.
Brooke Bennett (2010)
Growing up in Plant City, Florida on a farm surrounded by a menagerie of animals, Brooke loved the water and swam a length of the family pool at the age of two. By age six she was a local swim club champ.
Inge de Bruijn (2009)
Inge de Bruijn is the most successful athlete of all time in Dutch sports history.
Jenny Thompson (2009)
When Jenny Thompson finished her swimming career following the 2004 Olympic Games, she was the most decorated U.S. Olympian. She had earned a total of 12 medals, eight of them gold. From 1992-2004, she competed on four Olympic teams. She also set 15 world records, most of which were in individual events.
Aleksandr Popov (2009)
Aleksandr Popov dominated swimming’s marquee events, the 50m and 100m freestyle, and became the world’s premier sprinter during the 1990s. He won a total of nine Olympic medals at three Olympic Games from 1992-2000, including four individual gold medals.
Fred Deburghgraeve (2008)
At the tender age of eight, this youngster started swimming at the Roeselare Swim Club. He was coached by his father for the first eight years of his life. Once he reached a certain level, his father thought he needed a more experienced coach and they found a Dutchman by the name of Ronald Gaastra. But even when he was competing at the elite levels, he did not have ideal training conditions.
Anita Nall (2008)
Anita Nall joined the swim team at the age of five following, in the footsteps of her two older sisters. By age 12, she set age group records and at 14 years old notched an American record. Swimming for Coach Murray Stephens at the legendary North Baltimore Aquatic Club, she developed a technically-perfect breaststroke using the new-style stroke of the time.
Amy Van Dyken (2007)
At 6'0” and 145 pounds,Amy Van Dykenis one of the world's great freestyle and butterfly sprinters who held the World Record in the 50 meter butterfly (short course).
Penny Heyns (2007)
At the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Penny Heyns made Olympic swimming history when she became the first woman to win both the 100 meter and 200 meter breaststroke events at the same Olympic Games. She is also the only woman to hold as many as 14 World Records in breaststroke events and to hold all three breaststroke World Records simultaneously: the 50, 100 and 200 meter long course.
Jane Asher (2006)
Jane Asher was born in 'Nkana, Northern Rhodesia, in 1931, but grew up in South Africa. She loved the water and having swimming access anytime, anywhere. At the age of 22, she moved to Britain to take a post-graduate diploma in personnel management at Manchester University in 1953. She swam on the university swim team and was selected to compete at the World University Games, but was unable to attend the meet.