ISHOF Class of 2014: Honor Swimmers Hackett, Kovacs, Malchow

ISHOF-Postponement

Because of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the postponement of the International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2020, ISHOF will be reliving some of their previous induction classes.  Today we revisit our Honor Swimmers from the ISHOF Class of 2014.  That year a total of twenty honorees were inducted; seven of which were open water swimmers.  In addition to the seven open water swimmers, there were three pool swimmers, Grant Hackett (AUS), Agnes Kovacs (HUN), Tom Malchow (USA), one diver, Peng Bo (CHN), two synchronized swimmers, Penny and Vicky Vilagos, (CAN), two water polo players, one male and one female, Carlo Silipo (ITA), and Karen Kuipers (NED), two coaches, one male and one female, Joseph Nagy (HUN, USA, CAN, ESP)(Swimming) and Charlotte Davis (USA) (Synchronized Swimming), and two Honor Contributors, Dale Petranech (USA) and Norman Sarsfield (GBR)


ONE IN THOUSAND

 

 

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!


Class of 2014 Honor Swimmers:

Grant Hackett

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

Grant Hackett  (AUS)

FOR THE RECORD: 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (1500m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relay); 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (1500m freestyle), silver (400m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle); 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES: silver (1500m freestyle), bronze (4x200m freestyle relay); FIVE LONG COURSE WORLD RECORDS: 1 – 200m freestyle, 1 – 800m freestyle, 1 – 1500m freestyle, 2 – 4x200m freestyle relay; TEN SHORT COURSE WORLD RECORDS: 2 – 400m freestyle, 2 – 800m freestyle, 2 – 1500m freestyle, 4 – 4x200m freestyle relay;1998 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1500m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle), silver (400m freestyle); 2001 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1500m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle), silver (400m freestyle, 800m freestyle); 2003 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (800m freestyle, 1500m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle), silver (400m freestyle), bronze (200m freestyle); 2005 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 1500m freestyle), silver (200m freestyle), bronze (4x200m freestyle); 2007 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver (400m freestyle); 2001 GOODWILL GAMES: gold (200m freestyle, 1500m freestyle), silver (400m freestyle); 1998 COMMONWEALTH GAMES: gold (1500m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle), silver (400m freestyle); 2002 COMMONWEALTH GAMES: gold (1500m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle), silver (200m freestyle, 400m freestyle); 1997 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (400m freestyle, 800m freestyle, 1500m freestyle), silver (4x200m freestyle); 1999 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (1500m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle), silver (400m freestyle); 2002 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (800m freestyle, 1500m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle, 4x200m freestyle), silver (200m freestyle, 400m freestyle)

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.

Grant Hackett was born in Southport, on Australia’s Gold Coast. He joined coach Denis Cotrell’s team in 1992, at the age of 12. In 1999, he broke his first world record, surprising everyone by beating Hall of Famer, Giorgio Lamberti’s 200 meter freestyle record, while swimming the lead-off spot for his club at the Australian Championships.

In his specialty, the 1500 meter freestyle, he was unbeaten from 1997 to 2007, winning every major world competition. His four World Championship gold medals in this event make him the only swimmer to have won a world title in one event four times, and in total, he has won ten World Championship gold medals. In 2001, at the FINA World Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, he set a world record that lasted over ten years, finally broken by China’s Sun Yang, in Shanghai, at the 2011 Championships.

Hackett is best remembered for winning back to back gold medals in the 1500 meter freestyle at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and the 2004 Games in Athens.

It was during the 1500 freestyle at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, where Hackett may have given his most impressive performance. He was suffering from respiratory problems, a partially collapsed lung, but he still overcame the tough competition to win the gold medal in back to back Olympic Games. His Olympic career spanned from 2000 to 2008, all totaled, he won three gold, three silver, and one bronze medal in the freestyle events.

During his career, he set a total of 15 world records, 5 long course and 10 short course and still holds the world record in the 1500 meter short course event that he set in 2001.

 

Kovas, Agnes

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

Agnes Kovacs (HUN)

FOR THE RECORD: 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES: bronze (200m breaststroke); 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (200m breaststroke); 1998 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (200m breaststroke); 2001 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (200m breaststroke), bronze (100m breaststroke); 1995 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver (4x100m medley), bronze (100m breaststroke); 1997 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke); 1999 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke); 2000 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke), silver (200m breaststroke); 2006 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze (50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke); 1999 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (25m): silver (50m breaststroke, 100m breaststroke, 200m breaststroke); 2002 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS (25m): bronze (100m breaststroke); two-time EUROPEAN SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: 1997 and 1998; HUNGARIAN SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR: 1997-2000.

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.

Following in the wake of Hall of Famer Krisztina Egerszegi, Agnes would be named Hungary’s best female swimmer and her country’s Sportswoman of the year for the next four years. Dominating the 200 meter breaststroke in all international competition from 1997 to 2000, she won gold at both the FINA World Championships in 1998, and then the Olympic gold medal, in Sydney, in 2000.

After her Olympic success, Kovacs won her event again at the 2001 FINA Championships in Fukuoka, Japan, before moving to the United States to attend Arizona State University. When she left ASU in 2005 it was as a fifteen-time All-American, as the schools top senior female athlete, and with a degree in supply chain management.

Returning to Hungary, she rejoined the national team program and was a crowd favorite, winning three medals at the 2006 European Championships in the same pool where she first learned to swim twenty-two years earlier, on Budapest’s historic Margaret Island.

In addition to her Olympic and NCAA success, Agnes won a total of 25 medals at the European Championships, long and short course, and was a 53-time Hungarian National Champion from 1996 through 2007.

 

 

Malchow, Tom

Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

Tom Malchow (USA) 

FOR THE RECORD: 1996 OLYMPIC GAMES: silver (200m butterfly); 2000 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (200m butterfly); 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES: Team Captain and 4th place (200m butterfly): ONE WORLD RECORD: 200m butterfly: 1998 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze (200m butterfly); 2001 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: silver (200m butterfly); 2003 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: bronze (200m butterfly); 1995 PAN AMERICAN GAMES: silver (200m butterfly); 1997 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (4x200m freestyle), silver (200m butterfly); 1999 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (200m butterfly), silver (4x200m freestyle); 2002 PAN PACIFIC CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (200m butterfly); 1995 SUMMER UNIVERSIADE: gold (200m butterfly).

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 coach, Jon Urbanchek, and the overall program.

When he got to Ann Arbor in 1995, he wasn’t the “big dog” he had been in high school and it was a difficult transition for him. He was getting worked in practice and was given the nickname “Puppychow”, but that just made him hungry for success. Following his freshman season, Tom surprised everyone but Urbanchek when he upset the reigning Olympic 200 meter butterfly Champion, Mel Stewart, to qualify for the 1996 Olympic Games as the team’s youngest member, and then moved from sixth place at the last turn to win the silver medal in Atlanta.

Finishing just behind Hall of Famer, Denis Pankratov, who won gold, was a critical turning point for Malchow. The silver medal wasn’t good enough for him, he wanted the gold. So, for the next four years, he and Urbanchek decided what needed to be done differently so he could stand on top the medal stand with a gold medal around his neck.

Chasing Pankratov’s world record had been made more difficult by the rule change that limited underwater swimming to 15 meters after Atlanta, but Tom finally broke it in June of 2000. Three months later, he won the gold medal in the 200 meter butterfly and broke the Olympic record as well.

In order to take home the gold medal from Sydney, Tom swam six days a week for 10 years; but every day since he was seven he endured frequent asthma attacks, bouts with pneumonia and eight or nine hospitalizations due to his chronic condition. He learned early on that the most effective way to deal with his enemy was to meet it on its own terms. “I picked a sport I could do, became motivated, and gave it everything I had.”

Share and Tweet This Story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial