WRITTEN BY SHARON ROBB
It will be a Who’s Who in swimming, diving and other aquatic sports this week at events being held throughout South Florida.
Four-time Olympian Franziska van Almsick of Germany and three-time Olympian Brooke Bennett, who trained in South Florida during her swim career, will be among 2010 honorees during the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s 46th year of honoring the greatest names in the history of aquatic sports.
Van Almsick won 10 medals during four Olympics (1992-2004). The three-time European Swimmer of the Year and 1993 World Swimmer of the Year broke two world records in the 200-meter freestyle.
Bennett is a three-time Olympic champion and won back-to-back 800-meter freestyle gold medals in the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. She also won a gold medal in the 400 freestyle in 2000.
Other Class of 2010 honorees are: Paul Asmuth, open water swimmer; Larry Griswald, pioneer diver; Maria Kisseleva, synchronized swimmer; Cornel Marculescu, honor contributor; Kevin Murphy, open water swimmer; Murray Stephens, Olympic swim coach; Tamas Szechy, Olympic swim coach; Petria Thomas, swimmer; Teofilo Yldefonso, pioneer swimmer; Tamas Gyarfas, swimming media; and artist Guy Harvey, Gold Medallion award winner.
“With honorees from the U.S., Australia, Germany, Russia, Hungary, the Philippines and Romania, the Class of 2010 is as impressive and as internationally diverse as any in the history of ISHOF,” said Bob Duenkel, museum curator and ISHOF selection committee liason.
The ISHOF honoree festival is a multi-day celebration of the Hall of Fame class Thursday through Sunday in Fort Lauderdale.
The festival features the induction ceremony Saturday night at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort and Spa in Fort Lauderdale, the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix May Thursday-Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex, open water swim off Fort Lauderdale beach and Paragon Awards Friday night at ISHOF.
The 2010 Paragon and ISHOF awards will be presented at a ceremony on Friday at the International Swimming Hall of Fame. Among Paragon award recipients are John Leonard of Fort Lauderdale, executive director of the American Swimming Coaches Association.
Sponsored by Paragon Aquatics, the night will begin with a reception from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Hall of Fame Museum followed by the awards ceremony in the John Dupont Auditorium.
Tickets for all events may be purchased by calling 954-462-6536 or go to ishof.org.
DIVING GRAND PRIX
As part of the 40th anniversary of the AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix Olympian autograph sessions will be held during the meet. USA Diving has assembled an All-Star list of Olympians to sign autographs during events finals on Saturday and Sunday including four-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, Olympic bronze medalist and 28-time national champion Cynthia Potter, two-time Olympic silver medalist Michele Mitchell, 2008 Olympian David Boudia, Chris Colwill of Brandon, and Terry Horner of Orlando, the only Floridians on the U.S. roster, and several others.
The diving event will feature the world’s best divers from 20 countries including Olympians and world medalists. Most of the divers are expected to compete at the 2012 London Olympics. On Sunday, moms will be admitted free in honor of Mother’s Day. The first 60 moms will also receive roses. Moms can also get their picture taken with Louganis.
Here is the diving schedule:
THURSDAY, MAY 6; 10 a.m. – Men’s 3-Meter Preliminaries followed by – Men’s 3-Meter Semis; 3 p.m. – Women’s Platform Preliminaries; Followed by – Women’s Platform Semis.
FRIDAY, MAY 7: 10:00 a.m. – Women’s 3-Meter Preliminaries; Followed by – Women’s 3-Meter Semis; 3:00 p.m. – Men’s Platform Preliminaries; Followed by – Men’s Platform Semis.
SATURDAY, MAY 8: 12:00 p.m. – Men’s 3-meter Final; Followed by – Women’s Platform Final; 2:30 p.m. – Men’s Synchronized 3-meter Final; Followed by – Women’s Synchronized Platform Final.
SUNDAY, MAY 9: 12:00 p.m. – Women’s 3-meter Final ; Followed by – Men’s Platform Final; 2:30 p.m. – Women’s Synchronized 3-meter Final; Followed by – Men’s Synchronized Platform Final.
MARITZA CORREIA HEADS CLINIC
U.S. Olympian Maritza Correia, Nike Swim’s Grassroots Field Representative based in Brandon and first African-American woman on the U.S. Olympic team, and Australian Olympian Matt Targett will conduct a swim clinic for swimmers, ages 5-18, and parents as part of the Swim Champions Fitter & Faster Tour set for the Palm Beach Gardens Aquatic Complex Saturday at 9 a.m. The three-hour sessions will feature question-and-answer sessions, fantasy races with Olympians, photo sessions, stroke drills, autograph sessions, tour program and gift bag. Cost is $75. For more information on the tour go to www.swimchampions.com.
Sharon Robb can be reached at email@example.com