Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF), a not-for-profit organization, was established in 1964. Recognized by FINA as the official hall for aquatic sports, the Hall of Fame recognizes achievements of swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers, and persons who made significant contributions to aquatics.

The Hall of Fame Museum, Library, and Archive house the world’s largest collection of aquatic memorabilia and the largest source of books, manuscripts, and literature about aquatic sports. The museum has over 40 exhibits about the history of aquatic sports. The museum preserves the world’s greatest performers and the best moments of aquatic sports. Displays highlight the achievements of athletes. The museum is home to the world’s largest display of Olympic gold medals, pins, and badges. Included in the museum are Johnny Weissmuller’s Olympic medals. In addition to awards, the museum has equipment and other artifacts such as Mark Spitz’s starting block, the first automatic timing machine, and over 60 Olympic, national, and club uniforms and swim suits.

There are also video archives and tributes to American Presidents who were swimmers. Located on the complex is the ISHOF Aquatic Complex, which has two 50m pools, a diving pool, and a swimming flume. Visitors to the ISHOF complex have access to educational programs and training on water safety, health, and fitness.

There are three Hall of Fames at the ISHOF. The International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame is for current competitive swimmers. To be selected as a master athlete, a swimmer must be a minimum age of 25 years old with 16 active years in the sport. The athlete’s career should have many stellar performances, including international competitions, and the swimmer should be a major presence in aquatics.

The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame is for those who have had a positive impact on marathon swimming. The greatest achievers in long distance, open water swimming have been inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. Swimmers, coaches, and trainers who compete and work in the distance swimming discipline are eligible for this honor.

The main Hall of Fame, the International Swimming Hall of Fame, is for distinguished swimmers who have had an immense impact on the field of swimming. The ISHOF includes swimmers, divers, water polo players, synchronized swimmers, coaches, and contributors to aquatics. To be considered for the ISHOF, athletes must be retired for at least four years and have a stellar international career that includes Olympics medals, World Championship medals, National Championship titles, and other milestone achievements. Coaches must have been coaching for at least 25 years and have noteworthy international achievements. A contributor must have a career no shorter than 20 years and made major innovations that had a profound impact on the field of aquatics.

Noted ISHOF inductees include Jacques-Yves Cousteau (1967 Honor Contributor) for scientifically showing swimming’s importance, Jon Urbanchek (2008 Honor Coach) for several coaching accomplishments, including coaching 34 Olympians to seven gold, six silver, and four bronze medals in five Olympic Games, and Greg Louganis (1993 Honor Diver) for his dominance in diving for a decade.

The goal of the International Swimming Hall of Fame is to promote all areas of swimming: education, health benefits, water safety, and historical importance. There is no other complex like the ISHOF in the world. Swimmers and non-swimmers can support the ISHOF by becoming a sponsoring member; all one needs to be a member of the ISHOF is a love for swimming and the ability to pay the membership dues. If you want to learn more about swimming and other aquatic sports, visit the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.