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International Swimming Hall of Fame

INTERNATIONAL MARATHON SWIMMING HALL OF FAME

The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) is located at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. The "Sea Goddess", the official trophy of the IMSHOF with all the honorees' names inscribed in the base, is on permanent display.

Since 1963, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame International Selection Committee has honored individuals who have had a positive impact on the development of marathon swimming. The IMSHOF has inducted over 125 of the world's greatest achievers in long distance swimming. In addition, each year Certificates of Merit are awarded for outstanding performances or contributions in the discipline of open water swimming. The committee strives to promote distance swimming by highlighting the achievements of its great athletes, coaches and trainers. Only athletes who have followed the international marathon swimming rules may be inducted. Marathon swims completed while wearing wet suits may be recorded for historic reasons, but will not be considered for induction into the IMSHOF.

In an effort to record and preserve the records of open water swims attempted by any person in any body of water, IMSHOF provides an "Application for Recording a Marathon Swim" to be permanently filed at the IMSHOF Headquarters in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Committee members include: Dennis Matuch (USA) Chairman, Dale Petranech (USA) Honorary Secretary, Lynn Blouin (CAN), Buck Dawson (USA), Bob Duenkel (USA), Kevin Murphy (GBR), Pierre Otis (CAN), Claudio Plit (ARG), Michael Reed (GBR), Shelley Taylor Smith (AUS), Conrad Wennerberg (USA), .


2003 HONOREES
Regi Brickel, Sr. (GBR), Pilot
Peggy Buchse (GER), Swimmer
Maurice Ferguson (GBR), Administrator
Rosemary George (GBR), Swimmer
Vicki Keith (CAN), Swimmer
Norman Trusty (GBR), Observer

The International Swim Hall of Fame’s Press release announcing Vicki’s induction:

ONTARIO marathon swimmer and coach Vicki Keith will be inaugurated into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF), in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on May 8, as part of the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s 40th anniversary celebration and annual induction ceremony.

As a marathon swimmer, Keith’s achievements are legend.

  • She is the only person ever to have swum across all five of the North American Great Lakes, accomplishing this feat in an astounding 61-day period in the summer of 1988;
  • She recorded the first double crossing of Lake Ontario, taking some 56 hours 10 minutes to cover the 64-mile course in 1987;
  • She swam the 22-mile Catalina Channel in 14:53 in 1989;
  • She swam the English Channel in 23:23.

What makes this list of only a handful of her swims even more astounding is that she swam most of them – including the English and Catalina Channels and Lake Ontario -- using the butterfly stroke. In fact, she holds the record for the longest distance swum using the butterfly: 47.18 miles, the actual distance she swam in her English Channel effort.

Since ending her swimming career, Keith has served as coach of the Kingston (Ont.) Penguins, a team of children with disabilities and their siblings, taking them from non-swimmers to being able to compete successfully at Ontario swim meets.

Among the athletes she has coached is Carlos Costa, a double leg amputee who became the first athlete with a disability to swim across Lake Ontario, and more recently Ashley Cowan, a 15-year-old quadruple amputee who swam across Lake Erie in September of 2001.

Her passion for helping children with disabilities "reach for their dreams" is best summed up by one of her many protégés, Harry Bellemare, a quadriplegic 16-year-old boy, “In a word, she’s amazing! In two short years she has helped me to surpass everyone’s expectations of my success, in the pool and elsewhere — including my own.”

For additional information contact:

Bob Duenkel
Executive Director
International Swimming Hall of Fame
Tel: (954) 462-6536
E-mail: bduenkel@ishof.org

News Release
Canadian marathon swimmer Vicki Keith to be inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall Of Fame

Kingston, ON, April 30, 2004 … On Friday, May 7th, 2004, legendary marathon swimmer Vicki Keith will be inducted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall Of Fame. The Kingston Family YMCA Penguins, a competitive swim team that she founded and coaches, nominated Keith for the prestigious award and will hold a special induction ceremony at 4:00 pm, on Friday, May 7th, 2004, at the Kingston Family YMCA, Beechgrove Campus, located at 51 Heakes Lane in Kingston, Ontario.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be honoured in this way, but of even more importance to me is the effort the Y Penguins have made on my behalf. They are an incredibly wonderful group of young people,” said Keith upon hearing about the celebration to be held in her honour.

Since 1963, the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame’s (IMSHOF) International Selection Committee has honored individuals who have had a positive impact on the development of marathon swimming. Over 125 of the world's greatest achievers in long distance swimming have been inducted to date. The "Sea Goddess", the official trophy of the IMSHOF, is inscribed with the names of all past honorees, and sits on permanent display at the IMSHOF, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Keith, a Kingston area resident and holder of 14 marathon swimming records, is best known for her marathon swims across the five Great Lakes, over a 61 day period, during the summer of 1988. Among her other notable swims are the 1989 four-country marathon, including the circumnavigation of Sydney Harbour in Australia, the crossings of the English Channel, California’s Catalina Channel, the Straight of Juan De Fuca, Lake Winnipeg and Lake Ontario. She completed all of these swims using the grueling butterfly stroke exclusively.

Due to previous commitments to her team, Vicki is unable to attend the official induction ceremony, which takes place in Fort Lauderdale.