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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Swimming Crème de la Crème To Be Honored

Bruce Wigo announced the 2016 International Swimming Hall of Fame Class of 2016.

Among the Class of champions, coaches and administrators, the Class includes multiple 5 km and 10 km world champion and 2008 Olympic 10K Marathon Swim gold medalist Larisa Ilchenko of Russia, multiple world champion and 7-time Olympic medalist Aaron Peirsol, marathon swimmers Desmond Robert Des Renford of Australia and Monique Wildschut of the Netherlands.

International Swimming Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016

Swimmer Larisa Ilchenko was the greatest Russian open water and marathon swimmer. She won eight FINA World Championships and a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games at age 19 (watch here). She has dominated international 5 km and 10 km races since her first FINA Open Water Swimming World Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in 2004.

Aaron Peirsol is one of the greatest backstrokers in swimming and Olympic history - and an outstandingly creative ocean man and body surfer. He participated in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games, winning five gold and two silver medals and still holds three long course world records - as part of the USA’s 4 x 100 meter medley relay, and in the 100 and 200 meter backstroke events. During his career, he won a total of 36 medals in major international competitions, 29 gold, six silver and one bronze. He retired in 2011 saying, “I ended up doing everything I set out to do.”

Monique Wildschut was the dominant 6-time World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation champion from 1983-1988. In 1983 she was the overall winner of the Atlantic City Marathon and was second overall in the 64 km Traversée Internationale du Lac St-Jean in Canada. As a solo swimmer, she crossed the English Channel twice and had the fastest swim of the year in 1984.

Desmond Robert Des Renford, M.B.E. was born in Australia on the 52nd anniversary of the very first English Channel swim, achieved in 1875 by Captain Matthew Webb. He took up marathon swimming only at the age of 39 and from 1975 to part of 1980, he crossed the English Channel a remarkable 19 times in 19 attempts and wore the title King of the Channel despite living half a world away. For his exploits in the Channel, he was awarded the M.B.E., Order of the British Empire. He will be enshrined posthumously.

For ticket information to the 52nd Annual International Swimming Hall of Fame ceremonies and Paragon Awards on October 28th - 30th in Santa Clara, California, visit www.ishof.org or contact Bruce Wigo at +1-954-462-6536 extension 201, or via email bwigo@ishof.org.

Copyright © 2016 by World Open Water Swimming Association

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