Memorials & Monuments Of Open Water Swimming Greats
With the 2015 Crippen Cup 10K Marathon Invitational coming up in March 28th in Florida and Fran Crippen TYR Swim Meet of Champions in California coming up in June, it is time to look back at open water swimmers who have inspired many over the last 140 years.
From ferries to swim meets, from parks to statues, from lecture series to leisure centers, from college institutions to marine buoys, the legacy of many open water swimmers have been commemorated in various ways and forms over the decades.
A small sampling of these memorials around the globe include:
1. Ben Carlson Memorial Lifeguard Headquarters and 3-meter bronze statue at the Balboa Pier, Newport Beach, California. Named after the 32-year-old Newport Beach lifeguard, surfer and swimmer who gave his life in trying to rescue others. He passed away in 2014 when a huge set closed out on him during a rescue. Additionally, a scholarship has been created to raise funds for student lifeguards and to support organizations that aid underprivileged children.
2. Diana Nyad Plaque in Smathers Beach, Florida: Named after the 64-year-old who swam from Cuba to Florida. The plaque reads, “Diana Nyad came ashore at this point on Smathers Beach on September 2, 2013, having swum 110.86 miles nonstop from Havana to Key West, the first to achieve this epic crossing without a shark cage. Successful on her fifth try (51 hours, 54 minutes), Diana first attempted this feat in 1978. Thousands on this spot and millions worldwide took inspiration from the 64-year-old’s first words upon realizing her lifelong dream: “Never, Ever, Give Up.”
3. Two Jim Doty Memorial Clocks [see above] are posted at the clock tower at the L Street Bathhouse (Curley Community Center) in South Boston, Massachusetts. Named after International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer James Doty the clocks aim to help swimmers training in the harbor know how long they have been swimming.
4. Vicki Keith Point is an area at the end of the Leslie Street Spit on Lake Ontario in Toronto, Canada that was named in honor of Vicki Keith. This is place where she made most of her landings after crossing Lake Ontario.
6. McConica Cove is a small cove on Catalina Island named on 11 August 1989 in honor of Jim McConica, a famed American pool and open water swimmer, who participated in a record-setting relay across the Catalina Channel.
11. Cape Lynne Cox is a cape on Siberia’s famed Lake Baikal located near the Angara River where Lynne Cox became the first person to swim 7 miles from cape to cape in 4 hours 19 minutes in August 1988.
13. A plaque is mounted on the base of a statue of a lion along Lake Shore Boulevard by the Government of Ontario Building of the Canadian National Exhibition commemorating Marilyn Bell‘s Lake Ontario crossing in 1954.
15. The Marilyn Bell 1 is a ferry boat that serves the Billy Bishop Toronto Island Airport and named after Marilyn Bell. The name was chosen as the top name in a contest held by the Toronto Port Authority.
16. The Bert Thomas Monument is a rock structure and plaque on Ediz Hook in Port Los Angeles, Washington that commemorate the site where Bert Thomas entered the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the first successful crossing on July 8th 1955.
17. A statute of Jacques Amyot is located near the finish of the Traversée internationale du lac St-Jean in Roberval, Quebec, Canada on lac St-Jean to commemorate the first person to cross lac St-Jean.
18. In 1946, the inaugural Keo Nakama Invitational was held in the salt water of the War Memorial Natatorium near Diamond Head Volcano on Oahu, the longest-running annual pool swimming meet in the United States named for Keo Nakama, the first person to cross the Molokai Channel.
19. Similarly, the Lakeshore Swimming Club of Toronto held the first Marilyn Bell Swim Classic, a meet sanctioned by Swim Ontario, in 2009.
24. The Counsilman-Billingsley Aquatics Center (CBAC) is the home to Indiana University swimming, diving and water polo programs and named after famed Olympic swimming coach and English Channel swimmer James ‘Doc’ Counsilman.
25. The Doc Counsilman Memorial Lecture Series is an annual lecture given by luminaries outside the swimming community at the American Swimming Coaches Association’s annual World Clinic and was named after James ‘Doc’ Counsilman.
26. Buddy’s Buoy has been a fixture in the Pacific Ocean for over 40 years and is a marine buoy located off of the Newport Pier in Newport Beach, California located in front of the Newport Lifeguard Headquarters and named for famed California waterman Buddy Belshe.
27. Dowling College was named after Robert Dowling, the first person to swim around Manhattan Island. Dowling provided a grant of $3 million in 1968, which allowed the Adelphi University campus in Oakdale, New York to become Dowling College.
30. The Memorial to Commander Charles Gerald Forsberg [see above] is a monument in Morecambe, England to Commander Gerald Forsberg, an inductee in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame and renowned marathon swimming author and administrator.
31. Annette Kellerman’s plaque and collection transferred from the Dennis Wolanski Library and Archive of Performing Arts at the Sydney Opera House to the Powerhouse Museum in commemoration to Annette Kellerman, an Honour Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.
33. Murray Rose’s Malabar Magic Ocean Swim is a charity swim organised by the Rainbow Club Australia. The 1 km and 2.4 km ocean swim is held in February in Sydney, Australia and is named for Olympic swimming legend Murray Rose.
34. Páraic Casey Memorial at Sandycove Island is a memorial plaque in honor of Páraic Casey, a 45-year-old open water swimmer from Co Cork, Ireland who passed away half a mile off the coast of France in July 2012after swimming for more than 16 hours in the English Channel.
35. The Chase Challenge, named after New Jersey waterman and marathon swimmer Bruckner Chase is an ocean swimming competition at the Monterey Beach SportsFest. The SportsFest includes 0.5-mile, 1-mile and 2.5-mile ocean swims. Any experienced swimmer that takes part in all three swim distances is eligible for to win the Chase Challenge award.
36. The Daniel Eulogio Carpio Massioti National Swimming Pool in Lima, Peru is named after the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honour Swimmer from Peru.
38. The ferry boat Shelley Taylor-Smith in Western Australia.
As open water swimming historian and International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame inductee Timothy Johnson says, “I also accompanied members of the Channel Swimming Association to a dedication of a historical timeline for Dover in a park near the [English] Channel museum.
Right there with the Romans invasions, the building of the lighthouse and the bombardment during World War II, was the marker for the formation of the Channel Swimming Association.”
41. David Yudovin memorial bench (bas relief of Yudovin swimming with dolphins carved in mahogany shown above) in Cambria, California by artists Phil Hauser, Jay Burbank and David Plumb collaborated with Beth Yudovin
43. Johnny Weissmuller portrait by the Pach Brothers at the National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian Institution (circa 1924).
44. A plaque written in Spanish in Acapulco, Mexico that is translated as, “Tarzan, Johnny Weismuller [sic], An homage to him who chose to live and rest in his beautiful port of Acapulco. 2 June 1904 – 20 Jan. 1984.”
45. Hollywood Walk of Fame five-pointed terrazzo and brass star of Johnny Weissmuller on the north side of the 6500 block of Hollywood Boulevard.
46. Hollywood Walk of Fame five-pointed terrazzo and brass star of Buster Crabbe on the north side of the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard.
47. Hollywood Walk of Fame five-pointed terrazzo and brass star of Esther Williams on the east side of the 1500 block of Vine Street.
50. Zoltán Halmay‘s memorial plaque and the statue by the Slovak Olympic Committee in Dubrava, Bratislava County, Slovakia
51. A statute of 2008 Olympic gold medalist Maarten van der Weijden will be erected in the Frisian town of Burdaard in the Netherlands to honor of his charity swim through the Eleven Cities of Friesland (11 steden in Friesland)
A small partial listing of Memorial Open Water Swims is below:
*Aaron Vaughn Memorial 1K Open Water Swim
*Arthur Dunne Memorial Cup
*Ballydavid (1580 Memorial Massacre Swim)
*Ben Hair Memorial Lake Anna Open Water Swim
*Bente Weber Memorial Swim (Nevis to St. Kitts Cross-Channel Swim)
*Betsy Owens Memorial Swim
*Bill Earley Memorial Open Water Swim
*Boyd Memorial Swim
*Brent Rice Memorial Swim of the Sound
*Brian Curtis Mile
*Bud Beatty Memorial 2-Mile Swim
*Carlin Soule Memorial Polar Bear Dip
*Crippen Sunset Mile
*Cyril Duff Memorial Cups
*Dave Martin Memorial Swim
*Don Burns Memorial Swim
*Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier Swim
*Eddie Skelly Memorial Swim
*Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim
*Fran Schnarr Memorial 5K Open Water Championships
*Fran Schnarr Memorial Metropolitan Open Water Age Group Championships
*Frogman Memorial Swim
*Graeme Thompson Memorial Cup
*Harry Yates Memorial Swim
*International Masters Open Water Swim Race
*James E. Ehrlich Memorial Mile Swim
*Jim Doty Memorial Mile Swim
*Jim McDonnell Memorial Lake Swims Clinic
*John Boyd Memorial Swim
*Joshua Newman Memorial 5K
*Maggie Fischer Memorial Great South Bay Cross Bay Swim
*Martin Duggan Memorial Swim
*Memorial Nino Sofi
*Michael Power Christmas Day Memorial Swim
*Michele Daschbach Fast Memorial Ocean Swim
*Michele Fast Memorial Swim @ Naples Island
*Miles For Marly 100×100
*Murray Dingle Bridge to Bridge Swim
*Randy Caddell Memorial Swim
*Ray Licata Memorial Long Branch Ocean Mile Swim
*Rose Pitonof Swim
*Steve Omi Memorial Open Water Swim
*Teddy Memorial Swim
*Tom Wear Memorial Swim
*Tony Ryan Memorial Bay Swim
*Traversata del Lago Maggiore
*28 Czech Republic Championship + 37 Memorial Miroslav Kroufka, Pardubice, Czech Republik
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