Kirsty Coventry’s Hall of Famer

Review & Mail Writer

Sports minister and former swimming sensation Kirsty Coventry was on Saturday inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in the United States.

She was honored following a career that yielded seven Olympic medals, making her Zimbabwe’s most accomplished sports personality of all time.

Coventry was part of 13 new members of the International Swimming Hall of Fame joining legends from 1965, when the induction started.

Coventry’s successes in the swimming pool captivated the world at the beginning of this millenium.

“Who would have thought such a run could be made by an athlete born in Zimbabwe, not exactly a hot bed for swimming,” John Lohn,editor in chief of Swimming World magazine wrote at the weekend.

“But Coventry found a way, and provided proof that success can come from any locale, as long as belief and hard work click in unison,” Lohn said.

Lohn enthused at the greatness of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

“The past, present, and future have again been celebrated, and will forever be intertwined. It’s what a Hall of Fame is all about,” he wrote.

“There was always going to be something special about the first class of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

“The year was 1965, and like any initial induction, the athletes enshrined accounted for a Who’s-Who of the sport. Just a few: Johnny Weissmuller. Dawn Fraser. Duke Kahanamoku. Robert Kiphuth. Gertrude Ederle.”

According to Lohn, in the five-plus decades since, ISHOF has continued to celebrate the greats of aquatic sports.

The yearly induction ceremony in Fort Lauderdale is a special event, one which honors individual excellence, but also recognizes history and offers inspiration for the future.

Really, that combination is the essence of all Halls of Fame, emphasises Lohn.

Full list of new ISHFamers include:

Bob Bowman (USA) / Honor Coach
Chris Carver (USA) / Honor Coach
Cesar Cielo (BRA) / Honor Swimmer
Kirsty Coventry (ZIM) / Honor Swimmer
Missy Franklin (USA) / Honor Swimmer
Natalia Ischenko (RUS) / Honor Synchronized Swimmer
Kosuke Kitajima (JPN) / Honor Swimmer
Heather Petri (USA) / Honor Water Polo Player
Michael Phelps (USA) / Honor Swimmer
Wu Minxia (CHN) / Honor Diver
Sam Ramsamy (RSA) / Honor Contributor
Stéphane Lecat (FRA) / Honor Open Water Swimmer
Trischa Zorn (USA) / Honor Paralympic Swimmer

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