The International Swimming Hall of Fame proudly honors Dr.
James E. Counsilman, the seventh recipient of the Gold Medallion Award, Unlike
the previous six recipients, who were honored for their achievements and
contributions to society after swimming, James Counsilman has never left the
sport. While writing, lecturing and filmmaking throughout his lifelong
swimming career, he has spread the art and science of swimming around the
world, as no other man has done.
In swimming, Dr. Counsilman has done it all. First he was a YMCA kid who
gained early recognition in the pool, then he was National Champion and
Captain of a National Championship team at Ohio State. He went through
the various stages of coaching apprenticeship while gaining his Masters and
Doctorate at Illinois and Iowa Universities. Splitting his time equally
between pool and the classroom lab, his coaching results were brilliant and
cumulative, culminating as a two-time winning Olympic coach. Ultimately
it was through the contributions he made in his book, The Science of
Swimming, that he reached his greatest and most lasting influence.
More than any other man, "Doc" has been and still is the most
acclaimed coach of this half century. He never hesitated to communicate
and translate his knowledge. His most deserved recognition should be for
being the coach of coaches throughout the swimming world.
Dr. Counsilman, using himself as a test case, established worldwide adult
fitness standards by swimming the English Channel at age 58 in 1979. To
accomplish this great traditional measure of strength and endurance, he
changed his lifestyle and physical conditioning completely, at an end of a
career, during which his prime age swimmers set 52 world records and won 21
Olympic gold medals.
For his communication as a writer, film maker, scientist, educator and yes of
course, as the supreme swim coach, we honor our founding President Dr. James
"Doc" Counsilman with our highest recognition, the Gold Medallion