June Krauser To Receive the 2016 R. Max Ritter Award


FORT
LAUDERDALE
– United
States Aquatic Sports (USAS), the organization that represents America’s Olympic
aquatic sports internationally, will recognize June Krauser posthumously, for
her extensive contributions to the sport of swimming with the 2016 R. Max
Ritter Award.  The Award will be
presented to her children, Larry and Janice, at the organization’s annual
convention, on Friday evening, during the International Masters Swimming Hall
of Fame Induction Ceremonies, on September 23rd at the Hyatt Regency
Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. 

The R. Max Ritter Award is presented annually by United States
Aquatic Sports to the organization or individual of a FINA member country who
has contributed the most to the advancement of understanding and good will
among nations through international participation in amateur aquatic sports.

This year’s award honors the
memory of a woman whose selfless contributions bolstered the aims of U.S.
Masters Swimming, the Amateur Athletic Union, the Special Olympics, and
provided inspiration and support for thousands of individual swimmers around
the country.

Born in 1926 in Indianapolis,
Krauser née Fogle, learned to swim in Lake Michigan and grew up as a
competitive swimmer. By age 16, she was a national champion in the 200-yard
breaststroke, representing the Riviera Swim Club of Indianapolis at the AAU
Senior National Championships every year from 1941 through 1943. Krauser swam at
Purdue University and was a 1944 Olympic hopeful until the games were cancelled
because of World War II.

After graduating from Purdue with
a home economics degree in 1948, Krauser took a little over 20 years off from
racing to get married and raise two children, but stayed involved in aquatics
in various capacities. In 1955, Krauser and husband Jack moved to Florida where
she eased into the role of swim mom to daughter Janice and son Larry. Krauser
soon took up officiating at her children’s meets and eventually helped found
the Florida Gold Coast Association of the AAU, leading the organization as
secretary, treasurer, and registration Chairman for nine years. She produced a
monthly newsletter called Sporty for
the Association throughout the 1960s, which gave her the idea for the SWIM MASTER publication she would later
establish for U.S. Masters Swimming. In 1959, Krauser was named a delegate for
the AAU Convention and represented South Florida at AAU, USS, and USAS
conventions every year for the next 40-odd years.

Krauser earned national
recognition for her superior swimming administrative skills and in 1964, she
was appointed to the United States Olympic Women’s Swim Committee. Also in the
early 1960s, John Spannuth—in his role as International Director of the Special
Olympics—tapped Krauser to help him establish competitive rules and regulations
as well as organizational policies and procedures for the nascent organization.
Of her work with the Special Olympics, Spannuth said: “If you needed something
done right, you called June Krauser.”

Krauser’s most enduring
contributions to swimming began in the 1970s when she joined Ransom J. Arthur,
MD and John Spannuth in pioneering U.S. Masters Swimming. She helped establish
the first organization to govern and encourage adult swimming in the United
States in a number of capacities, most notably by contributing her sharp eye
for details to writing rules and communicating with members. Spannuth said that
when the group was trying to get the AAU to “take in Masters Swimming, we
needed rules. I put all of the ideas together, but had no ideas regarding how
to do them ‘the official way.’ June did! So I gave her pages of ideas and she
prepared them for the AAU National Convention. She did a super job, and that
paved the way for Masters Swimming to become part of the AAU.”

In addition to writing USMS’s
first rule book, Krauser also edited and published the organization’s primary
membership communication vehicle, SWIM
MASTER
, for more than 20 years. She also helped develop USMS’s first
website in the late 1990s and created a standard of excellence in membership
communication. For her extensive efforts in building and growing U.S. Masters
Swimming, Krauser was the second recipient of the prestigious Ransom J. Arthur
Award, USMS’s highest honor. As Spannuth noted, Krauser “literally wrote the
book when it came to competitive swimming for adults and for the Special
Olympics, and did more to kick start those two programs than anyone will ever
know.”

While working to build U.S. Masters
Swimming on dry land, Krauser simultaneously roared back to prominence in the
water, establishing herself as a force to be reckoned with in the pool and on
the podium. She never missed a USMS National Championship meet between 1972 and
2000, nor a FINA Masters World Championship through 2006. Along the way, she
set an astonishing 154 USMS records and 73 FINA Masters world records.

For this vast body of watery
work, Krauser was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in
1994, the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in 2003, and the Broward
County Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. In 2005, USMS created the June Krauser
Communications Award in her honor, and she was the first recipient of this
annual accolade.

Krauser passed away from complications
of Parkinson’s disease on August 2, 2014, at the age of 88. Shortly after
Krauser’s death, Debbie Cavanaugh, boy’s and girl’s swimming, diving, and water
polo coach at Fort Lauderdale High School told the Miami Herald, “We always called her the ‘Mother of Masters
Swimming’ because if it wasn’t for June, there wouldn’t be Masters Swimming. She was the backbone of the whole
organization.”

Krauser was a powerful and
talented swimmer with an unparalleled depth of skill, passion, and dedication
to the sport of swimming. U.S. Masters Swimming is forever grateful for her
lifelong commitment to building a vibrant framework for Masters swimmers to
pursue their passion for swimming and share the life-changing gifts our sport
has to offer.

For additional information, please call Meg
Keller-Marvin at (570) 594-4367 or ISHOF at (954) 462-6536, or visit http://www.ishof.org

About
the ISHOF

The International Swimming Hall of Fame & Museum was
established in 1965 as a not-for-profit educational organization in the City of
Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was recognized by FINA, the international
governing body for the Olympic aquatic sports, in 1968.
The Mission of
ISHOF is to PRESERVE and CELEBRATE aquatic history, to EDUCATE the general public about the
importance of swimming as the key to water safety, drowning prevention, better
health and a better quality of life, and to INSPIRE everyone to swim. ISHOF’s collection of swimming
memorabilia, art, photos and films, along with archival documents and rare
books in the Henning Library, make ISHOF the premier repository and academic
research resource for swimming and aquatic history in the world. www.ishof.org

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