Aug. 20, 2009
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.-- Former Stanford swimmers William R. “Tim” Timken, Jr. and Jenny Thompson will be honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame on September 12.
Timken, a 1960 graduate and former captain of the swim team, will be bestowed the ISHOF's highest honor, The Gold Medallion, while Thompson, a 12-time Olympic medalist and 1993 graduate, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Tickets for the event and weekend in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., can be obtained by calling (570) 594-4367 or visiting www.ishof.org. ISHOF will donate $50 of the $150 ticket associated with the Stanford Alumni Association or clubs to Stanford University.
Timken will join the likes of President Ronald Reagan, Senators Barry Goldwater and Paul Tsongas, former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young and entertainers Art Linkletter, Buddy Ebsen and Esther Williams, as recipients of the medallion given annually, since 1983, to a competitive swimmer who has achieved international recognition in the fields of science, government, entertainment, business or education.
Timken, who was a prep All-American and captain of the Stanford swim team, joined his family business, the Timken Company in the 1950s, working full-time for 43 years. Timken rose from being a bauxite shoveler as a teen to President, CEO and Chairman for 30 years before retiring in 2003. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as Chairman of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation in 2003 and in 2005 was named U.S. Ambassador to Germany, serving for three years.
Timken has swam throughout his life, setting 41 national or international records as a masters swimmer, winning numerous national and world championships along the way. He twice swam in relays across the English Channel, the second time at the age of 61.
Thompson was one of the most decorated swimmers in Olympic history, winning eight gold medals and 12 medals overall at four Olympics (1992-2004). She won four medals, including three golds, in Sydney (2000), and three medals a piece in Barcelona (1992) and Atlanta (1996). She will be one of nine swimmers inducted into the 2009 class.
During Thompson's four years at Stanford (1992-95), she won four NCAA championships as part of some of the most dominant teams in NCAA history. During that time, Thompson amassed nineteen individual and relay NCAA titles and was named an All-American 26 times.
Between 1997 and 1999, Thompson won eight more world championship titles, including three in a row in the 100-meter freestyle. As the oldest member of Team USA at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, she won silver medals to complete her Olympic career.
Thompson set four world records in the 100 butterfly and individual medley. She held the short course record in the 100 butterfly for nearly five years from April, 1997 to January, 2002.
Thompson was the 1993 and 1998 USA Swimming Swimmer of the Year, and ranked as the 62nd greatest female athlete of all time in a 1999 poll conducted by Sports Illustrated.
(photos courtesy of the Timken Company, the International Swimming Hall of Fame and Stanford University)