Marcos Diaz to be Inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame
During the September 2012 Ceremony Diaz will be the first Dominican to be immortalized in the world of swimming
The prominent open water long distance swimmer from the Dominican Republic will be honored at the International Swimming Hall of Fame, after being selected by the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, immortalizing his status in the sport at a ceremony which will take place on September 22, 2012 in Long Beach, California.
This is a historic event for Dominican sports. Diaz joins Juan Marichal, ex Major League Baseball player as the only two Dominican athletes to be inducted in the hall of fame for their respective sports at the international level. In Marcos' case, he will become the first Dominican athlete to be recognized globally by a federated sport.
For the first time ever, the Dominican flag will be present in the Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the International Hall of Fame is headquartered, and Marcos Diaz's name along with his national colors will be placed next to this sport's great legends such as Johnny Wuismuler, Mark Spitz, Ian Thorpe, Alexander Popov, and Greg Louganis, among others.
Immortalization in the International Hall of Fame is the highest honor to which an athlete can aspire for his or her sport. This honorable recognition is the result of countless sacrifices, continued effort to overcome precarious conditions, breaking of great barriers, and the discipline to always reach the highest level. To make the Dominican Republic known around the world through swimming, by means of the open water sport unknown by most in his country, represents a phenomenon without precedent, worthy of admiration, respect and appreciation in all corners of the country.
Along with his impressive sporting career, out of the water Marcos has become an exemplary citizen. As an honors student in school and college, of ethical behavior and exemplary morality, supportive of social problems affecting both his country and others, he has used his career as a vehicle to help others and to project the Dominican Republic even in the most inhospitable places on the planet.
About Open Water Swimming:
Within the International Swimming Federation's program, the sport of swimming has five disciplines: Swimming Pool, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo, and Open Water Swimming.
The ISF describes open water swimming as the oldest but at the same time the newest of its 5 disciplines. It is the oldest because the first organized competitions in the history of swimming took place in the ocean, in rivers or lakes, before taking place in pools; at the same time this discipline is considered the newest, because although it has been integrated in the ISW global program for more than 20 years, it has only been integrated as an olympic sport as of the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008.
Open water swimming has been a competitive sport since the 1900s; Today, there exist prestigious events around the world with more than 60 years of continuous competitions.
At the competitive level the sport is practiced for all distances. The ISF establishes 3 fixed distances for global championships: 5Kms, 10Kms, and 25Kms.
When the discipline was introduced at the Olympic games there was only the possibility of integrating one distance, and the ISF chose the 10Kms for the similar time duration it has with the marathon (2 hours approximately).
Aside from the world championships, the ISF presents two professional circuits with competitions throughout the year around the world. One is called the World Cup where all the competitions obey the 10K distance, and the other circuit is the ISF Grand Prix where the distances for events vary but are always more thank 15K. In the ISF Grand Prix the competitions range from 15K to 88K.
Within open water swimming, any swim that exceeds 10K is considered a marathon, and ultra marathons or ultra distance swims are those that exceed 25K.
Outside competition events, solitary open water swimming is certified as long as they are regulated by an organization that guarantees rule compliance of international sport regulations.
Marcos Diaz is an open water swimmer specialized in ultra distance swims (greater than 25K), with the particularity that his career has been characterized by the successful combination of solo swims and participation in the most prestigious open water swimming competitions in the world. Marcos has participated in the ISF's World Championships of Open Water Swimming, in the ICF Grand Prix professional circuit, as well as a long list of global competitions of great importance. Diaz has received the highest ranking position globally of the ISF ever reached by a Dominican in any of the 5 disciplines of swimming.
In addition to his competitive success, he has also completed impressive solo crossings where he has not only demonstrated his capacity as an athlete but his great heart, swimming always in the name of charitable causes.
About the International Swimming Hall of Fame:
The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame was created in 1961. One year later this institution was affiliated with the International Swimming Hall of Fame where the world's leading figures in the five disciplines of swimming are immortalized.
The International Swimming Hall of Fame headquarters are located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Athletes, trainers, and promoters of the five disciplines of swimming affiliated with the ISF are highlighted.
Criteria for selection into the Hall of Fame:
According to institution criteria, in order for an international athlete to be eligible, he should be retired, but in the case of an open water swimmer, he should also have a 10 year long career competing in international races. Under this last criteria Marcos has been eligible even though he is still an active open water swimmer.
The International Hall of Fame's Board of Directors is made up of the discipline's experts and includes athletes with world records, trainers, promoters, and judges that have served as members of the ISF's technical committee for open water swimming , as well as sports leaders from different affiliated countries.
Marcos Diaz's nomination was made by Steven Munatones, from the U.S.A., ex coach of the U.S.'s national open water team, member of the ISF's technical committee for open water swimming, and a member of the Hall of Fame. For many years, Munatones has been following Marcos Diaz's career, and in a 2009 article, Steven Munatones declared Marcos as one of the 3 great ambassadors of open water swimming worldwide.
With Marcos Diaz, the Dominican Republic will have a space in the International Swimming Hall of Fame.