Aussie Trio to join International Swimming Hall of Fame

15 October 2019

Swimming Australia extends its congratulations to Michael Klim, Jon Sieben, and Ursula Carlile who will all be inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2020.

The trio makeup a total of thirteen honorees, hailing from seven countries, who will receive the accolade next year. This includes five swimmers, two coaches, one diver, one water polo player, one synchronized (artistic) swimmer, one open water swimmer, and two contributors.

Michael Klim
Michael Klim celebrates post race.

A triple Olympian, Klim claimed six Olympic medals across the course of his dazzling swimming career, including two gold, three silver and one bronze. Touted as one of Australia’s greatest relay swimmers, his most memorable Olympic moment came in the final of the 4x100m freestyle relay where his lead off swim broke the world record and set Australia up for a famous victory.

Klim retired in 2007 with more than 50 medals from international swimming meets to his name.

Joining Klim is 53-year-old Sieben, who won a gold medal in the 200m butterfly at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, making him the first Australian swimming gold medallist since 1972.

In what was classed as one of the most remarkable upsets in swimming history, Sieben, who was 17-years-old at the time, outclassed his imposing competitors Michael Gross from West Germany and Pablo Morales from the United States to power home in a world-record time to claim the gold.

Jon Sieben 5 200 fly '84
Jon Sieben 5 200 fly '84

Coached by Laurie Lawrence at the time of his gold medal, Sieben held multiple Australian records and titles, and was also honoured with induction into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985.

Making up the trio of inductees is coach and co-founder of the Ryde Carlile Swimming Club, Ursula Carlile.

A life member of Swimming Australia, Carlile started her coaching career in 1955 when she opened her first swim school in Drummoyne with her husband, international swimming coach Forbes Carlile.

Carlile was Australia’s first female Olympic coach, joining Don Talbot as his Assistant Coach at the 1972 Munich Games, coaching young swimming sensation Shane Gould to five medals including three gold.

She went on to coach Australia at the 1974 Commonwealth Games and 1975 World Championships in Columbia. Throughout her coaching career she spent time working with the Dutch national team and became honorary national swim coach of the People’s Republic of China. 

Ursula Carlile - Shane Gould
Carlile smiles with Olympic champion Shane Gould (left) and husband, Forbes. Photo credit: Carlile swimming club.

In the 1950s, Carlile along with her husband revolutionised sport by conducting scientific research on swimmers. They used pace clocks, circle swimming, interval training, heart rates and other tests to monitor training – all methods that are now common practice throughout the world.

Swimming Australia Chief Executive Leigh Russell said it was a huge honour to have three Australians as next year’s inductees.

“Michael, Jon and Ursula all represent a different piece of swimming history in our country and it is wonderful to have them recognised in this way,” she said.

“They all thoroughly deserved this prestigious accolade and I know the Australian swimming community wholeheartedly congratulates them.”

The official induction will be held on Saturday 25 April, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Along with Klim, Sieben and Carlile, the 2020 International Swimming Hall of Fame will also honour:

Brendan Hansen (USA), Rebecca Soni (USA) and Daichi Suzuki (JPN); HONOR DIVER: Matthew Mitcham (AUS); HONOUR SYNCHRONIZED (ARTISTIC) SWIMMER: Elvira Khasyanova (RUS); HONOR WATER POLO PLAYER: Mirko Vicevic (YUG); HONOUR OPEN WATER SWIMMER: Marilyn Bell (CAN); HONOUR COACH: David Marsh (USA);  HONOUR CONTRIBUTORS: Bob Duenkel (USA) and Peter Hurzeler (SUI).

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