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Swimming Is Winning – Fort Lauderdale Hall of Fame Has Wi-Fi

June 30th, 2011 · Tags:Cities · Sports · Wi-Fi

I love life’s little coincidences. For instance, I didn’t even know that there was an International Swimming Hall of Fame until I saw a sign near downtown Fort Lauderdale printed with “International Swimming Hall of Fame 3 miles.”

Did I mention the PingWi-Fi entourage jumped from The Dallas Mavericks World Championship celebration to South Florida for The Fourth of July? Well …

So anyway, If you know me well, you know that every time I go to the pool I lament that I was SPD as a child — swimming pool deprived – on the farm. So I love the pool now, not unlike a little kid. Ha … not only do I have goggles like the little nerd boy swimming in one corner of the pool alone, I also have a toy diving sub and the best swim toy ever invented, the “Toypedo.”

I digress …

So. I took a big breath and freestyled on over. In my wake, I left a couple of Starbucks, even though they looked a little more funky than your average Starbucks.

Oh … the coincidence? Today is the 26th birthday of arguably the best swimmer in history, Michael Phelps. I say, pretty uncanny, but “judges hold up your scores.”

The Hall of Fame is a few hundred yards from Fort Lauderdale Beach. Behind it is a canal with multi-million dollar yachts. My favorite? A 120-foot ultra-modern vessel, tagged “Never Enough.” Rough life! Yachts … that remind me. Anyone else remember the “New Wave” band The Yachts … cut of the same cloth as The Cars and The Police, perhaps?
The Yachts Video

I digress …

So … The Hall is housed in two split-level exhibit halls, and there is an outdoor, Olympic-size pool and diving area in between … with lap swimming and diving lessons underway. Nice visuals.

I must admit, being such a life-long yet still novice swimmer, I never really had a “swimming hero” or I might have done some specific research in the Hall. I guess Mark Spitz was the closest to a personal hero … I mean … in my old school day, everyone knew his name and his accomplishments … HA! And his ‘stash and Speedo combo …

As I perused through swimming fashions from the 1920s, gold medals from around the world, statues and trophies, I did see some Spitz stuff. Of course there was the obligatory comparison of Spitz and the new god of the pool, Phelps.

But my favorite part of the exhibit was unexpected. It involved another childhood favorite — Tarzan! — not one but two. Me and my mates grew up watching Tarzan starring former Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller. (I have yet to duplicate his Tarzan yell, but I continue to practice …) Many an hour, did I swing from a rope in a tree on the farm in his honor … Weissmuller was well represented in posters and his own corner of the exhibit.

But here’s something i didn’t know. Weissmuller rode on the loincloth … er coattails of another Tarzan …. Buster Crabbe. I had heard of the Crabbe man and his fame in Hollywood particularly for his role in the old black and white “Buck Rogers” movies, but before i visited the Hall, I had no idea Crabbe was a swimmer and played Tarzan too, before JW! Pretty interesting.
Buster Crabbe


Also, I snapped a photo of the life-size photo of one of the greatest American’s in history …. and not a shabby lifeguard back in the day, or so they say.

If you visit Fort Lauderdale, and you cherish the smell of chlorine like I do, check it out.
Swimming Hall of Fame

OH … I almost forgot. Was there Wi-Fi under the high dive? You bet there was. I updated my Facebook and checked in from The Hall of Fame — the closest I will ever get to an induction. And, I tried a new Wi-Fi test that I will add to my repertoire of Wi-Fi checks at hotspots. i fired up the iPhone 4 and via the Hall of Fame hotspot, I called my PingWi-Fi colleague on FaceTime …. back in Fort Worth.

What!?! No answer? Ironically, I think the family was at swim lessons … Oh well … I will try that Wi-Fi test moving forward — video streaming via the Wi-Fi network. What a concept.

High dives, near life-size jungle men, gold medals and great Wi-Fi. The International Swimming Hall of Fame gets 6 pings on the PingWi-Fi 1 to 7 scale. That’s one shy of Mark Spitz’s gold and more recently, 2 less pings than Phelps’ gold in Beijing.

Know what I sayin?