Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honors Joseph Mitchell

Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honors Joseph Mitchell

Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honors Joseph Mitchell

Courtesy of Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

Chris Guesdon and Gary Toner announced Joseph Mitchell as a member of the inaugural Class of 2020 in the Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame.

They explained, “Joe was the complete team member and was a multiple medal winner for Australia. Joe holds Australian representative swimmer pin no 460 for first representing Australia at the Pan Pacific Swimming Championships in 1995.

His career embraced multiple FINA Grand Prix events in Australia. Joe was a successful example of these events which were designed to make the Australian swimmers competition fit and race competitive for international events. Joe’s impressive medal finish placings in the Australian 25 km open water championships and team trials selected him automatically for national teams.

His highlights were as a gold medallist in the 1995 Atlanta Pan Pacific Championships team event, whilst taking individual silver to Greg Streppel of Canada. In 1996, Joe was a gold medalist as a key swimmer in the world championship later called the FINA Long Distance Swimming World Cup team event in Evian, France. This event was held in Olympic year until marathon swimming was admitted to the Olympic Games.

Joe was part of a record breaking 93 km relay just five days later [see team photo above]. This superb Australian team, after a hurried trip to Malta, swam from Malta to Sicily in an international team championship against five other nations. The Australian masterstroke strategy was to race – not just swim – the 93 km relay. This race strategy (4 x 30 minute repeating legs) gave them the edge which took the team to victory after 19 hours 11 minutes, becoming the first successful nation to make the crossing since its inception.

In 1996 Joe swam into second place in the epic 40 km International Ponza Island to San Felice race in Italy. He also served as the manager of the Australian team at 2000 FINA World Open Water Swimming Championships held in Honolulu, Hawaii and for Australia at the 2000 Oceania Swimming Championships held in Christchurch, New Zealand.

He was awarded the 1995 Australian Male Open Water Swimmer of the Year by Australian Swimming.

Joseph was a popular team member who had great success as a swimmer and retired to finish several degrees in theatre and the arts. He then went on to great success as artistic director of OzAsia Festival, overseeing five editions of the Festival which has built bridges between Asian performing arts and Australian audiences. The festival has been part of the Adelaide Festival Centre’s programming

The inaugural class of Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame honourees inducted on August 2020 include:

Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honourees – Class of 2020:
* Jennifer Anderson
* Lauren Arndt
* David Bates
* Clive Berry Rickards
* Kate Brookes-Peterson
* Roger Bruce
* Tamara Bruce
* Richard Campion
* Brendan Capell
* Graeme Carroll
* Cavill Family
* Melissa Cunningham
* William Ford
* Melissa Gorman
* Trent Grimsey
* Christopher Guesdon
* Susanne Guesdon
* Kevin Holtom
* Annette Kellerman
* Tracy Knowles
* John Koorey
* Susie Maroney OAM
* Chloë McCardel
* Linda McGill MBE
* Joseph Mitchell
* Lynton Mortensen
* David O’Brien OAM
* Penny Palfrey
* James Pittar
* Des Renford MBE
* Grant Robinson
* Rottnest Channel Swim Association
* Mark Saliba
* Josh Santacaterina
* Shelley Taylor-Smith
* Gary Toner
* Suzanne Toner

For more information, visit the Australian Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Facebook here with Instagram @amshofame.

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Steven Munatones