Cliff Lumsdon Becomes A Dual Hall of Fame Inductee

Cliff Lumsdon Becomes A Dual Hall of Fame Inductee

Cold water was his game, Clifford Douglas “Cliff” Lumsdon Jr., CM, O.Ont was his name. The five-time world champion between 1949 and 1954 was known for his ability to swim in cold water, once going 51.5 km (32 miles) in 18+ hours in 49°F water.

Lumsdon, who passed away at 60 in 1991, was voted in the International Swimming Hall of Fame for the Class of 2013.

He will be honored at the International Swimming Hall of Fame’s 49th Annual Induction Ceremonies on May 11th in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is already an Honour Swimmer inducted in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in 1969.

In one of the most memorable professional marathon races of the 20th century, he won $84,000 for his Canadian National Exhibition victory in 1955 when he outlasted 29 competitors in the cold water of Lake Ontario.

Lumsdon turned professional when he was 16, but he always regretted giving up his amateur status before the 1948 London Olympics. In 1949, at the age of 18, Lumsdon won $6,300 and the world marathon championship in Toronto, defeating 46 competitors in the annual 15-mile race at the Canadian National Exhibition.

Lumsdon won four additional races at the more marathons at the Canadian National Exhibition, and had 2 second-place finishes and a victory at the 22-mile Atlantic City marathon. In 1956, he became the first swimmer to cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca in British Columbia. He retired in 1965 with career earnings of $152,000.

He was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1976, received the Order of Ontario in 1989, and was a recipient of the Order of Canada in 1982.

Photo courtesy of Solo Swims of Ontario.

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