Honor To Bill Goll

Honor To Bill Goll

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

William ‘Bill’ Goll was initially voted into the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in the Class of 2011 under a label Pioneer Swimmer.

Ned Denison of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame explains the recent induction designation change. “In 2017, the Executive Committee agreed that Bill’s induction was simply a voting mechanism and he is now considered an Honor Swimmer.”

Goll was an American open water swimmer from New York born about 1908. To make ends meet, he traveled as a high diver with a carnival during the Great Depression between 1935-1939, but he also enjoyed a long successful marathon swimming career as a member of the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation.

Goll finished second in the 1930 Manhattan Island Marathon Swim. Over the course of his three-decade career, he participated in nine Canadian National Exhibition races, one of the most prestigious marathon swims of its era, between 1931 and 1954 with many top five finishes including a second-place finish to Marvin Nelson in the 15-mile world championship where he won US$1,500.

In the later stages of his career, Goll participated in at least five 22.5-mile Atlantic City Around the Island Swims in New Jersey between 1954 and 1959, always finishing in the top 10 despite being between 47 and 51 years old.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images shows Goll after finishing second to Marvin Nelson in the 1934 15-mile Canadian National Exhibition.

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Steven Munatones