Steven Munatones Receives 2022 Dale Petranech Award
Ned Denison, chairperson of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, announced Steven Muñatones was selected as the sixth recipient of the Dale Petranech Award for Services to the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF).
This award – named after long-time IMSHOF chairperson and International Swimming Hall of Fame honoree Dale Petranech will be presented at the IMSHOF Induction and Award ceremony in Naples, Italy on May 7th 2022.The award is voted on by the Board of the IMSHOF as the person who has contributed to the organization above and beyond any other.
Denison explains the background of the selection, “Steven’s direct involvement in the management of IMSHOF as Vice President and Chief Administrator from 2003 to 2014 was crucial in taking the organisation from Dale’s personal efforts in the era of post and telephone to a team executing internationally in the world of websites and electronic communication. His main contributions were varied:
- He created the first www.IMSHOF.org website.
- He researched and wrote more than 200 Honoree biographies. Today the biographies link to the Openwaterpedia wiki he created and that has evolved over more than 12 years.
- He wrote more than 20,000 Daily News of Open Water Swimming posts in the WOWSA (World Open Water Swimming Association) website. These continue to be two of the top starting point to look up facts for the sport of open water swimming.
- He formed and recruited volunteers from around the world to create a functioning IMSHOF leadership committee.
- He recruited more than 30 individuals from around the world to vote on the annual IMSHOF Honoree ballot.
- He took the annual induction ceremony from a small Saturday luncheon in the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida to a formal international dinner and presentation for 100 to 300+ attendees in New York City at the United Nations Building, Southern California, Cork, Ireland and, then Scotland and Tunisia.
- He recently hosted the last two IMSHOF virtual ceremonies (because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic).
- He helped interview nearly 100 IMSHOF Honorees to capture their careers on video.
Denison explains, “Dale and others laid the foundations. Then, Steven helped lay the tracks, build the train, and got it moving forward. These days the IMSHOF still drafts off his efforts. He came off the Executive Committee in 2014, but continues to be a major contributor to IMSHOF.”
This award was created in 2016 to honor Dale Petranech for decades of service to the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. Petranech is a dual inductee in both the IMSHOF and the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Contributor. As a marathon swimmer, Petranech previously held the record as the oldest solo swimmer across the Catalina Channel. He served for nearly 50 years in various capacities at all levels of the sport, local, regional, national and international.
Munatones said upon receiving the award, “Wow. I have always gladly and humbly followed in the wake of Dale. It is my great honor to receive an award named after him. We spend so much time driving to events in cars, in hotels and meeting rooms just trying to figure out how to grow the sport. We always had the Summer Olympics in mind, but we are also so pleased to see the growth of the sport at all levels, from ice swimming and stage swimming to marathon swimming and channel swimming. All of us in the sport build upon others who came before us, and help grow the sport for those who will come after us.”
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