11th Annual Michigan Masters Banquet

11th Annual Michigan Masters Banquet Featuring Olympic Swimming Legend Rowdy Gaines

The 11th Annual Michigan Masters Banquet featuring Olympic swimming legend Rowdy Gaines was held on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at 2:00 PM in the Fountain Room of the Detroit Yacht Club. The day started out at 7:30 AM with Rowdy hosting a private Sunday breakfast with 10 lucky swim fans before the Michigan Masters Clinic. The swim clinic was next at 10:00 AM and from all reports swimmers found it to be an amazing and valuable experience to help them improve their swimming.

After the clinic was completed, the banquet got started with a great meal served in the best tradition of the Detroit Yacht Club. Next were door prizes that have been a tradition of past banquets and this year to celebrate our host, a raffle of the Rowdy Gaines book “Rowdy Rising From Rejected to Unrivaled ” a book about his life as an Olympic swimmer and swimming analyst for TV networks. The winners of the door prizes were Steve McKenna, Gail Dummer, Corrin Buck, Michael Bell, Erik Lokensgard, Lisa Hypnar, Barbara Church, Addison Marinelli, Dennis McManus, and Michael Colucci.  XXX was the grand prize winner of the Rowdy Gaines triva contest answering the last question and knowing that the 5 original sports that have been in every Olympic Games are Swimming, Track & Field, Gymnastics, Fencing, and Shooting.

Two awards were presented that Michigan Masters members received during the year.

Gail Dummer received the John K. Williams Jr. International Adapted Aquatics Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame during the ISHOF Specialty Awards Ceremony on Friday September 29, 2023 in Ft. Lauderdale FL.

The Williams award honors an individual who has made significant and substantial contributions to the field of adaptive aquatics (aquatics for persons with disabilities) as a participant, athlete, teacher, instructor, coach, organizer, administrator, or media representative.

Gail’s contributions occurred in several areas:

  • In the mid-1990s I obtained grants from the U.S. Olympic Committee to direct a series of three training camps for elite swimmers with disabilities at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The swimmers who participated received expert coaching from both USA Swimming and disability sport organization coaches. As part of each camp, participating coaches met to share their expertise about the capabilities of swimmers with a variety of disabilities. At one camp, the coach group included some “swimmers” with disabilities who were aspiring coaches. A concomitant effort included impaneling a group of experts to draft officiating guidelines for inclusion in swimming meets. Those guidelines were subsequently adopted as Article 105 in the USA Swimming rule book and Article 107 in the USMS rule book.
  • As chairperson or co-chairperson of USA Swimming’s Disability Swimming Committee, I provided leadership for the development of educational materials for swimmers, coaches, parents, and officials about the inclusion of swimmers with a disability.
  • Gail was meet director or co-meet director for the 1996 USA Paralympic Trials as well as USA Swimming-sponsored national disability swimming championships annually from 1997-2001. U.S. Paralympics subsequently assumed responsibility for conducting national championships and selection meets.
  • Gail was an assistant USA coach at the 1994 World Paralympic Swimming Championships in Malta, the 1998 World Paralympic Swimming Championships in New Zealand, and the 2007 World Special Olympics Games in China.
  • Gail has conducted several research studies about the performance capabilities of swimmers with disabilities and about their inclusion in competitive swimming.

Corrin Buck was recognized for being inducted into the Michigan High School Association Coaches Hall of Fame this past year. Buck coached swimming for 35 years overall, with the last 26 being at Harper Creek leading both girls and boys teams. She celebrated her 100th coaching victory within the past few years with the Beavers and finished her final season with 115 wins for her career. For Harper Creek, Buck coached 18 All-State swimmers, three All-Americans and had her team place in the top 10 at the MHSAA State Meet three times, with two individual state champions.

Rowdy begin is talk about his life in swimming and how he got started late as a junior in high school. He talked about the ups and downs you got through to be successful to reach your goals. In 3 short years from High School, he became an NCAA Champion, National AAU Champion, and World Record holder.

Then came his disappointment of the 1980 Olympic Boycott and his chance for 4 gold medals. Then his retirement for 6 months and then his comeback for 3 years to make the 1984 Olympic team. He was able to make the 1984 Olympic team and then go on to win his signature event (100 Free) and this allowed him to swim the two 400 Relays for two additional gold medals.

He started his next career as a broadcaster in 1988 and has been a TV analyst for 8 Olympic Games, many World Swimming Championships and NCAA Championships. He still swims workouts for his fitness and has a great career as a Masters swimmer with Records and Championships at both the National and World levels.

After his motivational talk was over, he shared lots of stories about broadcasting the Olympic Games and his lifetime of experiences with the swimming community. He also brought one of his 1984 Olympic Gold Medals to share with everyone along with posing for lots of photos for the swimmers including a group photo with all attendees of the banquet. An incredible time was had by all.