Encouraging More Adults to Swim

Leo Letendre Receives 2004 Ransom Arthur Award

Making it happen behind the scenes

Jim Miller, M.D. | November 23, 2010

The presentation of the Captain Ransom J. Arthur, M.D. Award is a distinct honor. This is one opportunity that United States Masters Swimming has to recognize one out of the many thousands of volunteers that have made our organization so great, simply because they love the sport.

Captain Arthur was a physician with a vision. This vision was that adults needed to exercise—a unique concept at the time. He also felt that a competitive side would encourage training and camaraderie. Here we are at the 34th National Short Course Championships proving that this was far more than a dream.

The honoree, Leo Letendre, first came to the national scene in 1983 as a support for his wife, Diane, a new delegate to the convention. Paraphrasing Diane’s comment, “Leo got to the convention, started talking, and never shut up.” He has now attended 21 USAS conventions.

Since 1983 Leo developed and continues to update the registration software that USMS is using today. He was so innovative in its production that the software is commonly referred to as “Leo Ware.” His valuable insights into the needs of USMS are enhanced by his prior experience as the chair of the Ad Hoc Computerization Committee and a member of the Professional Management and Officials Committees. Currently, he chairs the Rules Committee, where his methodical organization and calm leadership make “wet” years, or rules years in the USMS legislative calendar, as painless as possible. He actively serves on the Legislation Committee, Officials Committee, and Data Base Task Force. He has been active on the local level as Zone Representative, Ozark LMSC Chair, Officials Chair, and Top Ten Recorder.

Leo’s tireless work ethic and dedication to United States Masters Swimming have laced him in the spotlight that he deserves today. United States Masters Swimming is proud to recognize Leo today. Enjoy the moment with him and his dedicated family.


presumably submitted to SWIM magazine and retyped by Sally Dillon from various accumulated sources - 7/7/10

Leo Letendre received USMS’s highest honor for service, the Ransom J. Arthur Award, named for the founder of Masters swimming. In the Ozark LMSC Leo was the chairman and Top Ten recorder from 1983-2003, as well as the Officials Chair for 3 years. On the zone level, Leo served as the Zone Representative for the Breadbasket Zone in 1996.

Leo began his service career on the national level simply by accompanying his wife, Diane to convention in 1983 when she was the Ozark delegate. As Diane puts it, “Leo got to convention, started talking, and never shut up.” Since 1984 he has been a member of the Rules Committee and its chair since 1999. He has served on the Professional Management Committee and the ad hoc Computerization Committee and currently serves on the Officials Committee, the Database Task Force, and is an ex-officio member of the Legislation Committee.

The biggest impact Leo has had on Masters Swimming is revolutionizing USMS registration. Leo brought USMS registration into the modern electronic era by developing the registration software, sometimes affectionately called “Leo Ware.” As one local registrar says, “With our ever increasing membership, Leo’s registration program has made the task of being a registrar almost bearable.” Leo was also instrumental in designing the new format for permanent registration numbers and he rewrote the registration software to implement it. He has maintained and revised the national registration program and provides continued support. The national registrar says, “Registrars, old and new, became both his customers and his living labs, helping test-drive and iron out the inevitable ‘disconnects’ with something new. The fact that most of the registrars are now fully functional on the new program (and nobody has quit) attests to Leo’s programming and personal skills.”

Leo has been a loyal supporter of swimming on all levels for more than 20 years.

USMS Wave Seperator

About the Author—Jim Miller, M.D.

Jim Miller, M.D., is a family practice and sports medicine physician and associate clinical professor at the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University. He serves on both the USMS Sports Medicine and Science Committee and the FINA Sports Medicine Committee. Miller is also the sports medicine co-editor for FINA Aquatic World Magazine. He has served as the chair of the FINA World Sports Medicine Congress, national team physician for USA Swimming, chair of the USA Swimming Sports Medicine Task Force, and on USA Swimming’s Open Water Development and International Relations Committees. Miller also served as USMS president from 2001–2005.

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