Masters swimming officially began May 2, 1970, after Captain Ransom J. Arthur, M.D., a Navy doctor in San Diego, convinced John Spannuth, then president of the Coaches Association, to hold the first National Masters Swimming Championships in the Amarillo Aquatic Club pool. Arthur felt that if the incentive was appealing, it would give older swimmers (ex-competitors and beginners alike) a goal for keeping physically fit. Dr. Arthur's vision of adults improving their fitness through swimming has grown over the years into a nationwide organization of nearly 60,000 adult swimmers.
(Read Ransom J. Arthur's 1968 paper, "Swimming and Cardiovascular Fitness in the Older Age Group and Swim Training in the Older Age Group")
The USMS timeline has a rich history filled with legendary swimmers and volunteers who have contributed to the cause of providing for lifelong fitness through swimming. The USMS History and Archives Committee preserves and documents this history in a variety of ways.
- Top Ten listings
- All American listings
- All-Star listings
- The History and Archives Committee needs your help! We need more positive identification for many of the names in our early Top Ten listings. Please take a look at this list. If you can supply us with any additional information on a swimmer (such as birthdate, maiden name, married name, city and state of residence, or swim club affiliation) please send an email to the USMS Membership Director.
- We're also looking for old open water and long distance results. Please view this list of results we are MISSING from 1974 through 1991. If you have any of these old results we'd love to have copies. Please send an email to the USMS Membership Director.
- Forty Years of USMS: A pictorial history of US Masters Swimming. This was presented by Bob Beach at the International Aquatic History Symposium and Film Festival on May 10, 2012.
- USMS Website Wayback Machine