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Montgomery joins Hall of Fame

24 May 2013

WATER POLO: Australian water polo great Peter Montgomery AM has been inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Montgomery was one of ten individuals invested into the ISHOF at the 49th Annual Induction Ceremony on May 11.

Montgomery, the Vice President of the Australian Olympic Committee, was recognised under the Contributor category for his tireless work and dedication to the sport of water polo and his involvement with the Olympic Movement for over 40 years.

The former Australian captain and four-time Olympian said the presentation and ceremony at the ISHOF is something he would never forget.

“It was a great honour to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” Montgomery said.

“I’d never been there before but knew all about it, and just as I’d heard, the ceremony was very well done. I spent the afternoon before the ceremony going through the two museums and there is just so much history there.

“Overall it was unforgettable, a very big thrill to be recognised. I enjoyed the occasion very much.”

Montgomery, who has the rare distinction of being a multiple Olympian as both an athlete and an official, made a name for himself in the pool playing 441 tests for his country including 167 as captain - before dedicating his honorary services to the development of the game and the Olympic Movement.

Montgomery now joins fellow Australian Water Polo legends Bill Berge Phillips and Tom Hoad as being recognised among the sport's elite as Contributor members of the ISHOF. He thanked both in his inauguration speech.

“I spoke about a few people in my acceptance speech including Tom Hoad, Bill Berge Phillips and Oscar Charles,” Montgomery said.

“Tom was my mentor, he coached me and had a big influence on my water polo career. Bill Berge Phillips had a great influence on me too, a terrific influence on my life and law career.

“Oscar Charles defected to Australia from the London Olympics in 1948 as a silver medallist with Hungary when he was one of the worlds best players. He was twice an Australian Olympic coach and was my coach at the Universities club. He also had a big influence on my career.

“Another great mentor to me, but also a colleague and friend for decades, has been John Coates, the pre-eminent Olympic official in Australia.”

Continuing the ongoing strong relationship between Croatian and Australian water polo, which has been furthered by current Aussie Sharks coach Elvis Fatovic, Montgomery was inducted by Croatian icon Petr Bukic, while there were other Croatian stars involved on the day.

“I was particularly thrilled that Ratko Rudic was there on the day,” he said.

“Ratko inducted Milivoj Bebic, the great Yugoslav and Croatian player, while I was inducted by Petr Bukic. There were three greats of Croatian water polo all there which was wonderful.”

Water Polo Australia

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