By Sam Cortes, Communications Coordinator
This 1988 Seoul Paralympics jacket and foam head tapper belonged to Manitoba Sport Hall of Fame Honoured Member Tim McIsaac. The head tapper is an intriguing artefact that was an invention created right here in Manitoba!
During Tim’s training sessions, his coaches Wilf and Audrey Strom, thought of a way they could notify Tim as he approached the end of the pool so that he could do his wall turn. They created a system where when Tim was tapped on the head, he would tumble turn like all sighted swimmers do. He was the first blind swimmer in the world to implement this and it is now compulsory in competition. It was also an excellent training tool that helped Tim become really successful.
On the International stage in 1980, at his first Paralympic Games, Tim went on to win four gold, one silver and two bronze medals. He continued this dominance in the next two Paralympic Games, collecting four gold and three silver in 1984. At the 1988 Seoul Paralympics (where the jacket on display is from), his supremacy in the pool was demonstrated once again as he went on to win six gold and three bronze medals.
Tim was a pioneer and inspiration for many blind swimmers, not just in Manitoba, but around the world for those who also wanted to become a world-class swimmer.
When the Hall of Fame reopens, come and see these fascinating artefacts and more in our gallery!