Now Available: Swim News and the Nick Thierry personal papers

The University of Toronto Archives is pleased to announce that the Nick Thierry personal papers, which includes 320 issues of the magazine Swim News, is now available to researchers (http://utarms.library.utoronto.ca/nick-thierry). The processing and arrangement of Nick Thierry’s papers was made possible through a donation made by Mr. George F. Thierry, Nick Thierry’s brother.

Born in Budapest, Hungary in 1938, Nicholas Joseph Thierry made his way to the University of Toronto in 1959 where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture while also swimming competitively for the University. As a U of T alumnus, Thierry began coaching students on the U of T’s swim team as well as swimmers from local clubs. His coaching talents were soon recognized by provincial and national swimming organizations, leading to Thierry’s involvement in the selection of swimmers for major competitions such as the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games. Thierry coached many high-profile and successful swimmers including Angela Coughlan, Jim Shaw, Karen Le Gresley, Gaye Stratten and Judy Garay.

One of Thierry’s most important contributions to the swim world began when he discovered the need to start tracking swimming statistics to aid in the selection of athletes for swim teams and to develop a method for ranking swimmers globally. In order to facilitate this need for statistics, Thierry organized a monthly publication called Swim News, which quickly became a valuable global resource for coaches and swimmers.

In addition to an extensive collection of Swim News issues which are now available online at the Internet Archive (https://archive.org/details/swimnews), the Nick Thierry fonds contains hand written statistics and rankings from various swimming competitions, correspondence with several Hall of Fame swim coaches, and an impressive assortment of memorabilia from numerous Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and World Swimming Championships.

While Thierry passed away on October 2, 2012 at the age of 73, the documentary history of his impact on the swimming world will be preserved and made available at the University of Toronto Archives. Faculty, students, staff and researchers are encouraged to visit the Archives and explore this extraordinary new resource.