GAYLE A. GINISH
2004 INDUCTION TO THE RHODE ISLAND AQUATIC HALL OF FAME
Gayle’s induction into the Rhode Island Aquatic Hall of Fame is a very special event. Gayle has had a long-term connection to the swimming world starting back as a youngster learning to swim at the Pawtucket Boys Club. Despite being born with cerebral palsy, this impairment did not deter her from swimming and competing. With a strong will to do everything everyone else would do Gayle did compete making her mark in the swimming world.
As a member of the Shea High School swim team she swam backstroke and long-distance freestyle. While attending Rhode Island Junior College an official mentioned an organization called The National Association of Sports for Cerebral Palsy (NASCP). At age 19, Gayle had a purpose to swim and compete. Participating on the local level she competed in the freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke winning events, receiving medals and setting records.
Gayle holds three national records in the freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke. She competed at swim meets in Rhode Island, Connecticut, Texas, New York, Michigan and Illinois.
Gayle participated in the International Games for the Disabled. She traveled to Holland in 1980 and to Denmark in 1982 and New York in 1984. Gayle was the only American to place at the games in Holland, receiving her medal from Queen Beatrix. In Denmark, she was the only girl from Rhode Island to place first in the Freestyle and Backstroke and a third in the Breaststroke event.
Gayle continues to swim daily and volunteers at the Rhode Island Interscholastic swim meets as an official both at dual meets and championship meets. She’s a volunteer with the Department of Corrections and was selected as the recipient of the Annual Russell E. Dixon Volunteer of the Year Award of 2003.