A Shark Named Mark
We have had many very
talented swimmers on our team over the years, but the most famous
Shark who has come from the Piscataway Bay is Mark Henderson, son of Marty
and Mary Anne Henderson and older brother of Paul Henderson.
Incidentally, Paul is a FW pool record holder and former Shark coach.
Not only does Mark still hold many Fort Washington Pool and Prince-Mont
Swim League records he went on to compete at every level of swimming during his
career, including being a member of the United States National Swim Team from
1989 to 1997 representing the United States over 15 times in international
competition, winning gold medals at the 1993 and 1995 Pan American Games, and
winning gold at the 1994 World Championships. The culmination of Mark's
remarkable swimming career was winning a gold medal and setting a world record
(03:34.8) in the 4x100 Men's Medley Relay at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta,
with his team mates Jeff Rouse, Jeremy Linn, and Gary Hall, Jr. It has
been said that his butterfly split time, at the 1996 Olympics 400 Medley Relay,
is one of the very best in swimming history.
In 2008, Mark was honored by being selected to carry the Olympic torch as it moved around the world en route to Beijing China for the 2008 Olympic Games. He continues to be active in and out of the pool, chairing the U.S. Olympic Committee's Athletes' Advisory Council, doing as much as he can to support the sport of swimming as well as participating in inspiring charity work. He is now very busy raising Shark pups of his own, with the help of an expert Shark wrangler, Tamara.
As for the lessons that he learned at home and swimming at our pool, he hasn't
forgotten them and continues to be a caring, modest and
hard-working person. When asked where he keeps his Olympic gold medal, he
replied, "I keep my medal in my sock drawer. I still love doing clinics
and keeping the kids excited about swimming, so I like having it handy. It
seems to get the kids' imaginations flowing when I pass it around. I just let
them know that when they become famous, they are going to owe me an
autograph.... Oh, why do I keep my medal in my sock drawer? Who would look
Sharks, which of you will owe Mark an autograph?