Fort Lauderdale, FL – May 13th , 2006. Back in 1969, David Miln Smith was inducted into The International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame. But the committee couldn’t find him. To receive an award posthumously means after death. What’s the word for “40 years late”? This May, Smith officially received the reward at the Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony in Fort Lauderdale, joining the exclusive company of Gertrude Ederle, Florence Chadwick and Johnny “Tarzan” Weismuller.
The award, presented by Dale Petranech, Chairman of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, was for being the first person to swim from Africa to Europe, among other distance swims. John Evans, noted expert on Leadership, introduced Smith, saying, “Besides being an international marathon swimmer, Dr. David Miln Smith is an international humanitarian. He is an ambassador of good will, an innovator of adventure sports and ‘the extreme.’ But swimming distances is only one side of David. He’s also a writer of books on health and wellness, personal change and overcoming fear. Over the past 27 years, he’s led 54 wilderness adventures for schizophrenic patients on the Appalachian Trail, and conducted 290 programs in prisons, including San Quentin, on how to ‘get a job instead of do a job.”
Smith opened his acceptance speech by saying, “More important than this award is the reward international marathon swimming gave me. The challenge of the swims opened my life to new horizons, infinite possibilities and the ability to travel the world in novel, intense, athletic endurance explorations. Marathon swimming turned me into an explorer.” As a keynote speaker in the corporate world, Smith’s adventure stories never fail to generate laughter and inspire. He shows audiences how to embrace their fears, navigate through unknown territory, take risks, and accomplish the impossible. He made a career out of accomplishing such “impossible” feats, starting with the swim from Africa to Europe, trekking the Sahara solo, and kayaking 2000 miles down the Nile. By 1977 he was awarded England’s “The Spirit of Ecstasy” award for “Personification of Mind and Body.” He was twice selected the Adventurer of the Year, and is a member of The Explorers Club. He went back to university later in life and graduated summa cum laude (with highest honors) from the University of West Florida and holds a Ph.D. in Health and Human Services