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    Furniss News Articles Furniss News Articles Document Transcript

    • USA Swimming - Heroes of the Past Page 1 of 4 Back Furniss Brothers By Sharon Robb Brothers Bruce and Steve Furniss were swimming against each other in the 200m IM during the 1975 U.S. Swimming Nationals when Bruce broke his older brothers world record in front of an emotionally charged, packed house in Kansas City. A local reporter asked Steve Furniss how he felt about his own brother beating him and taking away his world record. Steve Furniss looked up and smiled, "At least it stays in the family," he said. "Who would you rather have beat you and take your record? It might as well be your brother." At the same U.S. Nationals, Bruce and Steve teamed with Tim Shaw and Rex Favero, all members of the Dick Jochums-coached Long Beach Swim Club, to break the world record in the 800m freestyle relay (7:30.54). It was the last club team to set a world record. Since then, all relay world records have been set by national or Olympic teams. There was the time Bruce and Steve were racing against each other at the 1975 World Championships in Cali, Colombia. They were in Lanes 1 and 2. Steve out- touched his younger brother by 1/100th of a second. After the race, Steve leaned over the lane lines, nodded to his brother and asked, "Did you throw the race?" "I didnt talk to him for an hour after that race, I was so (angry) he would even infer that," Bruce Furniss now says laughing about it. At Santa Clara, the two were competing in a large pre-season meet, again side-by- side. They were stroke for stroke on the final turn. It didnt matter that they were in fifth and sixth place at the time. "For us it didnt matter, we were raised to race," Steve Furniss said. "We always liked to race each other. It was a sibling rivalry but in a positive sense. We have always had a great love and affection for one another. Plus, I was doing a fair amount of mentoring him. Because it was family, we always left it at the pool. It never manifested itself at home. But in the pool, that was different. It didnt matter that four other guys finished ahead of us on that particular day. All that mattered was the battle between Bruce and me. " And battles they were. Brotherly love, swim-style. Both former world-class swimmers credit the other for bringing out the best in each other in races, training and getting to the Olympics. "I would not be the swimmer I was if it wasnt for my brother," Bruce Furniss said. "He was very instrumental in my success." Bruce Furniss, who turns 45 on May 27, was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale in 1987. One of the most versatile swimmers of his era, he won two gold medals at the 1976 Olympics in the 200m freehttp://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=472&Alias=Rainb... 5/5/2008
    • USA Swimming - Heroes of the Past Page 2 of 4 and the 800m free relay, both in world record times. During his career he won nine AAU titles and six NCAA championships and claimed 19 American records, including 10 in yard distances that were the worlds fastest times. In 1975, he emerged as a top American swimmer after placing second in the 200m and 400m freestyle at World Championships. Later that year, he set his first world record after posting a new best time twice in one day in the 200 free. In August of the same year, he went on to deprive his brother of the 200 IM world record. Steve Furniss, five years older, was the 1976 Olympic bronze medalist in the 200 IM. He specialized in the IM, winning the 200 and 400 at both the 1971 and 1975 Pan American Games. In 1974, he tied Great Britains David Wilkies 200 IM world record before his brother Bruce took it in 1975. In addition to being a medalist at the 1972 Olympics, he also swam the 400 IM in 1972 and 1976, reaching the finals on both occasions. The former world record-holder in the 200 IM – the second fastest of all time in the 200 IM in 1976 – was denied what could have been his greatest moment in swimming when the event was removed from the Montreal Olympic Games schedule. It was believed that Steve, Bruce and Wilkie would have been the overwhelming favorites, since they were the only swimmers to go under 2:07 at the time. It was the only year the event was taken out of the Games schedule. It was reinstated in the 1980 Olympics, which was boycotted by the U.S. Steve, co-captain of the 1976 Olympic swim team, was always disappointed that he was never given the opportunity to swim his best event in 1976. Only the 400 IM was held. Though the Olympic gold medal eluded him, he was the most dominant individual medley swimmer of his era (1972-1976). To this day, few people realize that Bruce and Steve Furniss are the only known brothers ever in the modern era to have held and broken one anothers world records consecutively. Its one of their greatest disappointments not to have had the opportunity to face each other as brothers in the 1976 Olympic Games. Both credit swimming for shaping their lives. They also praise their parents, William and Patricia Furniss, for getting them involved in the sport along with their other two brothers, and having the wherewithal to wake up at the crack of dawn to get them to morning workouts, help time meets and provide a helping hand at every turn of their swimming careers throughout high school, college and club swimming. Moments after touching the wall in the 200 free, Bruce Furniss blew a kiss to his mother, celebrating a lifelong goal – the Olympic gold medal. His time of 1:50.29 was a World, American and Olympic record. Patricia Furniss died of Parkinsons disease a few years ago. William still lives in Southern California and gets together with his sons frequently. The conversation always manages to center around some old swim story. "Swimming had a lot to do with my adult life," Bruce Furniss said. "Swimming is a common thread that still has an impact in my life. Had I not been a swimmer, I would not have been on the U.S. team, gone to the Olympics or met my wife. The sport had such character-shaping moments for me.” Olympic great John Naber invited Bruce to a 1988 Olympic team sendoff gala athttp://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=472&Alias=Rainb... 5/5/2008
    • USA Swimming - Heroes of the Past Page 3 of 4 Disneyland where he met his future wife Sharon, director of marketing at Disneyland. They have been married 13 years. "The things I miss the most? Well, I miss being really good at something and competing at the most elite level of the sport," Bruce Furniss said. "I loved the raw, unabashed innocence of the moments of my life in swimming. They were very private and extraordinarily important to me. Now, I live vicariously through the younger athletes." His most defining moment was not winning Olympic gold or breaking a world record. It was more personal, a moment that shaped his being as an adult. It was the final race of his career at Nationals in 1980 at Irvine, Calif., a week after the Moscow Olympics. After failing to make finals in the 200 freestyle, he stood up on the blocks one final time in his last event of the meet, the 200 IM. His parents were sitting at the finish line. Furniss was in second place, a full body length behind Bill Barrett of UCLA, when the turn judge raised his hand, signaling an infraction in Furniss lane. He failed to touch the wall on his breaststroke turn. It would have been very easy for swim officials Pat Graham and Keith Hanson to look the other way, Furniss said. After all, it was his last race. He was president of the Athletes Advisory Council for swimming and would have qualified third or fourth for the championship final. Instead, Furniss said the two officials "were doing rock, paper, scissor to see which one of them was going to tell me I was disqualified. They were devastated one of them had to come over." It was Graham, who knew Furniss since he was a 6-year-old age grouper, who had to break the news to Furniss. Graham came over, knelt beside Furniss and asked whether he touched the wall. "I dont know where it came from or where I found the strength but I told him I knew I didnt touch the wall and agreed with his call," Furniss said. "I told him No, I did not touch the wall. It was one of my proudest moments of anything I ever did. The most important thing I did was not lie. If I had lied, I would have had to live with that the rest of my life. It was such a simple moment in a race. But something I have never forgotten. I ended my career on a disqualification." After all these years, Bruce and Steve Furniss are still competitive, only now its out of the pool. Steve Furniss won the latest bet, on the Oscar winners. "We have our fun still,” Steve said. We always have to win in something. We cant do it in body, so we think of other ways to beat each other. We had a lot of head-to- head races, and they were all enjoyable. But thats not what I miss the most. I think its more the camaraderie and the friends we met along the way. We can bump into someone we swam with and havent seen in 15 years and talk about the old days like it was yesterday. "Its funny. The stuff I used to hate back then is the stuff I miss the most. Piling into the car with my three other brothers and going to morning workouts… testing your mind against your body in two-hour workouts and pushing my body to its physical limits." Bruce Furniss, married with four children including a set of twins, lives in Southern California. He is senior vice president with Grubb and Ellis in Anaheim. Nowadays, he plays more golf than he swims. His commercial real estate selling area concentrateshttp://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=472&Alias=Rainb... 5/5/2008
    • USA Swimming - Heroes of the Past Page 4 of 4 on the Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino and Riverside regions. Steve Furniss and his wife have two children and live 20 minutes away from Bruce and Sharon in Huntington Beach, Calif. Steve founded TYR Sport, Inc. in 1985. He was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 1994 by Inc., Magazine. Backhttp://www.usaswimming.org/USASWeb/ViewMiscArticle.aspx?TabId=472&Alias=Rainb... 5/5/2008
    • Bruce Furniss Named 2004 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award Recipient :: Former USC s... Page 1 of 1Bruce Furniss Named 2004 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award RecipientFormer USC swimming great is the ninth Trojan to win prestigious honor.Nov. 20, 2003Bruce Furniss, one of the most prolific swimmers in USC history, has been named one of sixrecipients of a 2004 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award.The Award recognizes former student-athletes who have distinguished themselves since Bruce Furniss has beencompleting their college athletics careers 25 years ago. The recipients will be honored on Jan.11 at the Honors Dinner during the annual NCAA Convention in Nashville, Tenn. named a 2004 NCAA Silver AnniversaryThe other 2004 honorees are Trish Millines Dziko (basketball, volleyball, softball at Monmouth), Award winner.Virginia Anne (Ginny) Gilder (rowing at Yale), Stacey Johnson (fencing at San Jose State),Gregory Kelser (basketball at Michigan State) and Kelleen Winslow (football at Missouri).Furniss is the ninth Trojan to receive this prestigious award, joining John Ferraro (1973), Al Geiberger (1984), Mike Garrett(1991), Stan Smith (1993), Lynn Swann (1999), Pat Haden (2000), John Naber (2002) and Debbie Landreth Brown (2003).Furniss helped the Trojans secure two NCAA swimming team championships in 1976 and 1977 and four Pac-10 titles from1976 to 1979. The 18-time all-American also captured six national crowns in the 200-yard freestyle, 200-yard freestyle relayand the 400-yard freestyle relay. Furniss, who competed despite battling a severely crippling arthritic disease, also dominated on the international scene as a four-time world-record holder in the 200-meter freestyle and in the 800-meter freestyle relay. A 19-time American record holder, Furniss collected gold medals at the 1975 and 1978 World Championships. In addition, he was a two-time gold medalist at the 1976 Olympic Games (in the 200-meter freestyle and swimming a leg on the United States 800 freestylerelay, both in world record time).Named to the United States Swimming Team of the Century in 2000, the 1987 International Swimming Hall of Fame inducteeand 2001 USC Athletic Hall of Fame inductee has been a senior investment advisor with Hendricks & Partners since 2002 andformerly was a senior vice-president with Grubb & Ellis from 1998 to 2002. A member of United States Swimmings board ofdirectors from 1981 to 1987, Furniss was an Olympic Torchbearer in 1984 and 1996. In addition, he has been on the board ofdirectors for the Los Angeles and Orange County chapter of the Arthritis Foundation and has served as campaign chair for theorganizations annual telethon.Furniss helped to establish "Swim with Mike," an annual charity swim event originally designed to raise money for MikeNyeholt, a swimmer at USC who was injured. The program has raised more than $4 million, which has translated into morethan 45 full scholarships for physically challenged athletes to attend college.Furniss also has been a volunteer with the Orange County YMCA and serves as a professional career mentor to currentstudent-athletes at USC.He has 3 Trojan aquatic siblings: older brothers, Steve, an Olympic bronze medalist who won 4 NCAA individual medley titles,and Chip, a 3-time All-American swimmer, and younger brother, Craig, a 2-time All-American on the water polo team (andUSCs co-valedictorian).http://www.fansonly.com/printable/schools/usc/sports/m-swim/spec-rel/112003aaa.html?fr... 1/22/2004
    • News ReleaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Sharon Abar 714.939.6034 FURNISS OF GRUBB & ELLIS’ ANAHEIM OFFICE NAMED TO USA SWIMMING TEAM OF THE CENTURYORANGE, Calif., April 13, 2000 --- Bruce Furniss, senior vice president and investment specialist withthe Anaheim office of Grubb & Ellis Company, has been named to the USA Swimming Team of theCentury recently announced by United States Swimming’s Splash magazine. Furniss, who attended college at USC, was selected to represent the United States in the 800meter freestyle relay prelims team along with Rowdy Gaines, Johnny Weismuller and Don Schollander.He was also chosen for the 800 meter freestyle relay finals team along with Mark Spitz, Don Schollanderand Matt Biondi. In the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Furniss took home a pair of gold medals,winning the 200 meter freestyle and the 800 meter freestyle relay. Additionally, he was twice WorldChampion in 1975 and 1978 and garnered two silver medals as well in the 200 meter and 400 meterfreestyles in the 1975 World Championships. Furniss set ten world records during his career and held theworld record mark in the 200 meter freestyle for four years. Furniss, along with his brother Steve, alsoholds the unique distinction for being the only brothers ever in the modern era to break one another’sworld records consecutively in the same event. Furniss broke his older brother’s world mark in the 200IM in 1975. A panel of 24 swimming experts chose the 52-member USA Swimming Team of the Century.The panel included historians, swimming writers, Olympic coaches and swimmers. Their selections camefrom among the swimmers who have won more than 400 Olympic medals for the United States over thepast 100 years. Two individuals were chosen per event with the exception of the 100 meter and 200 meter
    • News ReleaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Sharon Abar 714.939.6034 FURNISS OF GRUBB & ELLIS NAMED TO USC ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME FOR 2001ORANGE, Calif., January 11, 2001 --- Bruce Furniss, senior vice president and multifamily specialistwith the Anaheim office of Grubb & Ellis Company, is one of 20 Trojan luminaries selected for inductioninto the USC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001. Furniss will be part of the fifth group of athletes to be inducted into the USC Athletic Hall ofFame. “This is an outstanding group of Trojans greats who have played an important role in USC’sathletic history,” said USC Athletic Director Mike Garrett, who was a member of the 1994 charter class.“They’ll join our first four classes of Hall of Famers to form a real Who’s Who in USC sports.” Furniss took home a pair of gold medals in the 1976 Olympics in Montreal, winning the 200meter freestyle and the 800 meter freestyle relay. Additionally, he was twice World Champion in 1975and 1978 and garnered two silver medals as well in the 200 meter and 400 meter freestyles in the 1975World Championships. He also won four NCAA titles. Furniss set ten world records during his career and held the world record mark in the 200 meterfreestyle for four years. Furniss, along with his brother Steve, hold the unique distinction of being theonly brothers ever in the modern era to break one anothers world records consecutively in the sameevent. Furniss broke his older brothers world mark in the 200 IM in 1975. He is a life member of U.S.Swimming and an inductee into both the International Swimming and Orange County Sports Halls ofFame. He is a resident of Anaheim Hills. --more--
    • FURNISS OF GRUBB & ELLIS NAMED TO USC ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME FOR2001, add one The Hall of Famers are selected by a 75-member panel consisting of media and USC alumni andathletic department supporters. To be eligible for election, athletes must have completed their last seasonof eligibility at USC 10 years ago. Grubb & Ellis Company is one of the nations largest commercial real estate services firms.Through its offices, affiliates and global strategic alliance with Knight Frank, one of the leading propertyconsulting firms in Europe and Asia, the company provides a full range of real estate services, includingadvisory, management and consultative services, to users and investors worldwide. With the collectiveresources of nearly 7,000 people in 200 offices in 27 countries, Grubb & Ellis professionals arrange thesale or lease of such business properties as industrial, retail and office buildings, as well as the acquisitionand disposition of multi-family and hospitality properties and commercial land. Major multiple-marketclients have a single point of contact through the firms corporate and institutional units for coordinationof all of the firms services as well as site selection, feasibility studies, market forecasts and research. Formore information, visit the companys website at www.grubb-ellis.com. ###
    • freestyle, where six were picked -- the same procedure used to select the team for the 2000 OlympicGames. One twist to the selection process was adding additional swimmers to the roster to reach amaximum of 52 -- the same maximum number for the 2000 Olympic Games --more—FURNISS OF GRUBB & ELLIS’ ANAHEIM OFFICE NAMED TO USA SWIMMING TEAM OFTHE CENTURY, add one Grubb & Ellis Company is one of the nations largest commercial real estate services firms.Through its offices, affiliates and global strategic alliance with Knight Frank, one of the leading propertyconsulting firms in Europe and Asia, the company provides a full range of real estate services, includingadvisory, management and consultative services, to users and investors worldwide. With the collectiveresources of nearly 7,000 people in 200 offices in 27 countries, Grubb & Ellis professionals arrange thesale or lease of such business properties as industrial, retail and office buildings, as well as the acquisitionand disposition of multi-family and hospitality properties and commercial land. Major multiple-marketclients have a single point of contact through the firms corporate and institutional units for coordinationof all of the firms services as well as site selection, feasibility studies, market forecasts and research. Formore information, visit the companys website at www.grubb-ellis.com. ###