William 'Rick' Windes
January 21, 1955 - March 14, 2004

It is with deep sorrow that I announce the passing of Rick Meier- Windes. Rick had been a stalward of Pacific Masters Swimming for many years, having served in many of the leadership positions including chair of Pacific Masters.

Rick also served on United States Masters Swimming committees including Officials and Legislation. He has been the only person to be awarded the distinguished Pacific Masters "Contributor of the Year Award" twice ( 1988 and 1992).

A gifted long distance swimmer, Rick swam in the Olympic trials in 1972. When he could no  longer swim as well as he had in the past, Rick became a deck official. He worked many  Pacific Masters meets and age groups meets. He became a National Championship Certified deck official (one of the highest rankings).

Rick continued to swim when his health would let him. He would enter the 500 and 1000 yard events with really no help of winning just to participate (his times would be double of  what he swam when he was in condition). He swam just for the joy of the competition.

A founding member of Tsunami Swim Club, Rick served on its board and worked very hard getting all the records correct for Tsunami and for the International Gay Lesbian Aquatics group.

Rick was a tireless advocate for swimming. He was known for his forceful yet reasoned approach.

When information on a celebration of Rick's life is available, it will be posted on the Pacific Masters Web site. For those who would like to send a note to Rick's partner Cris Meier Windes the address is:
1543 LaSalle
San Francisco, CA 94124
I know he would love to hear from friends.

michael moore, chairman
Pacific Masters Swimming

Nice words Michael. I will reminisce about what I remember of Rick. I met him back in 1987 at the SCN in Stanford and I believe he was just getting back into swimming in masters. I  do remember reading about him in Swimming World back in the 1970's and he was perhaps one of the great distance swimmers of that time. As Michael said he made the 1972 Olympic Trials when he was 16 and he was in the conlsolation heat of the 1500 Free at Portage Park in Chicago. When Mark Schubert went to Mission Viejo in 1972, Rick was the first swimmer to swim in the so called "animal lane". Physically he had to take the punishement of 9000 meters in a practice, two practices a day with no rest days. Most swimmers would be completely exhausted by this which was standard fare for the distance swimmers at Mission. In talking with Mark at a US Open Meet in Ann Arbor in 1993, he said that Rick was one of the hardest working swimmers he has ever coached. He said he set examples for people like Brian Goodell, Taylor Howe, Casey Converse, and latter Paul Asmuth and Mike O'Brien. In fact it is documented on page 32 in the book Four Champions One Gold Medal that says "The individual on the Nadadores with the strongest work ethic and the greatest work capacity was 16 year old Rick Windes". Now that is saying something when a coach like that says those things.

In 1975 or 1976, Rick had an injury that kept him from competing in the 1976 Olympic Trials. In 1990 I saw him at the SCN at USC and I believe that was is best swimming year in Masters. He took a 3rd in the 1500 Free and made several top tens. He was starting to drop time and just getting back into his old form. Rick was a big guy back then close to 200 lbs. He started to lose weight and was getting faster. We competed in the same age group and always talked swimming when we could. I also worked out with Rick at the USAS conventions and at that time he was swimming in the fastest lanes with the fasest people. I have a picture of him from those days at a practice with Rob Copeland, Clay Evans, and Larry Wood. As Michael said he was very active as a volunteer for the service of masters swimming.

Its was around 1993 that I believe he contacted the HIV virus. As the years went by until now his health began to deteriorate but he always maintained a positive and enthusiastic attittude about life and swimming. I would see him every year at the convention and he was always the same Rick, working hard and living his life to the best that he knew how. In San Diego this year, Rick was walking with a cane and was not doing very well. I got chance to visit with him in the hospitality room one night when the other delegates were having races in the hotel pool. He told me that sometimes life is a physical struggle but he tries to live with the pain just like the days when he swam in the annimal lane. I told him that I was truly sorry for what he has to go through daily.

How will I remember Rick. As a great person, great volunteer, geat swimmer, and a person
who did not let adversity get in the way of his life. As Michael said he was known for his forceful yet reasoned uncompromising approach. The last thing I remember Rick talking about was in a House of Delegates session about FINA pool measurement. He said that the
USA should not try to rule the world when it comes to this rule even though we rule the world in every thing else. RIP my friend.

Skip Thompson