Only five-time winner of the Iditarod. He has 20 top 10 finishes,
more than any other musher.
Born: Willmar, Minn.
Hometown: Two Rivers, Alaska
Iditarod victories: 1977, 1979, 1981, 1982, 1991
1995 -- 9 days, 22 hours, 32 minutesFastest winning time: 1981 --
12 days, 8 hours, 45 minutes, 2 seconds
Sportsmanship, 1983; Regal First to Yukon, 1989; Golden Harness, 1991;
Alaska Airlines Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian, 1992
1976 -- 10th
1977 -- 1st
1978 -- 2nd
1979 -- 1st
1980 -- 4th
1981 -- 1st
1982 -- 1st
1983 -- 5th
1984 -- 6th
1985 -- 4th
1986 -- 3rd
1987 -- 2nd
1988 -- 2nd
1989 -- 3rd
1990 -- 7th
1991 -- 1st
1992 -- 4th
1993 -- 9th
1994 -- 4th
1995 -- 10th
1996 -- Withdrew
1998 -- 11th
Anne Raup / Anchorage Daily News
In 1991, Rick Swenson set out from White Mountain to Nome into a snowstorm so severe that other veteran mushers turned back.
''There were times when you couldn't even see the ground,'' he said later.
But he persevered and pressed on to claim his fifth victory.
When asked why he kept going through the blizzard, Swenson answered: ''Desperation, I guess. I wanted to win the Iditarod.''
Rick Swenson always wanted to win the Iditarod.
In its first 25 years, the Iditarod never saw a more tenacious competitor. He paid attention to every detail of dog racing, but what set him apart washis steely determination.
''He was as smart as anyone on the trail and mentally tougher,'' wrote nominating committee member John Larson. ''He won because he willed it.''
The result was an unequaled record, one that has secured Swenson's place at the top of the list of Iditarod champions.
Swenson won the race five times, more than any other musher. He missed a sixth victory, in 1978, by a single second. He finished among the topfive mushers 15 times. Swenson's worst finish in 20 years of racing was 10th. Between 1976 and 1995, his average finish was 4th.
''He set the racing standard for almost two decades,'' wrote Hall of Fame nominating committee member Tim Jones. ''He also deserves credit forthe improvements in dog care and equipment that he's made over the years.''
Members of the public who sent in nominations agreed.
''He is the most deserving musher,'' wrote George Carnahan.
''Thank you, Rick, for all the great examples you have set over the years of dog mushing and of dog caring,'' Barbara Romine wrote in her letternominating Swenson. ''You deserve to be inducted into the Iditarod Hall of Fame.''