2023 PHOF Inductee

Seymour Rifkind

Contributor

Seymour Rifkind

CITIZENSHIP: USA

BORN: July 27, 1951 in Chicago, Illinois

EDUCATION:

  • Niles East High School, Skokie, Illinois
  • University of Iowa, BS
  • University of Nebraska, MBA

MAJOR CONTRIBUTIONS:

  • Founder and President of the International Pickleball Teaching Professional Association (IPTPA) in 2015.
  • Founder and past President of the Pickleball Hall of Fame in 2017.
  • Founder and President of the World Pickleball Federation in 2018.
  • Rode his bicycle over 3,000 miles from San Diego, CA to St. Augustine, FL to raise funds for the Pickleball Hall of Fame in 2021.
  • As President of WPF, he spearheaded efforts to showcase pickleball at the World Maccabi Games in Israel, an IOC Sanctioned event and at the Asian Games in China in 2023 another IOC Sanctioned event.
  • As President of IPTPA, he has visited over 40 countries certifying teachers to teach pickleball. IPTPA has instructors in 65 countries worldwide and counting.

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Background

Seymour was the past President of the Interface Group, a marketing communication firm. Interface provided marketing services to some of the largest corporations in the world, Toshiba, Siemens, Motorola and Baxter to name a few.

Seymour retired in 2005 and is the author of his best-selling book – 21st Century Samurai: The Secret Path to Success & Fulfillment, which has been translated into five foreign languages.

Seymour is considered one of the world’s peak performance experts. He’s provided workshops and seminars to major corporations and athletic teams. He’s spoken at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Michigan, the University of Illinois, Ohio State, and many others.

Seymour’s been involved in athletics his entire life. Below are some of his athletic accomplishments:

  • A full scholarship gymnast winning an international Gold & Bronze Medal in a world competition
  • Coached over 40 All American High School Gymnasts as well as working with 5 Olympians and 2 Olympic Champions
  • Competed internationally in tennis
  • Completed Chicago, New York, and Boston Marathons
  • Summited the highest peak in the Western Hemisphere at 23,000 feet
  • A black belt and certified instructor in Tae Kwon Do
  • Ironman Triathlon age group winner (in his first season)
  • 50 Kilometer ultra-marathon age group winner
  • Completed the Badwater 135-mile solo ultra-marathon (considered the toughest footrace in the world)
  • Creative Director for the Documentary film 135 Days to Badwater, 2009
Seymour doing exhibition match & ribbon cutting at the first courts in Vietnam.
Seymour Rifkind & Kyle Yates Gold medalists men’s open division Amsterdam 2016.
Seymour and Fatih Dervent doing a ½ hr TV show on Pickleball in Istanbul, Turkey.
Opening ceremonies at the World Maccabi Games, where Pickleball was accepted as an exhibition sport.
2019 Meeting with the sports Bureau in China & their acceptance to promote pickleball.
Exhibition/Free Clinic in Bhutan September 2023 where a contingent of players donated paddles, balls, nets and raised funds to build the first 3 pickleball courts in the country.
Pickleball Pros that WPF brought to China for pickleball exhibition at the Badminton Olympic Arena. A nationally televised event with 4.8 million views.
Free clinic for those that are wheelchair bound
Hele Sparre and I volleying at 10,200 feet with the 2000 year old temple “Tigers Nest” in the background

COMPETITION AND AWARDS RECOGNITION:

2016 Amsterdam Open – Men’s Open Doubles Gold with Kyle Yates

2016 US Open – Men’s Doubles 5.0 65-69 Bronze with Ted Myer

2017 Midwest Regional – Men’s 5.0 35-39 Bronze with Chuck Feinstein

2018 Western Regional – Men’s Doubles 5.0 65-69 Gold with Lenny Chimino 

2018 US Open – Mixed Doubles 5.0 50-54 Silver with Lisa Milbrath 

2018 US Open – Men’s Doubles 5.0 65-69 Silver with Dan McLaughlin