National Fitness Hall of Fame celebrates 20th anniversary in Addison; Five persons honored, including former Bear Tom Thayer

The 2024 National Fitness Hall of Fame (NFHOF) Induction Ceremony & Awards Dinner was held on Sunday, March 10 at the Medinah Shriners Banquet Hall in Addison.  The event included a celebration of the NFHOF’s 20th anniversary this year. The room was packed with visitors, some of whom traveled across the nation to attend this special evening.

It began with Governor JB Pritzker extended a warm virtual welcome to the group.

“As Governor of the state of Illinois, I am pleased to welcome everyone gathered for the 2024 National Fitness Hall of Fame Ceremony,” he said. “I commend the work you have done to help make Illinois a stronger and more enjoyable state. On behalf of the people of Illinois, I offer my best wishes for an enjoyable and memorable occasion.”

NFHOF Founder John Figarelli welcomed the crowd and invited a star-studded line-up to introduce the current year inductees and award winners.

• Mark Rothstein, a 2011 NFHOF Inductee brought up 89-year-old Richard Derwald to accept his induction.  The Hall of Fame Wrestler/Bodybuilder; Richard has spent five decades promoting and teaching fitness especially attentive to the senior population around Eric County, Pennsylvania.

• Dan Isaacson, “Hollywood Trainer Extraordinaire” was the next to be inducted into “The Hall” as 2012 NFHOF Inductee Bill Crawford recited the numerous career accomplishments Dan has reached and some of the celebrities he has trained to get in the “best shape of their lives.”

• Vince Gironda, the legendary trainer, was honored by two individuals who knew him best.  Sgt. Robert Torres and John Kunkle were good friends of “The Iron Guru” back in the “Golden Years” of bodybuilding and they gave a heart-warming speech on Vince’s behalf.

• Tom Thayer was presented by 2012 NFHOF inductee Coach “Rudy” Ruettiger to receive the new “Inspiration Award.”  This award recognizes actors, athletes or government officials who help motivate Americans to “Get Fit & Stay Healthy.  The ex-Chicago Bear football superstar was humble in his acceptance of this special award and the crowd was extremely excited to meet the Superbowl Superstar!

• Tamilee Webb, 2008 NFHOF Inductee and best known as “Ms. Buns of Steel,” was presented the NFHOF’s Lifetime Achievement Award by 2024 personal trainer Danny Torgl.  Tamilee is a crowd favorite with her bubbling personality and stunning beauty and is always gracious thanking her family, friends and “The Hall” for this industry top recognition.

“After a three-year hiatus, mainly due to Covid, it was most important to the members of Hall of Fame to gather and recognize, in person, all of these terrific people and continue our mission of helping all Americans to ‘Get Fit and Stay Healthy,” said Figarelli in conclusion. To learn more about the National Fitness Hall of Fame or become a member visit