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The International Swimming Hall Of Fame
Announces The 2009 Paragon Award Recipients

Fort Lauderdale – (March 2)The 2009 annual Paragon Awards will be presented on Friday, May 8, 2009, at a ceremony at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. The Annual Paragon Awards, sponsored by Paragon Aquatics, are presented for outstanding contributions to: Competitive Swimming, Water Polo, Competitive Diving, Aquatic Safety, Synchronized Swimming and Recreational Swimming.

“The annual Paragon Awards bring some of the most interesting and fascinating people each year to the Hall of Fame,” said ISHOF President/CEO Bruce Wigo.  “These are the unsung heroes who make competitive swimming possible, who save lives, who promote water safety and further aquatic education.”

This year’s Paragon Award recipients and their categories are:

Competitive Swimming  -  Carol Zaleski (USA)
Zaleski has been the President of USA Swimming an unprecedented four terms from 1986 to 1998. She has served on various committees of the United States Olympic Committee and was the President of United States Aquatic Sports. She has been a member of the FINA Technical Swimming Committee since 1988, serving as Honorary Secretary (1988-1992), Committee Chairman (1992-2004) and Vice Chairman (2005-2009).

Competitive Diving  -  Jason Simpson (USA)
Simpson is the Director of Olympic Integration for AT&T. He has promoted the sport of diving worldwide on the webcast for the 2007 and 2008 AT&T USA Diving Grand Prix and AT&T’s Blue Room website. He has produced “Tips in Training” featuring Olympic diver Troy Dumais and “Behind the Scenes” video of the 2008 U. S. Olympic Trials. He has been the underwriter for various other projects of USA Diving.

Competitive Synchronized Swimming  -  Rose Cody (PUR)
Cody started the first synchronized swimming program in Puerto Rico in 1976 and served on her nation’s technical committee for over 21 years. She was a FINA international competition judge from 1976 thru 2004. In 1994, she was selected as and continues serving as a member of the FINA Masters Committee representing synchronized swimming. Since 1992, she has been an influential member of the UANA Synchronized Swimming Technical Committee.

Competitive Water Polo  -  Bartolo Consolo (SWI)
For over 30 years, Consolo has served the cause of water polo and swimming, promoting the sport’s influence throughout Italy, Europe and the World. Under his guidance as President of the Italian Swimming Federation, water polo in Italy saw its first grand slam winning the Olympic Games, World and European Championships and FINA Cup. The Mediterranean Confederation of Swimming is his initiative. He has served as the President of the European Swimming Federation (LEN) and was elected to the FINA Bureau in 1991, serving as Vice President and Honorary Secretary. Under his leadership, water polo has become more inclusive for both men and women and with his introduction of the Euroleague, an important growth to the interest of the sport to the public and the media.

Water Safety  -  Stathis Avramidis (GRE)
Avramidis is the author of eight academic text books used for teaching water safety. A Sport Science graduate of Athens University, he holds over 137 certifications on lifeguarding, lifesaving, first aid, personal survival, scuba diving, fire awareness, defibrillation, baby/preschool swimming and community sports from 13 countries. Currently a lecturer at Leeds Metropolitan University (UK), he has taught over 8,000 people of various abilities, disabilities, academic backgrounds and age groups from 15 countries. As a journalist, he has published in over nine aquatic magazines. As a model and as “Mr. Greece” (Mr. Model Millennium for 2000), he has made over 540 TV presentations on water safety and lifeguarding.

Recreational Swimming  -  Leland Yarger (USA)
At Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, Yarger is the Director of the only college program that offers a degree for a major in Aquatics.  His expertise includes curriculum and protocol development in aquatics, administration and management of indoor/outdoor pools, waterpark assets, concessions, waterfront and ocean rescue, personnel and facilities at Municipal and other governmental facilities. He has authored articles on all phases of aquatic management.          

About Paragon Aquatics: Paragon Aquatics is a Division of Pentair Water Pool and Spa headquartered out of LaGrangeville, NY.  Paragon has been a leading innovator, designer and manufacturer of swimming pool deck equipment, including competitive starting platforms, for over 50 years, and is a proud sponsor of the ISHOF “Paragon Awards” since 1996.  For more information about the Paragon Awards, see:

About ISHOF:  The International Hall of Fame, established in 1965, is a not-for-profit educational organization located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Its mission is to inspire everyone to be a swimmer by promoting the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to fitness, good health, quality of life, and the water safety of all adults and children.   For more information about ISHOF, see www.ishof.org

For More information:  call 954-462-6536

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