The International Swimming Hall of Fame Announces 2019 Paragon Award Recipients

2019 Paragon Awards

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced today the recipients of the 24th Annual Paragon Awards.  Sponsored by Pentair Aquatic Systems, the Paragon Awards are presented annually to individuals or organizations for outstanding contributions to aquatics in six categories.

2019 Paragon Award Recipients:

  • Competitive Swimming:  Greg Eggert
  • Water Polo:  Don Holbrook
  • Competitive Diving: Bill Farrar
  • Synchronized Swimming: Igor Kartashov
  • Aquatic Safety: Peter Davis
  • Recreational Swimming:  Carvin DiGiovanni

This year’s awards will be presented on Friday evening May 17, 2019, in ceremonies at the International Swimming Hall of Fame, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

“Pentair is honored to be associated with the International Swimming Hall of Fame and to recognize leaders in the aquatic industry who play a prominent role in the promotion of aquatics,” said Jim Drozdowski, Institutional Aquatics Sales Manager for Pentair Aquatic Systems.

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

The Paragon Awards are part of ISHOF’s 55th Annual Hall of Fame Honoree Weekend, May 17–19.  Go online for ticket information or call 954-462-6536 or 570-594-4367.  For more information about the Paragon Awards.

2019 Paragon Award Winners:

Competitive Diving

Bill Farrar competitive diving

Bill Farrar has been a long-time member of the Board of Directors of USA Diving.  He has spent time as both Vice-Chair of Administration and as Law and Legislation/Governance Chair.  He has also served as USA Diving General Counsel and has been involved in the Board of Review Committee, the Long-Range Planning Committee, the Business Affairs Committee, the Rules Committee, and the Members Services Committee.

Farrar began his service with USA Diving in 1990 when he attended his first annual meeting as a delegate from the Potomac Valley Diving Association.  At that meeting, he was elected to the Law and Legislation Committee as the Zone A Member.  He has been involved with USA Diving ever since.  He went on to serve 10 years as Law and Legislation/Governance Committee Chair and six years as Vice Chair of Administration, resulting in 16 years on the Board of Directors. He was a member of the Business Affairs Advisory Committee from 2005-2008, with that committee recommending significant and substantive changes to the structure of USA Diving.  He served on the Selection Committee that recommended Debbie Hesse as the first President and CEO of USA Diving, as well as Linda Paul.

During his many years of service, he has reviewed and drafted many contracts of several types and has provided legal counsel to the Board, the Executive Director, and the Presidents.  Farrar led the Bylaws Committee that created the Amended and Restated Bylaws of USA Diving in 2017.

Synchronized Swimming

Igor Kartashov Synchronized Swimming

Igor Kartashov began as a competitive swimmer.  After serving in the Red Army, he served under the great swim coaches, Igor Koshkin and Genrih Yarotsky, where he developed and patented about 20 modifications of simulators for swimming.

In 1983, the Sports Research Support Group of the National Synchro Program was created and headed by Kartashov.  The ideology of the program was the organization of sports as “Synchro as a Gold Medal Factory.”  The principle is constant controlled pressure and monitored competition of young athletes based on results of famous athletes.  It also supports the development of young coaches.  The main stream of the “factory” is “stiff competition, full control, and deliberate correction.”  This program was supported at the highest level of the Ministry of Sports of the USSR.  He also identified model characteristics of the world’s leading synchronized swimmers based on testing at international competitions.

In 1984, Kartashov introduced video tutorials.  At this time the Program “Reserve – 92”, “Hope-96“ was created for young swimmers.  Russian junior athletes first entered the European Junior Championships and made the podium in 1985 (Bulgaria).  In 1986, at the European Juniors, in Holland, the Russians swept the gold medals.  Many of the athletes on that team won the gold medal in the 2000 Olympic team event. They remain undefeated in the Olympic events and have dominated the world championships as well.  The Russian synchronized junior swimmers have been undefeated at the world championships ever since.  The senior national team has been undefeated at the Worlds and Olympics since 2000.

Water Polo

Don Holbrook water polo

Don Holbrook has worked as a water polo coach, official, supervisor, and commissioner for over 40 years. He has worked in these various positions not for fame or glory but for the sport he truly loves.

Holbrook has overseen all the officials for USA Water Polo Junior Olympics, which is the largest tournament in the world.  Over 20-25 pools used, 200-225 officials used, hotel arrangements, transportation, and hundreds of assignments a day.  Holbrook oversaw this for over 12 years.

Holbrook has also been the Chairperson of the Southern California Referees Association for years, and he sits on many Boards for High Schools in Southern California.  He is presently in charge of all the referees for Junior Colleges, High Schools, and Division III Colleges.

Competitive Swimming

Greg Eggert Paragon Award

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Over the last 30 years, Greg Eggert has been one of the leading figures within USA Swimming, United States Aquatic Sports, the YMCA, UANA and FINA, in a variety of roles and duties.  He was a member of the USA Swimming Board of Directors, Eastern Zone Director (1992-1996), Vice President, Program Administration (1996-1998), Special Assistant to the President (1998-2002), Olympic International Operations Committee, and International Relations Co-Chairman.

Eggert has worked with the United States Aquatic Sports in Media Relations from 2002 to present and is the Max Ritter Award Liaison.  He is the on the Competitive Swimming Committee of the YMCA.  With UANA, Eggert was the Media Relations Director (2007-2015) and Executive Director (2015-present).  He has been on the FINA Press Commission (2000-2005, 2009-2017), is the FINA Media Commission Honorary Secretary (2017-present), and is Americas Correspondent to the FINA Magazine (2013-present).

Recreational Swimming

Carvin DiGiovanni Swimming

Carvin has been employed by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (formerly, National Spa and Pool Institute) from 1990 to the present. He currently is Vice President for Technical and Standards where he directs APSP’s standards and technical programs. His efforts have resulted in a safer and stronger industry that has benefited the consumer and APSP members. In addition, Carvin was instrumental in the development of the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code and was presented with the International Code Council Affiliate Award “in recognition of his service and commitment to the development of codes and standards in the interest of public safety.” Carvin’s accomplishments in the standards and technical arena have positioned the APSP as the authority on pools, spas and hot tubs to government, regulators, and consumers. He holds a Master’s Degree in Industrial Safety from New York University and a second Master’s Degree in Supervision and Administration from the City College of New York.

DiGiovanni was recognized by the FBI in 2011 with the Exceptional Service in the Public Interest Award. He has worked with the FBI for several years to increase the awareness of how chemicals used in the pool, spa, and hot tub industry could be misused and threaten homeland security.

Aquatic Safety

Peter Davis aquatic safety

Peter Davis has been involved in lifesaving since 1983, which includes serving as a professional ocean lifeguard. For many of those years, he has acted in a voluntary capacity to develop lifesaving and reduce drowning worldwide, with a focus on Central and South America.

Davis has acted as Secretary General of the Americas Region of the International Life Saving Federation since 2008. He has visited many Central and South American countries to help develop national lifesaving organizations.

He has also served as a voluntary official with the United States Lifesaving Association since 1985, in a variety of capabilities including President and Vice-President of the Gulf Coast Region.  A key project Davis has been involved in is a partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to educate the public about rip currents and rip current safety.

Davis was elected President of the United States Lifesaving Association in 2014 and currently serves in that capacity. He oversees the nation’s only national organization of open water lifeguards which sets the standards for beach lifeguarding in the USA.

The Weekend Lineup

Friday, May 17th — Paragon & ISHOF Awards Night

Saturday, May 18th — Honoree Induction Day

12-1:30 PM Luncheon ISHOF Museum

Official 55th Annual International Swimming Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

VIP Reception 6:00 PMInduction Ceremony 7:00 –10:00 PM at Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort and Spa

  • Honor Swimmers

    Otylia Jedrzejczak (POL)
    Jason Lezak (USA)
    Stephanie Rice (AUS)
    Britta Steffen (GER)
  • Honor Water Polo Player

    Alessandro Campagna (ITA)
  • Honor Diver

    Ting Li (CHN)
  • Honor Synchronized Swimmer

    Olga Sedakova (RUS)
  • Honor Open Water Swimmer

    Marcy MacDonald (USA)
  • Honor Coach

    Boris Popov (RUS)
  • Honor Contributor

    Dr. Ferenc Salamon (HUN)
  • Honor Pioneer

    Alfred Nakache* (FRA)
  • Gold Medallion Recipient

    Dr. Joseph MacInnis

Sunday, May 19th — Swim Across America



  • Host Hotel: Fort Lauderdale Marriott Harbor Beach Resort & Spa

    Four and a half star upscale retreat with private beach access, two pools, four restaurants, full service spa and oceanside bar. Location
    of the Saturday evening induction ceremony. ¼ mile south of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
  • Courtyard by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach

    • 440 Seabreeze Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 (954) 524-8733
    • Special ISHOF Guest Rate of $169 per night
    • Please call 954 524-8733 and mention Swimming Hall of Fame Honoree Ceremony for the special Rate of $169.
For more hotel or ticket Information contact Meg Keller-Marvin / 570-594-4367

* Deceased


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About Pentair Aquatic Systems: Pentair Aquatic Systems is a world-wide leader in the manufacture of residential and commercial swimming pool equipment including PARAGON™ Competitive Starting Platforms, which have been the leader in innovation, design, and quality for over 50 years. Pentair is a proud sponsor of the ISHOF “Paragon Awards” since 1996.  More information about the Paragon Awards.



About ISHOF:  The International Swimming Hall of Fame, founded in 1965 and recognized by FINA, the international governing body for aquatic sports, is a not-for-profit educational organization. Its purpose is to: Preserve swimming history; Celebrate the heroes; educate the public about the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to water safety, fitness, good health, quality of life; and “Inspire Swimming for All, Swimming for Life!”  More information about ISHOF.

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