ISHOF Crowns 2017 Paragon Award Winners in Florida

hall of fame
Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) celebrated talent and dedication to the realm of aquatic sports this past weekend by honoring five individuals and one organization with the 2017 Paragon Award. The Paragon Award is presented by Pentair Aquatic Systems to those who have made outstanding contributions to one of six categories: competitive swimming, water polo, competitive diving, aquatic safety, synchronized swimming, and recreational swimming.

Ron Van Pool (USA) – Competitive Swimming

Ron Van Pool is being honored for his dedication and tireless hours of service to the sport of competitive swimming. Ron has been involved with USA Swimming for over 30 years, serving as an official in capacities from age group meets to being Meet Referee for Sectional, Grand Prix, Arena Pro, Winter Nationals, Masters Nationals, Open Water Nationals, Pac 12 Championships and World Championship Trials Meets. He has officiated at every Olympic Team Trials since 1996 and continues to be active at both the LSC and the national level.

To learn more about Van Pool’s contributions to swimming, click here.


Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

Terry Sayring (USA) – Water Polo

Terry Sayring has been involved in water polo on almost every level. He has officiated events including the FINA World Championships, the FINA World Cup, FINA Jr. World Championships, Pan American Games, NCAA Championships and the AAU Championships. In 1969, Sayring founded the Southern California Aquatics Federation which is the water polo referee association. He was the manager of the 1980 and 1984 Olympic teams, as well as two Pan American teams, and the competition manager for the 1996 Olympic Games. Sayring was the tournament director for the Women’s FINA Cup, Junior Worlds and was a member of the ASUA Technical Committee for 12 years. In 1995, he was presented the FINA Silver Pin.

To learn more about Sayring and his contributions to water polo, click here.


Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

Linda Paul (USA) – Competitive  Diving

Linda Paul has been a part of USA Diving for more than 16 years. She joined the organization as Director of Business Development in 2001 and since has been involved in nearly every aspect of the organization. In 2010 she was named President and CEO of the organization and immediately began organizational improvements.

To learn more about Paul’s contribution to diving, click here.


Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

NPSF Step Into Swim Campaign (USA) – Aquatic Safety

In 2012, The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) introduced its Step into Swim (SIS) program, a 10-year, learn to swim initiative to create one million more swimmers in an effort to improve public health and reduce drowning by teaching children, adults, and minority populations to swim. The campaign asks aquatic businesses, associations, and the public sector to sponsor organizations that are already teaching people to swim. To help the public and private sector understand the importance of learning to swim, the NSPF issued a white paper, which explains the benefits of creating more swimmers, and how more people swimming can relieve increasing healthcare costs propelled by physical inactivity, an aging society and troubling high drowning rates.

To learn more about the Step Into Swim campaign, click here.


Photo Courtesy: Crystal Meeks

Stefania “Cicci” Tudini (ITA) – Synchronized Swimming

Tudini became a swimming coach in 1971 and a synchronized swimming coach in 1975. She was appointed to oversee synchronized swimming for the Italian Swimming Federation in the same year. Her job was to reorganize the entire synchronized swimming department, with particular attention to the competitions aspect of the sport.

For the last 20 years, Tudini has organized and been the director for international events for synchronized swimming for the Italian Federation, such as Roma Sincro and Loano Synchro Cup. She was Director of the synchronized swimming portions of the 1994 and 2009 FINA World Championships, as well as several editions of the European Senior and Junior Championships and European Cups.

To learn more about Tudini and her contributions to synchronized swimming, click here.


Photo Courtesy: ISHOF

Juliene Hefter (USA) – Recreational Swimming

Hefter is currently the owner of Safety First Aquatics, LLC, and is the Executive Director/CEO for the Association of Aquatic Professionals. The AAP is a non-profit corporation that exclusively promotes and advocates policies, practices and procedures that contribute to safer and improved aquatic education, aquatic recreation activities, programs, and facilities; provides and supports quality aquatic education opportunities; coordinates and conducts research in the field of aquatic management and safety; promotes coordination and cooperation between established aquatic associations responsible for all aspects of aquatic programming, aquatic management, aquatic operation and maintenance and aquatic facility design, as well as providing an annual conference and educational workshops for communities on drowning prevention and education.

To learn more about Hefter and her accomplishments, click here.


Photo Courtesy: Kurt Tilse