Friday, May 12, 2017


Fort Lauderdale –  Sponsored by Pentair Aquatic Systems, the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) announced today the recipients of the 22nd Annual Paragon Awards.  The Paragon Awards are presented annually to individuals or organizations for outstanding contributions to aquatics in six categories. This year’s recipients are Ron Van Pool for Competitive Swimming; Terry Sayring for Water Polo, Linda Paul for Competitive Diving;  The National Swimming Pool Foundation for Aquatic Safety; Stefania Tudini (ITA) for Synchronized Swimming and Juliene Hefter for Recreational Swimming. This year’s awards will be presented on Friday evening August 25, 2017, 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 President/CEO Bruce Wigo. “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 53rd Annual Hall of Fame Honoree Weekend, August 25-27.
For ticket information visit or call 954-462-6536.  For more information about the Paragon Awards, see:

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. For more information about the Paragon Awards, see:

About ISHOF:  The International 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 mission is to Preserve swimming history, Celebrate the heroes and to Educate the public about the benefits and importance of swimming as a key to water safety, fitness, good health, quality of life; and to Inspire Swimming For All, Swimming For Life! and “Every Child A Swimmer™” . For more information about ISHOF, see

About this years Paragon Award Recipients:

Competitive Diving
Linda Paul (USA)
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, from managing USA diving teams in international competitions and events, to coordinating sponsorship services and serving as a liaison between the national office and the U.S. Olympic Committee.  In 2010 she was named President and CEO of the organization, leading a return to the podium in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games.  She announced her retirement in 2017, and will be remembered for assisting in the growth and success of the organization through many challenges.

Synchronized Swimming
Stefania Tudini (ITA)
Stefania Tudini has served on the FINA Technical Synchronized Swimming Committee (TSSC) since 1992 and has been their chairman since 2009. She was also the chairman of the LEN TSSC and was honored by them for her years of service. “Cicci” is the director of Synchronized Swimming for the Italian Swimming Federation. Participation in the sport has grown exponentially in Italy under her leadership.

Water Polo
Terry Sayring (USA)
Terry started officiating Water Polo in 1963 and has officiated over 6,000 games, including FINA World Championships, FINA World Cups, FINA Jr. World Championships, Pan American Games, NCAA Championships and AAU National Championships. He was the manager of the 1980 and 1984 USA Water Polo Olympic Teams and was the competition manager for the 1996 Olympic Games. He was elected into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1986 and received the USA Water Polo Award in 1988, the organization’s highest honor.  In 2015, he founded American Water Polo Collections, Inc. a California non-profit dedicated to preserve the history of water polo in America.  

Competitive Swimming 
Ron Van Pool (USA)
Ron Van Pool has been a volunteer for USA Swimming for the past 30 years, serving as an official at high level meets such as the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Trials. He was elected to the USA Swimming Board of Directors in 1998 and served as President from 2002-2006.  Ron also served as the USA Swimming representative to the USOC and the National Governing Body Council for over 10 years. He was also a member of the USSIC Board of Directors from 2002 to 2014.He was the founding director of USA Swimming Foundation in 2004 and has served on the Foundation BOD since 2010. In addition to serving on several committees, including International Relations and Task Forces , including Governance and the CEO Search, in which he is the chair. In 2013, he received the USA Swimming Award, considered to be USA Swimming’s highest honor.

Recreational Swimming
Juliene Hefter (USA)
Juliene has a long and illustrious career in aquatics and park and recreation administration. She has been the Deputy Director for the Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association for the past 8 years 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 and annual conference and educational workshops for communities on drowning prevention and education.

Water Safety: 
The National Swimming Pool Foundation’s Step Into Swim™ Campaign
In 2012, The National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) introduced its Step Into Swim™ program, a 10-year, learn-to-swim initiative to create 1 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 troublingly high drowning rates.