The Annual Paragon Awards, sponsored by Pentair Aquatic Systems, are presented for outstanding contributions to: Competitive Swimming, Water Polo, Competitive Diving, Aquatic Safety, Synchronized Swimming and Recreational Swimming.
Bartolo Consolo (SUI)
FINA Honorary Secretary / LEN Honorary Life President
2009 Paragon Award /Water Polo
Bartolo Consolo's career in water polo and swimming began over 40 years ago, as an outstanding young athlete. Soon he advanced to become the leader of his water polo hometown clubs, Rarl Nantes Perugla and Club AS Roma. Eventually he rose to the Presidency of LEN, but along the way, he helped to plan and realize the European Sports Association Against Drugs, becoming its President. In 1983, he became the Chairman of the European Swimming Championship Organizing Committee followed the next year as Vice President of the Italian Swimming Federation. Later as President, his strong leadership led to the Italian National Water Polo Team winning the Grand Slam of Water Polo—Olympic Games, World Championships,
European Championships and FINA Cup, all in one year, 1992.
Under his initiative was born COMEN (TheMediterranean Confederation of Swimming) created for a stronger unity in the Mediterranean region and throughout Europe. Today, he is the Honorary Life President. In 1989, he was elected as a member of Executive Board of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI). In 1990, he was elected President of LEN and two years later Vice President of FINA. He was able to bring the 1994World Championships to Rome, serving as Chairman of the Organizing Committee as well as the Organizing Committee of the 1985 European Championships. Under his guidance, LEN has had exceptional development. The birth of the Euro League in water polo and restructuring of the European Championships ensured a greater diffusion of the sport technically with more public and media support. Under his tenure, LEN participation by countries grew and in the 2007-2008 season, 1200 water polo matches were played as well as the Men's andWomen's European Cups reorganized.
He was elected to four terms as LEN President and is currently serving his second term as FINAHonorary Secretary. Among his awards include Golden Stars for Sport, Italian Republic Official Knights, Knight of Malta and Knight of Mauritian Order.