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.
USA National Team Coach
2011 Paragon Award / Synchronized Swimming
Chris Carver is a groundbreaking synchronized swimming choreographer and coach of the famed Santa Clara Aquamaids Club. As coach of the U.S. National Team, the National Team won every gold medal in elite international competition between the 1991 Pan American Games and 1996 Olympic Games. Her swimmer Becky Dyroen-Lancer won all four gold medals at the 1994 World Championships and repeated the grand slam another eight times for which Becky earned the FINA Prize.
With four of her own swimmers on the 1996 Olympic team, Carver choreographed the USA team to win the Olympics’ first gold medal in the team event earning the first perfect 100 score in synchronized swimming’s Olympic history. Seven of the nine members of the 2000 Olympic team were Carver’s own swimmers as were eight of the nine swimmers in 2004.
Chris has produced more than 50% of the USA’s Synchronized Swimming Olympians since 1984. Two of her swimmers, Alison Bartosik and Anna Kozlova won bronze medals in duet in 2004. Carver was named Coach of the Year by U.S. Synchronized Swimming in 2005 for the 14th consecutive time since 1992 and is reflected in her 14 U.S. National Team Championships with the Santa Clara Aquamaids since 1985.
In Chris’ words, “My periodic visits to ISHOF are reverent experiences for me. When I am there I am in, what I regard as, the “Aquatic Cathedral.” The International Swimming Hall of Fame is home to those, in all aquatic disciples, who have shaped the world of aquatics—a world that I have been privileged to live in for many decades. All who dwell within these walls are people of passion and purpose. Simply put, they are my heroes. And now I am both thrilled and humbled to be invited to reside among these great people. I must admit that it is a bit bewildering to be honored for simply doing what one loves to do. It is said that a coach can have a powerful influence on an athlete’s life, however, what is seldom mentioned is the influence that the athlete has on the life of that coach. How fortunate I have been to have my life enhanced by so many wonderful athletes. I am deeply appreciative to be included in ISHOF’s remarkable congregation.”