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.
2007 Paragon Award / Competitive Swimming
Chuck Wielgus (USA) / Executive Director, USA Swimming
Chuck Wielgus has served as the Executive Director of USA Swimming since 1997. In that time, he has provided extraordinary vision and leadership to the organization making USA Swimming an exemplary National Governing Body among our nation's Olympic sports. Wielgus' tenure has resulted in a revamped approach to marketing the sport including the launching of Splash Magazine, the creation of the Mutual of Omaha Duel in the Pool and the development of strong corporate and television partnerships to leverage support and raise visibility of the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials.
Wielgus has also driven the effort to make USA Swimming financially strong and prepared for the future. He spearheaded efforts to alter the membership dues structure to create $50 - $60 million in new
revenue for member programs and services and led the effort to create the USA Swimming Foundation, with the sole purpose of raising funds to support the NGB's programs and services. To support the Foundation, Wielgus helped create the Golden Goggle Awards, the Foundation's star-studded, signature event.
Chuck serves as a member of the NCAA / USOC Task Force on Olympic Sports as well as the FINA Swimming World Cup Council. He received a M.Ed. from Springfield College (Massachusetts) in 1974 and a B.A. in History from Providence College. In 1996, he was recognized as a Sports Ethetics Fellow at the Institute for International Sport by the University of Rhode Island. He has co-authored numerous books including: The In-Your-Face Basketball Book (Everest House, 1980) co-authored with Alexander Wolff; The Fan's Book of Sport Nicknames (Harper and Row, 1987) co-authored with Alexander Wolff and Steve Rushin and the Back-In-Your-Face Guide to Pick-Up Basketball (Dodd, Mead, 1986) co-authored with Alexander Wolff.
Prior to his work in swimming, Wielgus served as executive director of the Senior PGA Tour Tournament Association in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where he also served on planning committees for the World Golf Village and International Golf Hall of Fame. He served as the exertive director of the U.S. Canoe and Kayak Team (1989-1996), the Hilton Head Island Recreation Association (1983-1989) and was the swimming coach and recreation director in Woodstock, Vermont (1974-1983).