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.
Don Kane / Contributor to International Aquatic Sports
2006 Paragon Award /Synchronized Swimming
Don Kane has been involved in the development and progress of Synchronized Swimming for over 50 years. He is cofounder of the San Francisco Merionettes Synchro Team, which won 46 U.S. Senior National Titles, 22 Junior National Titles, Pan American Games and numerous international invitational competitions. As a swim coach, his swimmers Lynn Vidale won Olympic medals, 1968 silver – (400 IM), 1972 bronze – (200 IM) and Jenna Johnson won the 1984 silver medal – (100m butterfly). In 1964, he wrote the first Judges Training Guide and followed that with a Press Relations Guide. In 1967, he developed the first Guide to the Administration of Synchronized Swimming. Kane was elected chair of the National AAU Convention and was elected Synchronized Swimming Chairman in 1967. His appointment of Pam Morris as Synchro's first Athletes' Rep made her the first Athletes' Representative to sit on any AAU National Sport Committee.
Internationally, in 1967, Don served as Competition Director for the Golden Gate International Solo Championship, the first international competition held in the U.S. He was a member of the U.S. Olympic Synchronized Swimming Sports Committee, chaired the Technical Synchro Committee of A.S.U.A. and was a past vice chairman of the FINA Technical Synchronized Swimming Committee (1972-1976). A FINA Level "A" judge, he served as a swimming judge at the Olympic Games in Munich and Montreal and as a synchro judge at the Atlanta Olympics. During the years 1973-94, he officiated at seven World Championships, three FINA World Cups, and numerous international competitions. He has been both judge and referee in four CCAN competitions and two South American Championships. In 1968, he arranged a 10 month European tour for U.S. national duet champions, Margo McGrath and Carol Redmond which greatly accelerated the sport's development throughout Europe. He also arranged for a six month tour of Japanese swimmers through various cities in the U.S. He had hosted and trained swimmers and coaches from 15 nations. He has conducted officials/judges seminars in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Italy, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru and Venezuela. He will serve as the Synchronized Swimming Competition Director at the 2006 FINA Masters World Championships. He has received the FINA Silver Pin for distinguished service to International Aquatic Disciplines.