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.
Gianni Lonzi, Chairman, FINA Technical Water Polo Committee
2006 Paragon Award /Water Polo
Gianni Lonzi was successful in all aspects of water polo, winning Olympic medals as an athlete, coach and administrator for his native Italy. Considered one of the best drivers of his time, Lonzi won Olympic gold as a player in 1960 and just missed the bronze medals of 1964 and 1968. He and his team won the gold medal at the 1963 Mediterranean Games and were Italian National Champions in 1967 and 1968. He retired from the water and moved to the pool deck as coach of the Italian team winning the Olympic silver medal in 1976 and gold and bronze medals in the surrounding World Championships of 1978 and 1975. He coached the 1977 Mediterranean Games Team to a gold medal and knowing the importance of raising young players to success, he coached the 1977 and 1982 Junior teams to gold medals in European Championships. In 1988 he became the Vice Chairman of the LEN Water Polo Committee and four years later began his term on the FINA TWPC becoming Chairman in 1996.