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.
Janice Rude (USA)
2010 Paragon Award – Competitive Diving
When her father, Hall of Famer Ray Rude, founder of the Duraflex Diving Board, was nearing retirement Jan stepped in to work at his side learning the business and applying the drive to
perfection her father practiced. Ray's discovery of the Duraflex Board in 1959 made it the
diving board of preference and has been used in every Olympic Games since 1960.
A graduate of Occidental College in immuno–hematology, she was pursuing a medical career until she began working with her dad. She loved the business and it was a perfect fit for Duraflex as her
understanding of chemistry quickly translated to metallurgy. She spoke the language of the Alcoa scientists who worked closely with her to improve the alloy Duraflex used. Her ability to work with different scientists, engineers and machinists allowed Duraflex not only to survive after her father's departure, but to flourish.
Although not visible to the casual eye, she has spearheaded subtle changes and improvements to all of the Duraflex
equipment which is used exclusively in the competitive diving world. As a monopoly supplier, most of the improvements were not required, but her desire to constantly improve the safety and performance of Duraflex products has been very beneficial to diving.
Now as the company CEO, Jan has taken Duraflex to the next level, utilizing more computerized technology and upgrading the factory as it headed into the twenty first century. She gives credit to her "team" of experts. Because of Jan Rude's many skills and the pursuit of excellence her father taught her, Duraflex International continues to provide the best high – performance diving boards on which the world of diving has come to know and rely. Her participation on the Raymond C. Rude Foundation further shows her unwavering support to competitive diving.