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.
Margo Erickson (USA) / Contributor to United States Synchronized Swimming
2008 Paragon Award / Synchronized Swimming
Margaret "Margo" Erickson began her Synchronized Swimming career as a teenager at theYMCAin Minneapolis, Minnesota, and her interest in aquatic art continued while a student at St. Olaf College. Her coaching career was launched in Dallas, Texas, in 1965, where she started a program at the Town North YMCA, in Dallas, Texas. Beginner classes quickly evolved into a competitive program that competed at local, regional and national levels. It was during this time that Margo achieved a National Judges rating.
In 1974, Erickson joined the coaching staff of the Santa Clara Aquamaids under Hall of Fame coach Kay Vilen. While at Santa Clara, in addition to her coaching duties, she served as Manager of the US team and as an International judge. As Vice President on the USSS Board of Directors, she piloted new judging education and training materials and procedures, but it was her international influence that made Erickson a familiar and friendly face to the synchro world.
Erickson took over as head national coach and technical director for the Mexican Synchro Federation in 1981, guiding Mexico through its first Olympics in 1984. She then served a two-year stint as head coach for the Italian Synchro Federation before taking over as Master Coach and Technical Consultant for Synchro Ontario in 1986. From 1987 to 2002, she served as the Technical and Education Director of United States Synchronized Swimming where she created and developed a multitude of educational programs and materials.
During a career spanning over 50 years of service to the sport of synchronized swimming, Margo has been an innovator of coaching and judging education; has collaborated with FINA and National Federations to conduct clinics for athletes and coaches on every continent; has served as an advisor to Olympic broadcast feeds, and today, remains one of the synchronized swimming's finest ambassadors.