Paragon Awards                           Presented By

Dr. Igor Petrovich Kartashov (RUS)

2019 Paragon Award / Synchronized Swimming


Dr. Igor Kartashov was a competitive swimmer. He was educated at Volgograd State Institute of Physical Culture and Sport (1972-1976) and then entered graduate school at the Leningrad State Institute School of Physical Culture and Sport of Lesgaft (1980).


While in Leningrad, Kartashov worked with the great swim coaches Igor Koshkin and Genrih Yarotsky, where he developed training programs and analyzed equipment used to evaluate them. Kartashov developed and patented approximately 20 modifications of simulators for swimming. After completing graduate school, he remained in Leningrad to work at the Department of Swimming under the direction of Arvid Kozlov, father of Olympian Anna Kozlova (United Team ‘92 and USA 2000 and 2004).


In 1983, the Sport Research Support Group of the National Synchronized Swimming Program was created and led by Igor Kartashov. The ideology of the program was the organization of sport as “Synchro as a Gold Medal Factory”. The principle is constant controlled pressure and monitored competition of young athletes based on the results of famous athletes. It also supports the development of young coaches. The concept of the “factory” is “stiff competition, full control and deliberate correction.” This program was supported at the highest level of the Ministry of Sports of the USSR. Kartashov also identified model characteristics of the world’s leading synchronized swimmers based on testing at international competitions.


In 1984, Kartashov introduced video tutorials. At this time the program Reserve-92, Hope-96 was created for young synchronized swimmers. Russian junior athletes first entered the European Junior Championships and made the podium in 1985 (Bulgaria). In 1986, at the European Juniors in Holland, the Russians swept the gold medals. Many of the athletes on that team won the gold medal in the 2000 Olympic team event. They have remained undefeated in Olympic events and have dominated the World Championships as well. The Russian synchronized junior swimmers have been undefeated at the World Championships ever since. The senior national team has been undeated at the World and Olympic Games since 2000.


Igor Kartashov’s challenge and dream of creating a Gold Medal Factory has been accomplished. Today, many of his pupils are coaching in countries all around the world, elevating the technical levels of synchronized swimming.


Kartashov has also held the following positions of leadership in synchronized swimming: President, Russian Synchronized Swimming Federation (1992-97 and 2000-2005). Member, LEN TSSC (1994), serving as Vice Chairman (12 years); Member, FINA TSSC (1996-2017), serving as Vice Chairman.


He has also produced movies on the analysis of sculling for both FINA and LEN.


Today, Kartashov continues to serve as vice president of the Russian Synchronized Swimming Federation training the leaders of today and tomorrow.

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