There are a number of institutions that honor divers, such as International Swimming Hall of Fame or the Paragon Awards, but none that are separate from other sports - in other words, solely dedicated to the sport of diving. Until now ...
USA Diving has created an new honor society, known as the USA Diving Rings of Honor. This new entity according to USA Diving, strives "to celebrate our stellar history and honor those who have achieved excellence and contributed to the success and notoriety of the sport of diving."
Those awarded with inclusion into the Rings of Honor are chosen based on four categories:
- USA Diving Diving Legends – Awarded for outstanding diving accomplishments at the world level.
- Distinguished Coaches - Awarded for excellence and special accomplishments in coaching.
- Honor Contributors – People who supported and/or contributed to the development, advancement, and notoriety of USA Diving.
- USA Diving Lifetime Achievement Award – This is the ultimate award for individuals who have participated and contributed at the highest level in more than one category. This award is not necessarily given at each induction ceremony but only for very special recognition.
The USA Diving Rings of Honor committee has selected six individuals for the inaugural class:
Dr. Sammy Lee – Lifetime Achievement Award
Greg Louganis – USA Diving Legend
Pat McCormick – USA Diving Legend
Hobie Billingsley – Distinguished Coach
Lyle Draves – Distinguished Coach
Jan Rude – Honor Contributor
Read up on their following biographies. There is some pretty impressive stuff between these six divers, coaches and contributors!