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FINA Changes Accepted, Several Honored at 2022 Convention

By Alyssa Jacobs, USA Artistic Swimming | Sept. 12, 2022, 4:37 p.m. (ET)

USA Artistic Swimming wrapped up its annual convention this past weekend in St. Petersburg, Fla. Athletes, judges, coaches and professionals came together from across the country to discuss important updates to the sport as a whole and initiatives for the organization. Celebrations were had along the way, as the foundation hosted an East Coast Splash event that raised over $15,000 for the sport and individuals were awarded for their exceptional efforts at the annual awards ceremony. 

Perhaps most importantly, the USA Artistic Swimming Board of Directors, international relations committee and athlete committee voted to endorse the FINA rules packet at the annual meeting. Delegates to the FINA Technical Congress will vote ‘yes’ and the US will request that its additional rules proposals be withdrawn. President Denise Shively noted that these initiatives are a great step forward in advancing the sport of artistic swimming. 

 
Denise was elected to a second term as USAAS’s president. Alongside Denise, several Board of Directors were reappointed for second terms. Ashley Johnson (VP Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), Irene Hawes (VP Olympic International), Natalia Vega (Athlete Representative) and Emma Tchakmakian (Athlete Executive Council President) will remain in their positions for another term. Bill May was elected as the second Athlete Representative and will begin his first term. Ginny Jasontek was also recognized for her years of exceptional service during her involvement with the FINA TASC. We are thankful to have these great minds leading us into a new era of artistic swimming. 
 
At the conclusion of the weekend, several in our community were awarded for their efforts to advance, promote and grow the sport. Staff member Shari Darst was awarded the coveted Lillian MacKellar Distinguished Service Award for her longstanding commitment to the sport and organization. Other recipients included Natalia Vega (Athlete of the Year), Andrea Fuentes, Anna Voloshyna and Lara Teixeira (Coaches of the Year), UCLA Recreation (USAAS Award), Gainesville Sports Commission (Community Service Award), Anna Yesipova (Developmental Coach of the Year), Kim Probst (Hall of Fame Athlete), Stephanie Nesbitt (Hall of Fame Athlete), Betsy Caza (Hall of Fame Contributor) and Beth Moore (Hall of Fame Contributor). To read more about the criteria for these awards visit the page HERE. All individuals were nominated by members of our community and winners were declared by the awards committee that reviews submissions and content.  
 
To review important documents from the weekend visit the convention page HERE. Thank you to all who traveled to be a part of a great weekend filled with community, important dialogue and celebration. We look forward to moving as one into another fantastic season.