Coach and swimmer share award

Kierra Smith and her swim coach Emil Dimitrov are preparing for the Canadian Spring Nationals taking place this week.

Kierra Smith and her Liquid Lightning swim coach Emil Dimitrov have been named the 2010-11 co-recipients of the Dr. Jeno Tihanyi Memorial Award.

“Doc” Tihanyi left an invaluable legacy to amateur sport in Canada. His coaching career in Canadian swimming spanned a remarkable 51 years.

Well known for his popular coaching philosophy not to push performance but rather push improvement, Dr. Tihanyi has been part of the successful development of numerous elite swimmers in Canada.

Most memorable is his influence and coaching of former Canadian Olympic swimmer Alex Baumann.

Pierre Lafontaine, Swimming Canada CEO, said “Doc always demonstrated his ability to teach, coach, mentor, and lead. These qualities earned him respect both as an academic and coach.

“He always expected his pupils to perform with purpose. In his coaching he demonstrated purpose with every action, every set, every workout, every training camp and every training program.

“A purpose that all who followed, engaged, learned and enjoyed—assured them of success. This success was a journey, and a journey that he always reminded us was the process … the process of success”.

The Dr. Jeno Tihanyi Award was established to remember Doc, his contribution to competitive swimming in Canada, and to encourage other coaches and swimmers to work closely together toward excellence. The award was open to all competitive amateur swimmers and coaches registered with Swimming Natation Canada.

Coach-swimmer tandems were considered for having achieved national standard qualification times and demonstrated international potential.

Smith and Dimitrov are in final preparations for the Canadian Spring Nationals next week, which will decide the Canadian World Championship team competing in Shanghai and the Canadian Junior National team which will compete this Summer in Lima Peru.

Emil Dimitrov has also been selected as coach for the Western Canadian team competing against the East in the 2011 East-West Dual meet April 3 in Victoria.