Tuesday, March 31, 2009

You Just Never Know Who You Might Meet On A Pool Deck!

The above photo was taken recently at Texas A&M University where I was judging the diving at the NCAA Championships. Former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush were in attendance for a short while to watch a couple of events and present a few awards.

As the former President and First Lady were leaving, I happened to be standing in the right place at the right time. A former diver of mine (now a professional sport photographer) just happened to be there as well with his camera and as they say, the rest is history.

Make sure you always have a camera with you when you go to a diving meet -- or at least know the professional photographer shooting the events -- you just never know who you might meet!

Photo courtesy of Walt Middleton (Walt Middleton Sports Photography)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

If You Guessed John Narcy -- You Were Correct!

The person you see pictured above and below was born to Polish immigrants and raised in the ghettos of Gary, IN. John Navrotsy -- better known as JOHN NARCY, was the legendary diving coach at Michigan State University for 38 years. During that time, he coached Olympians, National and International Champions as well as many Big 10 Conference Champions.

"Narc" (pronounced "Narse") as he is called by most who know him, was a diver at the University of Michigan where he went to school on a FOOTBALL scholarship. The reason: His best friend in high school was a highly recruited football star and Michigan thought that this friend would follow John wherever he went to college so they gave Narc a football scholarship (to dive) and his friend indeed followed him there.

Narc was coached at Michigan by another diving legend -- Olympic Gold Medallist Bruce Harlan -- the first collegiate diving coach in America. After Harlan's tragic death while dismantling scaffolding following a diving show, Dick Kimball (another diving legend) became the Michigan Coach.

Narc -- an incredible story-teller (and joke-teller as well!!) still lives in East Lansing, MI with Pat, his wife of 49 years. He recently retired from teaching at Michigan State but can still be found on the pool deck judging at the Big 10 and NCAA Championships.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Legendary Diving Coach with the Three Stooges

Do you recognize the legendary (and very "buff") diving coach pictured with the Three Stooges with whom he used to perform diving shows in Flushing Meadows, New York circa 1960?

Check back later for the answer!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Duraflex Announces Modification to the "Cheeseboard"

Duraflex International has announced a product improvement to the Maxiflex Model B ("Cheeseboard") diving board effective March 1, 2009. The change involves the area where the diving board attaches to the hinges which has been re-designed to improve the quality and longevity.

The new anchor angle is a rigid, heavy-duty hard-anodized aluminum angle that is mounted under the diving board and supports all 8 of the diving board ribs. This new anchor angle is assembled AFTER painting, which eliminates the contact between unpainted surfaces in this area, which provides better protection against corrosion. The Duraflex factory has added closed-cell foam gaskets between these components to reduce noise and prevent moisture from accumulating.

The top of the board is capped with a hard-anodized aluminum bar that, in conjunction the anchor angle, acts as a clamp, sandwiching the diving board between these two extrusions. This clamping action creates a highly stable mounting mechanism. This assembly is fastened together with flat-head stainless steel fasteners and torqued at the factory. The fasteners are locked in place with a permanent Loctite brand thread-locker. Heavy duty 3M Safety-Walk strip covers the fasteners, preventing tampering and providing a slip-resistant surface over the anodized surface. Replacement strips will be available.

The serial tag has been replaced with a tamper-resistant adhesive back aluminum label that is now applied to the VERTICAL surface at the rear of the diving board.

The warning label that was applied to the back of the board is directed at equipment installers and pool operators, and indicates that the pool dimensions must meet certain specifications. This label has been changed to a yellow label with a universally recognized symbol that indicates “warning.” On the Cheeseboard, this label is on the bottom of the new anchor angle. On all other boards, including refinished boards, this label is on the rear of the diving board. An additional warning label has been added to the board that is directed at the user (diver.) This label is intended to warn that improper use of diving equipment can lead to severe injury. This label is now attached to the rear of all Duraflex made diving boards.

The NEW diving board bolts are stainless-steel "short-neck" carriage bolts. The shortened neck only penetrates through the bar on top of the board, which eliminates the need to broach a square hole through the diving board. This increases the strength and longevity of the diving board.