After several lovely evenings spent watching the swimming events at the Aquatics Center, yesterday, we were there to watch synchronized diving from the 3m springboard, and more particularly, Canadian athlete Alexandre Despatie.
Despatie, who is sponsored by P&G and who is attending his fourth Olympic Games, already has five medals in his collection. In 2004, he also became the first Canadian man to win an Olympic medal for diving.
Whereas during the swimming events, the crowd gets very excited and very loud during the entire race, the mood was different for diving. Before each of the dives, spectators kept complete silence, so as not to break the athletes’ concentration. Although swimming is impressive, I have to say that I was really mesmerized by the diving!
After six rounds of dives, our Canadian participants, Alexandre Despatie and his partner, Reuben Ross, finished sixth (out of eight teams).
When he came out of the Aquatics Center, I was lucky enough to have a chance to meet Alexandre, and to have a chat with his mom, Christiane, who was also watching the event along with his father and his sister. Although Alexandre and Reuben did not win any medals today, they seemed satisfied with their performance. Christiane was told me that his dives were consistent, and that for a comeback after the head injury he suffered in June, things were perfect. Of course!
Meanwhile, the 39 (yup, you read right!) members of Reuben’s family who had come all the way to London to cheer him on gathered a few meters away, each of them wearing a T-shirt with their relationship to the athlete marked on the back, from grand-mother to brother-in-law, as well as many nephews and nieces. What support!
As for the Despaties, it was really moving to see the love they have for each other. Each of them more warm and friendly than the last, I watched as Alexandre and his family greeted and took pictures with several spectators (children, too!) who came to congratulate him.
Bravo to Alexandre and Reuben for their performance today!