The Olympic Spirit: What it Means to Be an Olympian
Achieving Excellence: You Have to Believe You Can Do It
Alexandre Despatie is one of our country's best young athletes and he proved it again by bringing home a silver medal from the 2008 Summer Olympics. He overcame adversity to win his second career medal in the three-metre springboard diving event and add to his impressive list of accomplishments that includes 42 Canadian national titles.
In the months leading up to the Beijing Olympics, Despatie was suffering from a back problem. Then, in a freak accident, he fractured his right foot while kicking a soccer ball. The injuries threatened his chances of a return ticket to the Olympics, but Despatie persevered, working hard to earn a spot on the Canadian national team. It's that kind of drive and determination that separates him from others and fuels his success.
Despatie, born in Montreal, Que., became an instant international celebrity when he captured gold at the 1998 Commonwealth Games when he was just 13 years old. That stunning victory made him the youngest gold medal winner ever in the history of the Games, and also landed him a spot in the 2000 Guinness Book of World Records.
Today, Despatie is considered one of the best platform and springboard divers in the world. He won one gold and two bronze medals at the 2007 Pan American Games, three gold medals and one bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, three more gold medals at a pair of FINA competitions in 2005, and a silver medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.
Fully bilingual, Alexandre Despatie is a fan favourite, not only for his talent but also his charming personality. Energetic, extremely motivated and always showing a positive attitude, he is a role model for all Canadians and will share what it takes to achieve excellence in all areas of life.
"Despatie is that rare combination of extreme talent, work ethic and desire in one package."
"He just doesn't make mistakes. He trains hard and he loves it."
Teammate Christopher Kalec
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