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This article was originally published on Inside Toronto's website.
Winter National Canadian Diving Championships to be held at Scarborough Pan Am facility
Members of the public welcome to attend at no charge
Diving Canada held a media conference Thursday, Feb. 5 at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre in Scarborough to launch the 2015 Winter National Canadian Diving Championships.
Current medallists Roseline Filion, Jennifer Abel, Meaghan Benfeito and Pamela Ware, otherwise known as the “Fab IV”, were present to announce the start of the championships and to express their excitement for the use of the centre at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games this summer. They were joined by Pan Am Games hopefuls Vincent Riendeau, Philippe Gagne and Maxim Bouchard.
“We’ve been training here since Monday,” Filion said. “And I have to say the facility is beyond amazing.”
Filion, Abel and Benfeito won bronze medals at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England and Ware won bronze medals at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona, Spain.
The Fab IV brought home 36 international medals in 2014, as a result they hold high expectations of themselves for the upcoming 2015 season.
The season kicks off with the 2015 Winter National Canadian Diving Championships that run from Feb. 6 to 8. Finals are held each day at the Scarborough facility (Morningside and Military Trail), and attendance is open to the public with no tickets required.
“These athletes have the opportunity to be crowned the national champion of Canada,” said Mitch Geller, Chief Technical Officer of Diving Plongeon Canada. “That’s something that will stay with them the whole way.”
As one of the test events for the upcoming Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the Winter National is the first of many events scheduled this year to determine Canada’s national diving team for the Pan Am Games and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Among the upcoming diving events are the Canada Cup - FINA Grand Prix running April 9-12, Apr 2-5, FINA Grand Prix 2 in Leon, Mexico running April. 2-5 and the FINA Grand Prix 4 in San Juan, Puerto Rico running April 16-19.
Maxim Bouchard, one of the Pan Am Games hopefuls won the national championship in summer 2014, believes the Scarborough aquatic centre will attract future divers from Toronto.
“After the Games, this pool will be legacy for younger children,” he said. “They’ll build a national program in Toronto so I’m sure we’ll see a lot of good athletes coming from the Pan Am facilities.”