Diver Meaghan Benfeito returns from Olympics to inspire youngsters at West Island training grounds
MONTREAL -- Young divers practising their form at Pointe-Claire's Viking Pool got a special visit from one of the facility's most accomplished alums: Olympian Meaghan Benfeito.
Returning home from her fourth Olympics, the three-time bronze medallist came by to impart some wisdom that has been hard won – the Tokyo games saw her fall short of expectations, finishing fourth in the synchronized event and thirteenth on the 10-metre platform.
“It's something I always tell kids, is to have fun,” she said. “That's what I do when I go out there. These Olympics weren't the results I wanted, but I had fun and I came out with a smile. I think that's something the younger generation needs to know.”
It's a lesson that coach and former Olympian Dave Bedard also stresses.
“I think everyone goes to the Olympics saying 'I'm going there to win, to get a medal, to be one of the best.' Just because you're not on the podium or not in the final, doesn't mean you're not one of the best.”
Benfeito credits the West Island program with building her career. For some of her audience, it's a place where they can just get started.
“I was like 'Oh, I want to do flips, too!'” said diver Wesley Ng. “I want to get a medal and be like them.”