Team Canada - 2022 Commonwealth Games Birmingham, England

Canadian Divers Are Looking to Gain Experience and Win Medals in Birmingham

A young but formidable diving team will be representing Canada this week at the Commonwealth Games. Despite the fact many divers will be participating in their first major multisport Games, their goal is still to bring many medals back to Canada.

“Based on what we saw at the recent World Championships in Budapest, this young team has tons of potential. They could even bring back more medals from the Commonwealth Games than we have ever won before”, said Mitch Geller, Diving Canada’s Chief Technical Officer.

He says that Canada has the strength to perform well in every event it enters. “We’re not coming here simply to participate. This team was chosen based on its medal potential”, he explained.

Despite the fact that the lack of experience may be a challenge for the Canadian squad, it could also be an advantage. “There are certain pros and cons to putting forward a young team. One of the challenges is the lack of experience, that’s true, but there are also significant advantages. You cannot underestimate the value of these athletes’ excitement, youth and motivation. This group’s synergy is truly impressive. It’s really incredible to see the way they support one another.”

Medalist Caeli McKay returns to the Commonwealth Games

Caeli McKay is the only former Commonwealth Games medalist named to Team Canada 2022. At the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, she took silver in the 10m synchro event with her former partner, three-time Olympic medalist Meaghan Benfeito.

She looks forward to reliving the Commonwealth experience with these new teammates and hopes to help them through their journey in Birmingham.

« The Commonwealth Games feel more like the Olympics than any other competition of the season. Our team is very young and it’s going to be super fun to experience this together. For many, this will be their first taste of a major Games”, said Calgary-born McKay.

This week, McKay will be testing out a new partnership in the 10m synchro event. McKay, who trains in Montreal, will join forces with BC’s Celina Toth for the very first time. Both highly experienced divers, they should be able to adapt quickly despite only recently being paired.

« Celina has a ton of experience too. It shouldn’t be too hard to adapt for synchro. I’d have to say that even after only one practice, it seemed pretty seamless”, added McKay.

Celina Toth will also share the platform with Rylen Wiens for the very first time in the 10m mixed synchro event.

In the men’s 3m synchro event, Bryden Hattie and Benjamin Tessier will also debut their partnership.

Mia Vallée, bursting with confidence

When she arrived at the FINA World Diving Championships last month in Budapest, Mia Vallée was questioning herself, unsure whether her level was on par with the rest of the field.

In the end, she left Hungary with two medals: bronze in the women’s 1m platform and silver in the women’s 3m platform.

“My results at Worlds really increased my confidence. I know now what I need to do in competition. However, I must admit that I am a little tired. It’s been a long year for me, with lots of competitions throughout my NCAA season, which began last September. I’m tired, but I’m ready. I know what I need to do to perform well at the Commonwealth Games”, declared Vallée.

Despite the medals earned at the World Championships, Vallée, hailing from Beaconsfield, Quebec, does not feel any added pressure.

“I don’t feel any extra pressure. Actually, I would say that I’m more confident and excited. I’m diving for myself. I’m diving because it makes me happy”, shared the 21-year-old.

A first for Zsombor-Murray

One major event was missing from Nathan Zsombor-Murray’s Major Games resumé: the Commonwealth Games. The athlete from Pointe-Claire, Quebec, has participated in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the Pan Am Games, and many Diving World Series events. In Birmingham, he hopes to medal in both events he will compete in.

As well as having heard a lot of good things about the great atmosphere at the Commonwealth Games and really looking forward to enjoying it for himself, he knows that medaling in his two events is a very realistic goal. With his partner Rylan Wiens, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, he recently won a bronze medal at the 10m synchro event at the FINA World Diving Championships in Budapest.

“We’ve been going back-to-back with competitions. We are in the home stretch now and I’m really excited. I think I can win medals. It’s the goal for both individual and synchro”, he says.

Here are the ten athletes representing Team Canada at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham:

First Name

Last Name

Event

Hometown

Commonwealth   Games 

Renée

Batalla

10m

Victoria, BC

 

Margo

Erlam

1m, 3m, 3m synchro

Calgary, AB

 

Caeli

McKay

10m, 10m synchro

Calgary, AB

Silver, 10m synchro (2018)

Mia

Vallée

1m, 3m, 3m synchro

Beaconsfield, QC

 

Celina

Toth

10m, 10m synchro

Victoria, BC

9th - 10m (2018)

Cédric

Fofana

1m, 3m

Montréal, QC

 

Bryden

Hattie

1m, 3m, 3m synchro

Victoria, BC

6th - 10m synchro (2018)

Benjamin

Tessier

10m, 3m synchro

Blainville, QC

 

Rylan

Wiens

10m, 10m synchro

Saskatoon, SK

8th - 10m, 6th - 10m synchro (2018)

Nathan

Zsombor-Murray

10m, 10m synchro

Pointe-Claire, QC