Alexandre Despatie

Alexandre Despatie, diver (born at Montréal 8 Jun 1985). Alexandre Despatie is one of Canada's most-accomplished athletes in diving, and is a three-time world champion and two-time Olympic medalist.

Despatie has been diving since he was five years old. He has said that perseverance, determination, and perfectionism are three of his best qualities.

International Competition

Despatie first tasted major international success when he won a gold medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in the 10m diving event. At age 13, he was the youngest athlete ever to win gold at the Games. In total, he has won nine gold and two bronze medals at the Commonwealth Games, including three gold medals at the 2010 Games held in New Delhi. As a result, he is Canada's most-decorated Commonwealth Games athlete.

In Olympic competition, Despatie won silver in the 3 m springboard diving event at the 2004 Games in Athens, making him the first Canadian to win a medal in diving. In 2008, at the Games in Beijing, Despatie won silver again in the same event, his favourite. Despatie suffered a foot injury not long before the Games but persevered in order to be ready to compete in Beijing. Despatie also competed at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney where he placed 4th in the 10m platform event at age 15.

One of Despatie's favourite moments of his career came in 2005 when the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) world championships were held in Montréal, his hometown. There he finished first in both the 1m and 3m springboard. After taking a year off from major competition to recuperate from a knee injury, he won a bronze medal at the 2012 FINA World Cup.

In addition to springboard diving, Despatie has competed in 3m synchronized diving with Reuben Ross, with whom he won gold in New Delhi in 2010. While competing in Madrid, Spain, Despatie lost his footing and struck his head on the board, suffering a small concussion that hindered his training for the 2012 Olympics at London. He went into the competition in London with high hopes, but in his last dive in the the 3-metre springboard final, Despatie's knees "buckled" causing him to lose his timing on the complicated dive. His legs slapped the water hard as he entered, lowering his score dramatically and putting him in 7th position and out of medal contention.

Continued Success

Despatie is the current ambassador for McDonalds restaurants. In 2006 he played a movie role in On Your Mark, Party!, which was released in Quebec as À vos marques... party!