Biography:

Alexandre Despatie is the most successful male diver in Canadian history, his career highlighted by a pair of Olympic silver medals.

Despatie broke onto the international scene when he was just 13 years old, capturing gold in the 10m platform at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. Two years later, he made his Olympic debut at Sydney 2000 and just missed the podium with a fourth-place finish in the 10m platform. In his second Olympic appearance at Athens 2004, he became the first Canadian man to win an Olympic diving medal with his silver in the 3m springboard. He was also just shy of the podium in the 10m platform, finishing fourth once again.

In April 2008, just four months before the Olympic Games in Beijing, Despatie broke a bone in his right foot while training. Despite not having the pre-Games preparation he had planned for, he delivered a second straight Olympic silver medal in the 3m springboard. Despatie overcame another injury to compete at his fourth Olympic Games. Just six weeks before London 2012, he struck his head off the diving board in a training accident and underwent surgery to close the cut along his hairline.

Outside of the Olympic Games, Despatie made history in 2005 when he became the first diver to ever be crowned world champion on all three boards. In front of the home crowd in Montreal, he added gold medals in the 1m and 3m springboards to the 10m platform gold he had won in 2003 in Barcelona. From 2001 to 2009, Despatie earned a total of eight medals (3 gold, 3 silver, 2 bronze) at the FINA World Championships.

After his breakout in 1998, Despatie competed at three more Commonwealth Games, winning a total of 11 medals including nine gold. He won seven medals at the Pan American Games, including gold in three of four events at Santo Domingo 2003.

Despatie announced his retirement in June 2013 and embarked on a career in television broadcasting, hosting a morning show in Montreal and being part of CBC’s Olympic coverage. Despatie was inducted to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.