It's going to be nerve-wracking. Waiting for this week's much-anticipated diving competition has been tense for many people. Two-time Olympic silver medalist Alexandre Despatie will compete in an event that many feared he'd miss thanks to a 10-centimetre gash in his head suffered after he slammed into the diving board during a June practice in Barcelona. Within days of surgery, the 27-year-old wonder kid from Laval, Quebec, was tweeting fans, confident he'd show up in London. And he has. Not since Greg Louganis' accident - and triumphant comeback - at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 has a diver's close-call grabbed so much attention. [caption id="attachment_12460" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Alexandre Despatie (Courtesy: Procter and Gamble)"] [/caption] A few short weeks ago, Despatie repeated the very same ill-fated dive - without incident this time. His Twitter post that day must have been the most Re-Tweeted post in the lead-up to the Olympics: @Adespatie :
“This morning I did ‘THE’ dive again..It went well! I was a bit emotional after..But a big step for me! #proud.”[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="200" caption="Alexandre Despatie after his gold-medal performance at Commonwealth Games in Delhi (Source: daylife)"] [/caption]
•••Just like the Olympic cyclist Clara Hughes who competed last week while suffering a cracked vertebra, Alexandre seems to channel a deep well of inner strength to overcome the pain and discomfort. Conditioning, discipline and a drive to win figure into it, obviously, but Alexandre, like other athletes we've met, also has something else going for him: family. And he's not shy telling people about his folks. Alexandre is an ambassador for Procter & Gamble's Gillette brand and is a huge supporter of their Thank You Mom program which celebrates the supportive mothers of Olympic athletes around the world. This video clip featuring Alexandre and his mother, Christiane, captures the heart and soul of parenting an athlete. [HTML1] There is one other thing I can't fathom: what is it like for Alexandre's mom, Christiane, to sit and watch her son compete, knowing all eyes of the world are on him, especially after his head injury in June? What Christiane and the other 'Olympic moms' do is nothing short of incredible.