SPORTS

Canadian diving team approaches Pan Am platform with swagger

06/02/2015 12:58 EDT | Updated 06/02/2016 05:59 EDT
Some of Canada's highest hopes were unveiled at Toronto's highest point, as the Pan Am diving team was announced at the top of the CN Tower on Tuesday.

The eight divers, used to competing from high towers (albeit of the 10-metre variety), completed the EdgeWalk around the outside of the restaurant at the top of the CN Tower, just prior to the news conference.

"We were a little afraid at first," said Meaghan Benfeito, part of the group known as the Fab 4, along with synchronized partner Roseline Filion, Jennifer Abel and Pamela Ware. 

"[Just] because we're 10-metre divers [doesn't mean] we're not scared. But as soon as we stepped out, it was like 'we got this.' It's fine."

That kind of attitude is central to the team's mentality heading into the Pan Am Games, where Canada is the clear favourite with the Mexicans as their primary competition.

Since 2013, the Fab 4 has combined for 70 medals at international events.

They seem to be peaking at the right time with strong showings at all of the world series of diving events in 2015. 

It's important to succeed at home, and that means acting like you belong at the top of the podium, Filion said.

"It's all about us in Canada," Filion said, remembering how tough the Mexicans were to beat at the last Pan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico [in 2011].​ "It is an amazing opportunity." 

The diving competition at the Toronto Pan Am Games is set for July 10-18 at the Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre.

Canada's diving team for Pan Am Games:

- Jennifer Abel, Laval, Que., 3m, 3m synchro (with Ware)

- Meaghan Benfeito, Montreal, 10m, 10m synchro (with Filion)

- Maxim Bouchard, St. Contant, Que., 10m

- Roseline Filion, Laval, Que., 10m, 10m synchro (with Benfeito)

- Phillipe Gagné, Ville Mont-Royal, Que., 3m, 10m synchro (with Riendeau), 3m synchro (with Imbeau-Dulac)

- François Imbeau-Dulac, St-Lazare, Que., 3m, 3m synchro (with Gagné)

- Vincent Riendeau, Pointe-Claire, Que., 10m, 10m synchro (with Gagné)

- Pamela Ware, Montreal, 3m, 3m synchro (with Abel)

All of the divers are from Quebec, which speaks to how strong the facilities and coaching are in that province. "We're fortunate to have so many great pools in our area," Filion said.

"We're pretty much a family now and it makes everybody just want to be better together," added Benfeito.

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