June 13, 2012 6:53 AM ET
Celebrated Canadian diver Alexandre Despatie, considered a medal contender for the London Olympics, is in a Madrid hospital with a head injury sustained in a training mishap.
Despatie, who turned 27 on June 8, underwent surgery to close a significant gash on his forehead suffered in preparations for this week’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The Laval, Que., native is expected to be sidelined for two to three weeks.
“Yeah, that’s what the surgeon here told me,” Despatie’s coach Arturo Miranda said Wednesday in an interview with CBC News. “Probably about two weeks he will be fine.”
Despatie sustained the injury on an inward 3½ on the springboard — for him, a routine yet high-velocity, rotating flip he has attempted thousands of times.
“The injury is about 10 centimetres — it is not a small thing,” said Christiane Despatie, the diver’s mother. “They took care of the cut; the cut was major.”
‘Thanks so much for the support everyone!! The surgery went well and I will give you guys an update soon!! #olympicdreamstillalive here’—Tweet from Alexandre Despatie @ADespatie
“There was no bone injury, we think,” she continued. “There was no commotion [concussion], we think. If he was able to text, then things were not so bad.”
Mitch Geller of Diving Canada said Despatie lost his balance, failed to adjust and “grazed” his head on the edge of the board just above the hairline.
“It’s a complete anomaly for him to have those kinds of distance problems,” Geller said.
“I jumped in the water right away and pulled him out of the water and made sure the proper aid was done at the moment,” Miranda explained.
Despatie is not believed to have lost consciousness.
“If he did, it was very brief,” Geller said. “Under 10 seconds.”
‘Very bad timing’
Canadian Olympic Committee
“Alexandre Despatie is a member of our Olympic family. The Canadian Olympic Committee wishes him well on the road to recovery; we are behind him 100 per cent.” — Marcel Aubut, COC President
“We wish Alex a full and speedy recovery. He is driven, determined and defiant in the face of any challenge in his path. I know he can recover from this injury.” — Mark Tewksbury, Chef de Mission
“Alexandre is resilient and focused and I know he will get well soon. He’s a true champion.” — Sylvie Bernier, Assistant Chef de Mission
Of equal concern is how Despatie’s injury jeopardizing his preparation, if not his participation, in the London Olympics, which begin July 27.
“It’s a very bad timing,” Christiane Despatie said. “Hopefully, we know all the team around him will do its best to have him ready for this event [Olympics].
“He’s been injured for the last two Olympics. So for him, it’s deja vu.
“But for him, it’s pretty close to the Olympics … we’re very hopeful for the things to come.”
Despatie was scheduled to compete in the Spanish Grand Prix in Madrid followed by the Italian Grand Prix in Bolzano, Italy — the first two of six events comprising FINA’s Grand Prix circuit — but plans to return home to Montreal in the next couple of days.
The two-time Olympic silver medallist will need to protect the wound from infection and, no doubt, adjust his training schedule ahead of the London Olympics.
He overcame back problems to qualify for his fourth Olympics in March.
“Certainly, the plan that we had in terms of his home stretch preparation for the Games themselves is no longer an option for us,” Geller said. “We really have to assess how we revise the plan.
“He is a special athlete and he probably has the best chance of anybody in these kinds of circumstances of making sure he is ready to go.”
Despatie, Canada’s dominant diver for a generation, burst into the spotlight as a 13-year-old at the Commonwealth Games in 1998, when he captured gold in the 10-metre platform.
Since then, he has claimed Olympic silver at Athens in 2004 and at Beijing in 2008, world titles in each of diving’s three individual disciplines — the first diver in history to do so — and no less than 46 national titles.
Alexandre Despatie was born on June 8th, 1985 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandre_Despatie
June 8th, 1985
6 + 8 +1+9+8+5 = 37 = his life lesson = Diving.
June 8th, 1985
6 + 8 +2+0+1+2 = 19 = his personal year (from June 8th, 2012 to June 7th, 2013) = Front and center. His time to shine. Proud of his hard earned success.
19 year + 6 (June) = 25 = his personal month (from June 8th, 2012 to July 7th, 2012) = Restlessness.
25 month + 12 (12th of the month on Tuesday June 12th, 2012) = 37 = his personal day = Diving.
[When his number (37 (his life lesson number)) comes up, that’s when he gets to live/experience what he is here to live/experience. So, unfortunately, Tuesday June 12th, 2012 was his day.]
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