Silver with a taste of gold.
After winning a silver medal from the 3 meters spring board at the 2004 Olympics in Athenes, Alexandre Despaties has repeated the exploit yesterday in Beijing.
The athlete from Laval, Quebec, was simply exceptionnal. After missing four months this year because of a broken foot and a back injury, Despaties was not a sure bet for a podium finish. The level of competition was high as Dimitri Sautin from Russia, He Chong and Qin Kai from China were in great shape.
Despaties did not commit any major mistake during the final. He gave his best and finished in second place with a total of 536.65 points. Only He Chong was better. In fact, Chong was impressive, immaculate, untouchable.
When he was asked to comment his performance, Alexandre Despaties said that this silver medal had a taste of gold after this horrible year 2008 that kept him away from competition for too long.
The situation was so uncertain for him that even a great magazine like Sports Illustrated doubted him and excluded the multiple world champion from the podium in their pre-olympic predictions.
Congratulation Alexandre, the whole country is proud of you.
(Picture: Alexandre Despaties, Canadian Press.)