diver says thanks to dad
By RYAN PYETTE,
Free Press Sports Reporter
He dived for gold, wowed
the crowd and even shocked himself.
But the first
thing Saskatchewan diver Aaron Wionzek did after winning the
gold in the
men's one-metre final last night was give a big hug to the
who helped get
him there -- his father and coach, Lorn.
told him, 'We did it,' and 'Thanks,' " grinned the 18-year-old
who topped Newfoundland's Adam Morgan (gold medallist in
final) by a whopping 20 points in the six-dive final
last night at
the Canada Games Aquatic Centre. "Dad's been my coach
with me . . . My two older sisters got into diving, and then
but I kept going.
my first gold medal at a big, national event. I'm so stoked.
going to wear
this medal the whole rest of the week."
Proud dad Lorn
will wear a smile for much longer than that.
About 15 years
ago, Lorn's kids were in desperate need of a diving coach.
this tiny diving program in Saskatoon and the diving coach
there cut my
eldest daughter from the team," recalled Lorn, then a
who led the Saskatchewan team to gold at the 1987 Canada
was mad, I told him, 'These kids want to dive, you don't know
kids', and he
said, 'You don't know diving. If you know so much, why don't
"So I looked
at him, and said, 'I will.' "
head coach of the Saskatoon Diving Club, his kid's a Canada
and three of his divers have qualified for the Pan Am junior
has never attempted a dive in his life, and until his kids
in it, diving never even registered on his radar screen.
a hockey town," he said, "and I grew up playing
was everything I wasn't.
start coaching was a real paradigm shift for me."
his day job gave him a natural insight to the sport.
high school physics teacher, and diving is really all about
said Lorn. "I understand that stuff, but Aaron understands
side of the sport.
I'll tell him to do something, and he'll still say, 'Are you
sure about that,
know diving.' "
Right from the
beginning, Lorn worked to correct those shortcomings. He kept
an open mind
and solicited advice from top Canadian coaches in Quebec and
coaches are a close-knit group, and they were so good to help
works very hard, he wanted to do this, and he needed a coach.
great. I get to watch my son, and coach, too. It's a lot of
But he still
won't try it.
thought the scariest thing would be a 250-pound guy coming
you while you're
carrying a football," grinned Lorn, "but Aaron says
top of that 10-metre tower is way scarier than that."
goes today at the aquatic centre.
In women's 10-metre
tower action last night, Quebec's Mariane Allaire Morin
Laura Knowles by vaulting to the top of the podium with a
reverse 2 1/2 somersault that one judge deemed to be a
their fifth and final dive, the two rivals were separated
just one point.
a 10 she didn't deserve," said the candid 18-year-old
who was fifth at senior nationals this year. "I did expect
to win gold
here, but she beat me. What else can you say?"
Even Morin was
surprised by her brush with perfection. "I knew it was
dive, but I
didn't think there would be a 10 there."