Player's Own Voice

POV podcast: Alexandre Despatie and the upside of early success

On this week's episode of the Player's Own Voice podcast, Canadian diver Alexandre Despatie talks about measuring success on his own terms and the delicate business of knowing exactly the right time to hang up the swim trunks at the end of a storied career.

Diver-turned-broadcaster was just 15 when he competed at his 1st Olympics

Canadian Olympian diver Alexandre Despatie's illustrious career saw him burst on to the international scene as a 13-year-old phenomenon. (The Canadian Press/Frank Gunn)

He burst onto the diving scene at 13 years old.

By the time he was 15 and at his first Olympics, Alexandre Despatie was delighted with a fourth place against the world's best. 

So why was he met with media disappointment over a "missed podium"?  Despatie had already discovered that measuring up to his own standards was the most important thing.

Not that he let himself off lightly.

You just don't become the first and only world champion in all three diving disciplines (1m, 3m and 10m) by blindly accepting external validation.  

In the latest podcast, the 37-time Canadian national champion opens up to host Anastasia Bucsis about avoiding the pitfalls of early success and also the delicate matter of knowing when to say when at the latter stages of a career.

Despatie is the latest elite athlete to share his story on the POV podcast, which takes an unconventional approach to sports conversations. Like CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series, POV podcast lets athletes speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective.  

To hear Despatie and the constantly growing list of athletes in conversation, Player's Own Voice is available free on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever you get your other podcasts.


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