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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

SYLVIE BERNIER

Inducted in 1987

Member Details

Date of Birth: January 31, 1964
Place of Birth: Ste. Foy, Quebec
Sport: Diving
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1982

Silver medal in 3m, Commonwealth Games

1983

Bronze medal in 3m, Pan-Am Games

Bronze medal in 3m, FINA World Cup

1984

Gold medal in 3m, Canadian Championships

Gold medal in 3m, Olympic Games in L.A.

1985

Named to Order of Canada

Honoured Member SYLVIE BERNIER
Inspire

Story

Sylvie Bernier made a splash on the international diving stage and sprung to glory. Her dives, of course, were clean and precise, but the impact that she had on the Canadian diving scene was immense. Bernier began diving at the age of ten and was a member of the national diving team by the age of 14. Under the careful guidance of coach Don Dion, Bernier quickly became a champion in the 3m springboard event, an event which became her specialty. During her six-year diving career, Bernier was a regular on the international podium, winning more than 20 medals. This includes silver at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, bronze at the 1983 Pan-American Games, and bronze at the 1983 World University Games. The year 1984 was a phenomenal one for Bernier. Within the space of three months, she placed first in three major competitions-the Canadian Championships, Dive Canada, and the Fort Lauderdale International. With this series of wins under her belt, Bernier arrived at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles with great expectations, and she did not disappoint. Bernier's spectacular performance earned her a gold medal in the 3m springboard event, Canada's first Olympic gold medal in diving. In addition, she set an Olympic record with a score of 530.70 and became Quebec's first female Olympic champion. These remarkable achievements earned her the Bobbie Rosenfeld award as Canada's Female Athlete of the Year as well as the Elaine Tanner Trophy as Canada's Junior Female Athlete of the Year. She received the Order of Canada, the Order of Quebec, and became the first Canadian diver honoured by the International Swimming Hall of Fame. An inspiration to young Canadians, Bernier was appointed Goodwill Ambassador for International Youth Year in 1985. Otto Jelinek, federal minister of fitness and amateur sport at the time, stated that she was, "a perfect example of the perseverance young people need today to succeed in sport as well as in everyday life." Bernier retired from competition shortly after her Olympic victory, but she has remained active in the athletic world, particularly in sports media. She has appeared as host for various radio and TV programs and has worked as a commentator for the Olympic Games.


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