Monday, June 22, 2009

Despatie named Canada flagbearer for upcoming world aquatic championship

OTTAWA — Diver Alexandre Despatie will carry Canada's flag in the opening ceremonies of next month's FINA world aquatic championships in Rome.

The Laval, Que., native has captured six world championship medals in 2003, 2005 and 2007. He also won a silver medal in each of the past two Olympics, as well as three gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2006.

He's the only diver in history to be world champion in all individual events in the one-metre, three-metre and 10-metre.

"There are so many great athletes in aquatic sports who will be representing Canada at the FINA world championships that it's a real privilege and an honour for me - and for the sport of diving - to have been chosen to carry the flag," Despatie said in a statement.

"The world championships have often been high points in my career, such as the 2005 championships in Montreal, and this will certainly be on my mind during the parade."

Rome will host 2,800 athletes from 200 countries at the July 18-Aug. 2 world championships. A total of 400,000 spectators are expected to attend.

The opening ceremonies will be held July 18 at the Stadio dei Marmi, in an historic part of Rome.

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