As some of Canada’s top divers, Roseline Filion (27), Meaghan Benfeito (25), Jennifer Abel (23) and Pamela Ware (21) have already accomplished what most athletes can only dream of achieving.
Since bringing home bronze in the 10m and 3m synchronized events at the 2012 London Olympics, the four women have won a total of 86 medals (18 gold, 26 silver and 32 bronze) in 24 other international events. The fact that they continue to be found on the podium in global competitions and championships is a success they attribute in part to the support they provide one another.
“We are never alone in any situation, good or bad,” Abel says, explaining that when one of them wins, it’s a win for the entire team. With such a strong sense of team spirit, it’s only fitting that the four women are known as the Fab IV.
On the road to Rio
Canada’s diving team leader, Mitch Geller, is expecting fabulous results for the women for Rio 2016. “Every one of our ladies has the ability to win a medal in the synchronized and individual events,” he said at a press event that announced Canada’s official diving team for the Games.
Rio 2016 will be Ware’s first Olympics. “I’m really, really excited,” Ware says with a smile. “I’m not nervous – yet.”
“That’s because she’s not there yet,” says Benfeito, and all the women erupt in laughter.
At the time of the interview, the Rio Games are less than two months away, but nobody’s counting. Instead, focus is on preparation.
“Sometimes we think too much and we put so much pressure on ourselves,” Abel explains. The women pride themselves on doing their best in everything, which can get really stressful. For this reason, no matter how hectic their schedules get, they believe in the importance of finding time to relax.
How to unwind like an Olympian
For Filion, a simple treat like getting a manicure and pedicure or going out to a restaurant with friends are some of the ways she unwinds. “I even do escape games with friends,” she says. ” I get to pretend I’m a police officer and for an hour, I forget that I’m a diver.”
But there’s no escaping the fact that Filion is a natural diver. Sometimes she doubts her abilities, but as soon as she steps on the 10m (diving board), her doubt disappears. “That’s where I feel the most confident,” she says. “I feel like Super Woman…like I can accomplish anything.”
In moments like this, where cameras are never too far away, all four girls agree on how essential it is to feel good in their skin. Thick creams to protect themselves from the damaging effects of chlorine are key, and good razors for silky smooth legs are a must. So it’s a natural fit for the Fab VI to have partnered up with Gillette Venus as brand ambassadors.
Celebrating girl power
Empowering women and endorsing female strength is important to the women, which makes Venus’ support on their road to Rio that much more special. “It’s about celebrating movement, femininity and strength and as divers, that’s at the core of everything we do,” says Benfeito.
As they get ready for Rio 2016, listening to music by strong powerful women is one of the ways the girls pump themselves up for the long hours of training. Celine Dion, Taylor Swift, and The Spice Girls are some of their go-to favourites.
“It’s all about girl power,” says Fillion.