Lyn, Ontario – Dive Ontario was able to catch-up with Optimal Diving Club diver, Sophia Povzner. Sophia shares some of her fondest memories in diving while speaking about her diving support system and role models!

Q: At what age did you begin to dive?

I started diving at 5 and a half years’ old

Q: Why did you start diving?

I started diving at a very young age and it was my father who introduced me to the sport. My family has been very active in the sport, with my father running the Optimal Diving Club and my brother as an accomplished diver. The love of the sport and the friends I have been able to make continue to contribute to my overall enjoyment of diving. Although some practices or competitions don’t go over as well as I would hope, I strive to continue to grow and improve as a diver.

Q: Favourite dive?

5233 D

Q: What keeps you motivated?

I stay motivated when I’m improving, this makes diving fun for me. Before COVID started, I felt like I wasn’t improving in the ways I wanted to. I want to improve and get better because it’s much more fun to learn new skills and be proud of yourself for that than to constantly feel frustrated with your lack of progress.

Q: Favourite exercise?

Weightlifting squat

Q: What are some lessons you have learned since you began diving?

If you don’t get back on the diving board after you fail a dive, you will be scared of it more and more as time goes on. It is important to get back up and try again as soon as possible.

Q: Biggest fear while diving?

The fear of flopping can definitely be a fear of mine. As someone who does not deal with pain well, that fear can make me freeze and balk on some dives. But the fear can be more significant than the reality of the situation since it’s never as bad as I think it might be.

Q: What is the best part about competing

The best part of competing is being able to dive with individuals from different clubs who all have different years of experience and love of the sport. I enjoy meeting and connecting with others from around the province, especially as we don’t always get to see each other.

Q: Who is your biggest cheerlead/support?

The Optimal Diving team is my biggest support, they cheer me on and support me at every single competition.

Q: Who is your diving role model?

My diving role model is my big brother, Victor. For as long as I can remember, I have always been so amazed at the seemingly impossible dives he was able to do. Even when he messed up on a dive or had a bad practice, he always tried again. He would continue flopping and trying to improve these dives, it took a while but he kept persevering. During competitions, I would watch as he went up on the diving board and nail all of his dives one by one. I aspire to be that kind of person and diver in the future.

Q: What are your long-term goals for diving?

I would love to be able to attend university in the United States on a diving scholarship.

Q: Do you have a pre-competition routine?

I don’t eat breakfast in the morning and competition day is no different. I listen to music to help calm my nerves and get me prepared for the competition.


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