As an Olympic city, Calgary is used to hosting some pretty amazing athletes.
Now, there’s a big welcome for a competitor who showed off some surprising skills at the recently concluded Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
British diver Tom Daley, who won gold and bronze medals in Tokyo, has arrived in Calgary, accompanying his partner, who’s working on a TV production in the city.
Members of Dive Calgary, training Tuesday in the pool at the Repsol Sport Centre, were excited about Daley’s arrival.
“It’s crazy to think that he chose Calgary of all places,” diver Kaia Abbadi-Macintosh said. “It’s pretty cool.”
Dive Calgary divers are hoping to meet Daley. Their coach has a connection that might help make it happen.
“I’ve known (Daley’s) coach, Jane Figueiredo, for 20-plus years,” coach Abel Sanchez said. “So I’ve asked to have Tom just come in and talk to the kids.”
Daley was often seen knitting while sitting in the stands taking in the action at the Olympics.
“He’s an amazing knitter,” said Annie Ritter. She followed his efforts in Tokyo online while she worked at The Loop, a Calgary yarn shop.
Ritter is hoping that Daley’s high-profile knitting might get more people to take up the activity.
“It’s really exciting,” Ritter said. “New people may think, ‘I want to do that too. I can’t win a gold medal, but I can knit a sweater for my dog.'”
At the Repsol Sport Centre, divers have their fingers crossed that Daley will make it by for a visit.
“It’s really inspiring to see someone who made it and has done it,” diver Ernest Braitenbach said.
“It really helps me think maybe I could get there, maybe I can do that.”
Sanchez said a visit from the British Olympian would be a memorable moment for his young divers.
“Just for him to come by would be awesome.”