Gabriela Agundes Garcia’s mother urged her young daughter to find an outlet for her endless energy. She did, and on Saturday it took her onto the podium at the Youth Olympic Games.
Being a hyperactive child can be a good thing, if you can transform that drive into elite sporting silverware. On Saturday in Buenos Aires, Mexican diver Gabriela Agundes Garcia did just that. The 18-year-old mustered all her exuberance to clinch bronze in the women’s 10m platform at the Natatorium, having briefly fallen out of medal contention during the four-round final.
It was 11 years ago that her frazzled mother decided she needed to find a better outlet for her energy. Agundes Garcia first tried her hand at gymnastics, before being persuaded to head to the pool to have a go at diving. “My mother always told me that I had too much energy, and that I should use it on something,” she said. “All that energy and effort has now been put in the Youth Olympic Games. The first time I tried diving, I knew it was my thing, even though I used to think that gymnastics was where I really belonged. People should try new things, and I think trying new sport will give you experience in life.
“Coming here has been an incredible experience. My coach and I have worked a lot to get this far, and I’m proud of all the work and effort I have put into today.”
Chinese diver Lin Shan took gold after outclassing her opponents to register a combined score of 466.50. A distant 60 points behind was silver medallist Sofiia Lyskun, of Ukraine, on 406.10, followed by Agundes Garcia on 405.55.
The trio were favourites for a podium finish, having proven their credentials during the preliminary phase earlier on Saturday, with Lin already in pole position going into the final.
Diving continues on Sunday (14 October) with the men’s 3m springboard.