Adrenaline and the desire not to miss her Olympic baptism helping, diver Mélissa Citrini-Beaulieu won silver at the Tokyo Games despite a broken left foot.
Along with Jennifer Abel, Citrini-Beaulieu took second place on the podium in the synchronized 3m to give Canada its first medal of the Games. It was the best Canadian result since Alexandre Despatie won silver in 2008 in Beijing and the best in synchro 3m history.
"We all have sores, but let's say I have a good pain tolerance," said the 26-year-old diver. I felt the pain, but it was bearable. With adrenaline, you forget about sores when you get on the springboard. I relied on a good physiotherapist and the coaches handled the situation well. »
Did the diver from Saint-Constant fear at some point that she would miss the Games?
"The damage was done and I couldn't aggravate my injury," she explained of her fracture suffered in August 2020. "I knew an operation would be necessary, but I preferred to wait because we were in an Olympic year. I dived for a year and a half with my injury. In December 2020, I wore a boot and received a cortisone injection during the holiday season. It helped me when I came back. »
"I figure we're all in this together," Citrini-Beaulieu continued, "and it's the athletes who deal with the issues best that have the advantage. My philosophy of life is when there is a problem, you find a solution. It's the same in sports. »
In December, as she prepared for the new season without having gone under the knife yet, the Tokyo Games silver medalist dislocated her right shoulder. With her arm immobilized in a splint, she was arrested for weeks.
"I realized that I needed to take care of my body because the 2024 Games are right around the corner," she said. I had foot surgery a month ago and am undergoing treatment for my collarbone. In this post-Olympic year, it was the best time to have surgery and devote myself to my health. I made the decision with my team members and everyone supported me. »
Citrini-Beaulieu has therefore skipped the national championships which took place last weekend in Victoria and at the same time it must give up on the world aquatics which will take place from June 18 to July 3 in Budapest.
“I have started my rehabilitation process for my two injuries and I am preparing for the next season, indicated the one who also started working as a nurse. I'm taking the summer to get back on my feet and plan to be there for the start of the next season at the end of August. »
Eager to continue to Paris, Citrini-Beaulieu knows that she will have to find a new partner since Abel retired on her return from Tokyo and gave birth to a first child in the spring.
“The relationship with Jennifer was very special because the cohesion was present from the start. There is a good succession in Canada and there are two years left to determine which will be the best combination. The individual event has always been the priority and that does not change. »
In Victoria, Mia Vallé won the non-Olympic one-metre and 3m events. Two-time Olympian Pamela Ware finished 3rd on each occasion.