New Zealand diver Lizzie Roussel returns to Olympics as a mother

Diver Lizzie Roussel has been named for New Zealand team for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, where she’ll be cheered on her her biggest fan, 2-year-old daughter Athena Olympia Jean Roussel.

  • Read more: Olympics 2024: What you need to know about dates, tickets, sports, the schedule and opening ceremony
  • Roussel (nee Cui) will compete in the women’s 3 metre springboard diving event in Paris.

    She won bronze at the 2023 Oceania Championships in the 3m springboard and placed 14th in the same event at the 2023 World Championships.

    “Being named on the Paris 2024 team is something I never saw coming,” Roussel said.

    “I qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Games in the best physical and mental position I had been in my career, but I found out I was pregnant the year of the Games and withdrew to have my daughter.”

    Roussel wasn’t sure whether she would continue diving after having her daughter, and thanks her partner for pushing her back into the sport.

    “I didn’t know how my body would respond to pregnancy and childbirth but my husband encouraged me to try again and so I began this journey.

    “Making the team feels like a fairytale ending to an unexpected story. Having my daughter alongside me has only made me stronger and appreciate each moment more.”

    Roussel was the first New Zealand diver to compete at the Olympic Games in 24 years when she contested the 3m event in Rio on her 18th birthday.

    She also competed at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

    Roussel began diving at the age of nine. She was awarded a diving scholarship to Louisiana State University as a teenager, and is now based in Louisiana with her partner and child.

    The women’s 3m springboard event will begin on 7 August at the Paris Aquatics Centre.

    According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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