Family supports Pilot Butte's Olympic diver Reuben Ross
Pilot Butte diver Reuben Ross took to the diving boards Wednesday to compete in the synchronized three-meter dive with Alexandre Despatie, taking sixth among the eight teams.
He won't be standing on the podium, but Ross can still take pride in Olympic glory.
"It was pretty tense, pretty tense," says his mother Mary Ross, speaking to News Talk Radio from London.
He didn't make it to the podium like everyone hoped but with his partner Alexandre Despartie only just recovering from a head injury, it wasn't a bad result.
"He worked hard and he did the best he could," she adds.
Ross hails from Pilot Butte and began diving at the age of 10. This is his second Olympics having first competed in Beijing.
But he wouldn't have gotten this far without the support of his mum, dad and his four siblings. It is a dedication that seems second nature now given the sacrifices the family has made to see him get this far.
Mary describes a typical training week during high school.
"About four or five days a week, he would come home after school, I would give him a snack, take him to the pool. I would come home do supper for the rest of the family, go back and get him, that was our routine every day." That was life", she says.
And you can imagine what it is like for the Ross family, watching with bated breath as he takes his Olympic dives. It was no different each time he performed at the Regina diving club. The inevitable grip of the heart Mary admits to each time he wouldn't hit the board.
But some of us are just born to do certain things something and that seems the case with Reuben. His father Nat tells a story of the first time he asked to jump of a diving board. The family was on holiday in Rosthern, having fun at the public pool.
"I thought well this could be an opportunity, he'll jump off and learn to fear water a bit more than he does now. I let him get out on the pool side, he crawled up on the one meter board, I swam underneath him. He jumped off and I expected him to come up crying, but he came up with the biggest grin on his face that you can imagine."
And the rest as they say is history.
Ever since Beijing, his mum, dad, siblings and their family have spent the last four years planning and saving for this big vacation to London, having little doubt Reuben would qualify. And it means so much to Reuben himself.
"It is a sacrifice for them and I am so glad and so thankful for the support they have given me. Not just coming here, making the journey all the way to London, but all they support they have given me in my career, in my sixteen years of being an athlete and a diver."
Being part of the crowd at the Aquatic Centre in the Olympic Park, Mary says it really was a fantastic atmosphere among the spectators.
"It was very exciting because we had a big cheering squad and there were other Canadians."
She describes how once people knew her son was competing, they all joined in the support.
And despite what would seem like rivalries among countries, she says all that washes away in the midst of competition. "It is like one big, worldwide, family picnic," she says.
But regardless of medal disappointment, all 39 members of the Ross family got to see him perform, and that is a memory she says all by itself.
"We are really, really proud."
Mary and Nat Ross.
Edited by CJME's Karen Brownlee.