USask kinesiology student Rylan Wiens clinched a spot in the Tokyo Olympics with his sixth and final dive at the national championships on July 1 in Toronto. (Photo: Diving Canada/Vaughn Ridley)

USask kinesiology student dives into Olympics

University of Saskatchewan (USask) student Rylan Wiens will compete for Canada in diving at the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

The 19-year-old College of Kinesiology student from Pike Lake, Sask., saved his best for last at the Canadian Olympic team trials on July 1 in Toronto, clinching a berth in the Summer Games on his sixth and final dive of the competition.

“It feels surreal qualifying for the Olympics. It was a great relief to finally achieve a goal I have had since I was very young,” said Wiens.

Wiens qualified for the Olympics for the first time by earning 983.05 points to finish second to national champion Nathan Zsombor-Murray in the men’s 10-metre individual platform final in Toronto, with both divers booking their trips to Tokyo for the Summer Games, July 23 to Aug. 8. In May, Wiens helped Canada clinch a second qualifying spot in the 10m event in the Olympics by earning a bronze medal at the Diving World Cup in Tokyo.

A member of the Saskatoon Diving Club, Wiens starting diving competitively when he was only seven years old. Wiens won his first junior national title at the age of 10 and stepped into the international spotlight in 2018 when he represented Canada and reached the finals in the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games, and the world junior championships. 

Opportunities to dive competitively elsewhere continued to be presented to him throughout his career. However, Wiens chose to stay close to home and push himself and teammates, helping put Saskatchewan diving on the competitive map.

“I chose to stay at home in Saskatoon to continue diving and further my education because I really enjoy living in the country in Saskatchewan. I know a few of the older divers went through the kinesiology program at USask and they had a great experience.”

Although the COVID-19 restrictions won’t allow for his family members to travel to Tokyo with him, he knows they will be watching on television throughout the night, cheering him on.

“I know it will be a unique Olympics, and I am excited to say that I was there and got to take part in it,” he said.

Wiens is scheduled to compete in the 10m event at the Tokyo Olympics on Aug. 6-7.

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