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Athletes

Chris
Mears
Great BritainGreat Britain, GBR
Diving

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
07 February 1993
Height
173 cm
Weight
73 kg
Residence
Burghfield, ENG
Occupation
Athlete, Musician
Languages
English

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He first tried the sport at age six when his stepmother enrolled him in courses at a diving club in Reading, England.
Why this sport?
His stepmother sent him to lessons because he used to jump around the house too much.
Club / Team
City of Leeds Diving Club: England
Name of coach
Adam Smallwood [national], Marc Holdsworth [national]

International Debut

Year
2010
Competing for
Great Britain
Tournament
World Cup
Location
Changzhou, CHN

General Interest

Hobbies
DJing. (telegraph.co.uk, 11 Aug 2016; Twitter profile, 20 May 2018)
Hero / Idol
Russian diver Dmitri Sautin. (English Aquatics Team Media Guide, 2010)
Injuries
He was suffering from back problems in the lead-up to the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary. (yorkshirepost.co.uk, 16 Jul 2017)

He suffered ankle injuries in October 2013 that affected his training into 2014. (localberkshire.co.uk, 02 May 2014)

He had a bout of tonsillitis during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. (metro.co.uk, 22 Nov 2011)

During the 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney, he collapsed the morning after injuring himself during a practice dive. He was taken to hospital, where doctors were unaware of his training accident and originally thought he was suffering from meningitis. Internal bleeding caused his condition to deteriorate and surgeons removed his spleen, which they believed ruptured in the training dive. Two days later, he was discharged but suffered a relapse and was rushed back to hospital suffering from seizures. He was discharged a month later. (metro.co.uk, 22 Nov 2011; olympics.com.au, 24 Jun 2011)
Superstitions / Rituals / Beliefs
"I literally just think about one word - I'm a basic guy and I'll get confused otherwise! It can be different on each dive, a key word, things like 'arms' which [reminds] me about the position of my arms." (dailymail.co.uk, 11 Aug 2016)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Keep going when it's tough and always listen to your coach." (swimming.org, 17 Feb 2012)
Awards and honours
In May 2017 he was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [MBE]. (itv.com, 19 May 2017)
Other information
POST-RIO BLUES
After fulfilling his diving dreams of winning gold at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, he was struggled for motivation after the event. "It took me quite a long time to come around. Most of it revolves around the fact that I had already achieved the highest accolade possible, so what am I doing now? What am I aiming for? Is that the best I am ever going to feel in my life? That's where my head was at.” He overcame his mental struggles in time to win gold with his diving partner Jack Laugher at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. “The underlying thing that has helped me, and what I really learned from that Australian experience, is that it does not get worse than that. It's all up from there. All these experiences I have been through, they have helped me grow as a person. They have only made me more determined to be successful at what I do.” (telegraph.co.uk, 07 Apr 2018)

NATIONAL FIRST
He won Great Britain's first Olympic diving gold medal following his victory with diving partner Jack Laugher in the 3m synchronised springboard event at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. (bbc.co.uk, 10 Aug 2016)

EMERGENCY SURGERY
At the 2012 Olympic Games in London he spoke about the surgery he underwent during the 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival. "I had glandular fever. My glands in my stomach swelled up, and my spleen swelled up, which caused it to rupture. I didn't have any symptoms of glandular fever, so the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with me, which caused me to lose about five pints of blood. I went into theatre, they cut me open and they gave me a 5% chance of surviving the operation. I went into intensive care for a week. Then after that I went back into hospital, had a seizure for about seven hours, and went into a coma for three days. I think most people end up with brain damage from that. It's pretty scary when someone says, 'What's the day?' and you're adamant that it's Monday and it's Thursday." He has been left with a 12-inch scar on his abdomen from the surgery. In January 2012 his father Paul was nominated by the British Olympic Association [BOA] to carry the Olympic torch as part of the relay ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London in recognition of his role in Chris' recovery. (dailymail.co.uk, 11 Dec 2015; swimming.org, 11 Jun 2012; London Info, 09 Aug 2012; express.co.uk, 11 Aug 2016)

MUSIC CAREER
He has worked as a DJ and a record producer. In 2015 he released his first single called 'Mexico' in Latin America. "It is not just a hobby, it is what I want to do in my career when I finish diving. When I am diving I am doing that but it can get all too much doing one thing so it is important to have an outlet." (swimswam.com, 15 Mar 2016; billboard.com, 30 Oct 2015; dailymail.co.uk, 11 Aug 2016; telegraph.co.uk, 11 Aug 2016)

CHASE YOUR DREAM CAMPAIGN
He is an ambassador for the Chase Your Dream, No Matter What campaign, for which he shared his story with people struggling with mental stress, and helped them jump off a 10m diving board to face their fears. “It was really emotional but also it was personal to me. Firstly because I've suffered with those sorts of things, and secondly because I got such a buzz out of helping someone else with their fears and their anxiety.” (independant.co.uk, 12 Apr 2018)