Norm Kemp

Rachel Kemp won the bronze medal at the 2011 Senior National Championships and World Cup Trials held at the Commonwealth Pool in Saanich this weekend.

Rachel challenged herself and with a tricep injury that kept her out of training 6 of the last 8 weeks, she was able to bounce back and take 3rd place after being behind after her first thru to 4th dives. There was a possibility that she wasn’t going to able to dive at all, but with this being the Olympic year and this events results placing divers at Grand Prix meets as well as the World Cup, it became too important to sit back and watch. Rachel won a place on the team to represent Canada at the Canada Cup in 2012. She also qualified to dive for Canada at upcoming Grand Prix events in 2012, but unfortunately just missed the chance to dive at the World Cup in London, England at the pool hosting the Olympics. The competitions ahead are springboards to the 2012 Olympic trials in May in Montreal and points are awarded with your placements within the competitions.

Rachel started off the weekend with winning the preliminaries which boosted her confidence towards competing in the semi-finals and then in the finals. With every dive her arm was getting worse as a blood clot in her tricep was causing her pain as well as muscle contractions affecting her performance. Not training regularly was also taking its toll.


Rachel Getting her Bicep worked on by Physiotherapist Matt Tyler.

As a parent it is trying to go through the trials and tribulations of an athlete that has the status of Rachel as it is always a fine line whether or not you are helping or hindering her towards her goals. Injuries are a common place amongst the elite athlete and can affect and influence the mindset and it is difficult to know when to be a caring parent or to allow the coach to do his job. Unfortunately, sometimes injuries can’t always be ignored and have to be rested and allowed to heal following the advice of her doctor and physiotherapist.

Women divers attempt 5 dives and are judged on requirements met under the rules and regulations of Diving Plongeon Canada. http://www.diving.ca/english/html/spectatorguide.htm

Points are awarded under a system which uses DD’s, which are degrees of difficulty points that are used to determine how difficult a dive is to perform. The high and low scores from the judges are dropped and the remaining scores, depending on the competition, are then multiplied using the DD point system.

Rachel’s first dive is a 5253B 3.2 DD, which is a back dive with 2.5 somersaults with 1.5 twists. She stands with her back towards the water and jumps backwards as high as she can and then performs 2.5 somersaults in the pike position and then 1.5 twists and attempts to enter the water in a vertical position, toes pointed and extended your arms outward, reaching to break the plane of the water with as little splash as possible, which is called a “Rip Entry”. During the somersault, the smaller the pike the better and the legs must stay together during the twists and straight without any bending at the knees. It is also important not to dive outwards too far from the tower.

Her second dive is a 207C 3.5 DD, which is a back dive with 3.5 somersaults. This a dive that performed well is very impressive but can make or break you if the diver makes a mistake as the results can be very painful and disheartening.

Rachel’s 3rd dive is a 107B 3.0 DD which is a front dive where the diver actually approaches towards the edge of the platform and hurdles up and out and does 3.5 revolutions in the pike position and again attempts to enter cleanly in a vertical ripped entry.


Rachel with her VERY proud parents Norm and Linda Kemp.


Lot’s of lovin for Rachel from Dad Norm Kemp and “Half” Dad Scott Harrigan


Rachel in her hand stand for her 4th dive.


Very Impressive numbers!

Rachel Kemp (far right) is all smiles with her Bronze medal!!

Her 4th dive is a 626C 3.3 DD, which is a hand stand into a back 3.5 somersault in a tuck position. The hand stand must be performed without any movement of the hands once in the handstand position and held for approximately 3 seconds or 2 points per judge can be deducted from the overall score which is called a “balk”

Rachel’s last dive is a 407C 3.2 DD, which is a dive where you have your back towards the water and dive out and then inwards towards the tower and perform 3.5 somersaults in the tuck position.

The divers at this competition can be either team mates and or friends from other clubs in the country as well as competitors competing from outside sources trying to represent Canada at future events. I have always found that all the athletes support each other whether they win or fail to accomplish their goals that they have trained relentlessly for. It is always admirable to watch them interact amongst each other and react to the highs and lows of each divers performances. It shows that not only are they great athletes, but are also very supporting and caring people.