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Growing up in Thunder Bay, this exceptional athlete participated in a number of sports, setting school records in running and advancing to the provincial level in gymnastics with the YMCA Twisters Gymnastics Club. In 1982 she turned her talents toward the diving board at the Canada Games Complex becoming a specialist in the 1M & 3M springboard events. Claiming a silver medal at the junior nationals she made her way onto the National age group team in 1983.

Her silver medal performance in the 1M event at the 1985 Canada Summer Games, and bronze medals at the national championships, secured her a spot on the National Senior diving team in 1986. Becoming Thunder Bay's first ever carded diver in 1988, she went on to become a 14-time Canadian Champion.

A single missed dive in the 1988 Olympic Trials prevented her from competing at the Seoul Games, however, she did not let this dampen her spirits, but rather spent the next four years honing her skills on the international diving circuit.

Putting in a gold medal performance in the 1M event at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, she became the first diver from northwestern Ontario to attain such success. Earning a bronze medal at the highly competitive China Open Diving Tournament in Chengdu in 1991, her outstanding 5th place showing at the 1991 World Aquatic Championships marked the best-ever by a Canadian diver at that event.

In 1992 Mary's hard work and dedication allowed her to realize her dream of competing in the Olympics, taking to the springboard in Barcelona with a personal goal of a top twelve finish. Qualifying for the finals she placed 8th overall in the 3M event, entering the history books as the Canadian diver who placed the highest at the Games that year.

Coming full circle, Mary ended off her 13 year diving career with a bronze medal performance in the 1M event at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria. Following her competitive career Mary remained active in the sport, passing along her knowledge of diving as a colour commentator for CBC Sports and as a coach to young divers in Thunder Bay and St. John's, Newfoundland.

Inducted into the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, September 28th, 2002

Mary DePiero

Thunder Bay
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