Chris Mears (diver)

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Chris Mears
Chris Mears (28868670976).jpg
Chris Mears at the 2016 Olympics in Rio
Personal information
Full name Christopher James Mears
Nickname(s) Chris
Born (1993-02-07) 7 February 1993 (age 24)
Reading, Berkshire
Residence Leeds
Height 1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)
Sport
Country  Great Britain
 England
Event(s) 1m, 3m, 3m Synchro
Club City of Leeds Diving Club
Partner Jack Laugher

Chris Mears MBE (born 7 February 1993) is a British diver and DJ/Producer from Burghfield Common, near Reading, Berkshire. He competed at the 2016 Summer Olympics in the synchronised 3m springboard event with Jack Laugher and won gold, the first Olympic gold medal for Britain in diving.[1]

Mears also competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in the men's 3-metre springboard individually, and the 3-metre synchronised springboard event with his team-mate Nicholas Robinson-Baker. The pair won a silver medal during the 2011 FINA Diving World Series, were placed fourth in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and won a bronze medal during the 2013 Diving World Series in Edinburgh. At the Olympics the pair finished in fifth place, while Mears was ninth in the individual competition.[2]

Mears also participated in the 2012 European Championships, finishing 8th in the 3 m springboard and 5th in the synchro event on the same occasion.[3]

Early life[edit]

Mears was born on 7 February 1993 in Reading to Paul and Lorraine Mears.[4][5] His biological mother died from breast cancer when he was three. His father then married Katy. Mears has an older sister, Natalie, and a younger brother, Charlie.[5] Mears was educated at The Willink School, a co-educational state comprehensive school in the village of Burghfield in Berkshire.[6]

From a young age, Mears attended diving classes at his local club in Reading. His mother had initially intended to place him in a gymnastics class, but as it was full she chose the diving class instead.[5] He started diving at the Reading Albatross Diving Club, later joining the Southampton Diving Club and began to compete in junior events.[7][8]

In January 2009 when he was fifteen, Mears suffered a ruptured spleen while he was training in Sydney for the Youth Olympic Festival. He was suffering from glandular fever but was not displaying the usual symptoms. His organs were squeezed by swelling, and further aggravated by the impact of his dives, causing his spleen to rupture. After losing two litres of blood and being given a 5% chance of survival by doctors upon admission to the hospital, he was told it was likely he would never dive again. For several days he was kept alive by medical intervention and his platelet count was at 2. Upon discharge, Mears remained in Australia until fit to fly. However his family returned to their hotel room one morning to find him having a seizure on the floor. Mears suffered a 7-hour seizure in total which led to a three-day coma. Despite being told that he would never dive again, Mears made a slow introduction back into diving, and went on to compete eighteen months later at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. He does however still to this day have a distictive 30-cm scar down the middle of his abdomen.[9]

Diving career[edit]

Chris Mears and Jack Laugher at the 2016 Olympics in Rio

2010–2011[edit]

This year marked Mears's return to the sport after his illness. On a National stage, he competed in the synchro with Nicholas Robinson-Baker as diving partner, claiming Gold at National Cup and again at National Championships. He was placed 4th with Robinson-Baker at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.[10]

Mears won Gold at National Cup in 2011, and Bronze at British Championships.

2012–2013[edit]

2012 saw him take silver at National Cup and Bronze at British Championships. On 11 June 2012, the British Olympic Association announced that Mears had been selected to represent Great Britain in the 3-m springboard and 3M sychro, at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Mears's father, Paul was nominated by the B.O.A to carry the Olympic Torch during the 70-day relay in recognition of the time he spent at his son's bedside during his severe illness in 2009. Mears made it to the final of the men's 3-m springboard, placing 9th. His last dive was scored at 100.70, the highest scored dive of the competition. Mears and Robinson-Baker placed 5th in the sychro.[11]

Mears competed in the World Series circuit with diving partner Robinson-Baker in the synchro, and also competed in the individua event. The pair won bronze in Edinburgh and bronze twice in Guadalajara, Mexico. Mears also scored a total of 455.50 points- fourth position in the individual 3m in Guadalajara, Mexico- his best individual World Series performance to date. Mears and Robinson-Baker ended 2013 ranked seventh best in the world by FINA.[12]

In 2013, Mears teamed up with Jack Laugher in the 3-metre Springboard, but did not qualify for the final of the World Championships in Barcelona.[13]

2014–2015[edit]

Mears spent the beginning of the year recovering from an ankle injury at the Team GB Intensive Rehabilitation Facility at Bisham Abbey and so did not commpete at 2014 National Cup in Southend.[14] He also missed the first two legs of the 2014 FINA Diving World Series held in China and Dubai due to the injury.[15]

In the beginning of the year, Mears relocated to Leeds to train alongside Laugher. The John Charles Centre for Sport is one of the UK's high performance centres for Diving, and plays host to all 3-metre competitors competing for the British Diving Team. Mears and Laugher first competed together that year in the World Divng Series in London in April 2014 and finished fourth.[16] In May 2014, the duo won bronze in the 3m synchronised at the FINA Diving World Series in Moscow.[17]

Mears and Laugher won their first gold medal on the 3 metre synchronised springboard at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.[18]

In 2015, Mears aand Laugher won bronze in the World Championships in Kazan.[19]

2016[edit]

In May 2016, Mears and Jack Laugher won the 3m synchronised springboard at the European Championships in London.[20]

Mears was selected alongside syncro partner Laugher to represent Great Britain in the 2016 Rio Olympics where they won a gold medal in the Men's 3m Synchronised Diving event, scoring a total of 454.32 points beating the American pair Sam Dorman and Michael Hixon (450.21) and the Chinese pair Qin Kai and Cao Yuan (443.70). This is the first ever Olympic gold medal in British diving.[1]

Music[edit]

During the recovery period from his illness, Mears took up music production as a hobby whilst bed-ridden. He bought a guitar and started to learn to play, and also bought a Mac computer to create his own music on the Logic apps.[21] He used his bedroom as a studio and began to produce Electronic Dance Music and House Music.[22] In 2012, after the Olympics he signed with Insanity Artists booking agency.[23] His first large scale performance was on 29 May 2013 at Woodstoke Festival supporting Labrinth and Pendulum.[24] In February 2014 Mears released a preview of three new tracks on his Soundcloud page.[25] He released a single titled "Mexico" in Latin America through Universal Music in 2015.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Mears currently shares a flat with diving partner Jack Laugher and trains in Leeds. Mears has actively supported athletes being open about homosexuality in sports, posing for Gay Times magazine for the March 2013 issue and also releasing a press statement in support of his friend Tom Daley on his official Facebook page in December 2013.[26]

Honours[edit]

Mears, along with Laugher, was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to diving.[27]

Diving achievements[edit]

Competition 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Olympics, 3m springboard 9th
Olympics, 3m synchro 5th 1st
Commonwealth Games, 1m springboard 4th
Commonwealth Games, 3m springboard
Commonwealth Games, 3m synchro 4th 1st
World Championships, 1m springboard 14th 16th
World Championships, 3m springboard 30th 31st 15th
World Championships, 3m syncrho 7th 8th 3rd
European Championship, 3m springboard 19th 8th 14th
European Championship, 3m synchro 5th 5th 5th
FINA World Cup, 3m springboard, 17th 16th
FINA World Cup, 3m Synchro 10th 5th
World Junior Championship, 1m springboard, 15th
World Junior Championship, 3m springboard, 7th
European Junior Championship, 1m springboard, 2nd
European Junior Championship, 3m springboard, 2nd
European Junior Championship, 10m platform, 3rd
British Championship, 3m springboard, 8th 5th 3rd 3rd 7th 2nd
British Championship, 3m synchro, 2nd 1st 1st 1st 1st
British Championship, 1m springboard, 4th 5th 2nd 3rd
British Gas National Cup, 1m springboard,
British Gas National Cup, 3m springboard, 7th 3rd 2nd
British Gas National Cup, 3m synchro, 1st 1st

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Rio Olympics 2016: Jack Laugher and Chris Mears win historic diving gold". BBC Sport. 10 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "Mears signs off in style". swimming.org. British Swimming. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 8 August 2012. 
  3. ^ "Chris Mears – Biography". Team GB. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Bailey, Michael (11 July 2012). "Team GB’s official squad for the 2012 London Olympics". London 24. 
  5. ^ a b c Nick Fagge; Claudia Joseph (11 August 2016). "'The final dive was ‘s*** or bust!’ Dive king Chris Mears' biggest fan says she KNEW he'd won gold as he hit the water...but didn't mention his celebration". Mail Online. 
  6. ^ Hugh Fort (28 July 2015). "Burghfield Common diver Chris Mears wins Britain's first medal at World Aquatics Championships". GetReading.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Cheer on Reading's Olympic athletes". GetReading. 25 July 2012. 
  8. ^ "Luton". Southampton Diving Club. 6 December 2005. 
  9. ^ "London 2012 Olympics: GB diving contender Chris Mears' near-death experience helped him focus on his dream". The Daily Telegraph. 20 February 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  10. ^ Walter, Simon (7 July 2012). "I nearly died - but now I'm diving for Olympic glory". Daily Echo. 
  11. ^ "'BOA Announce 12 British Divers Selected To Team GB For London 2012'". British Swimming. 11 June 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  12. ^ "'Mears Enjoys Best World Series Performance'". British Swimming. 20 May 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "Diving World Championships: GB divers Jack Laugher and Chris Mears fail to make final". Sky Sports. 25 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Road to Rio 2016: GB diving contender Chris Mears' video diary". The Daily Mail. 30 December 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "Laugher aiming for success with his new double act". Yorkshire Evening Post. 19 April 2014. 
  16. ^ Hope, Nick (25 April 2014). "World Diving Series: Tonia Couch & Sarah Barrow win silver". BBC Sport. 
  17. ^ "World Diving Series: GB's Jack Laugher & Chris Mears win bronze", BBC Sport, 2 May 2014 
  18. ^ Reid, Alasdair (1 August 2014). "Commonwealth Games 2014: Jack Laugher and Chris Mears take diving gold for England". The Daily Telegraph. 
  19. ^ "Laugher and Mears win World Championship bronze". British Swimming. 28 July 2015. 
  20. ^ Hope, Nick (13 May 2016). "Jack Laugher & Chris Mears win gold at European Championships". BBC Sport. 
  21. ^ a b Caulfield, Keith (30 October 2015). "Diver Chris Mears on 'Mexico' Single, Learning to DJ After Near-Death Experience & His Olympic Dreams". Billboard. 
  22. ^ "From a debilitating illness to Olympic gold medallist: Everything you need to know about Chris Mears". HELLOMAGAZINE.COM. 11 August 2016. 
  23. ^ "Chris Mears Profile". Insanity Artists. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  24. ^ "Chris Mears Official Instagram". Instagram. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  25. ^ "Chris Mears Official Soundclould". Soundcloud. 5 February 2014. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  26. ^ "'Tom Daley Coming Out Press Release'". Facebook. Retrieved 4 December 2013. 
  27. ^ "Team GB stars dominate New Year’s Honours List". Team GB. 30 December 2016. 

External links[edit]