MONTREAL, AUGUST 26, 2013 – More than 700 primary and secondary students from Royal Vale School in NDG (5851 Somerled) will get to meet one of Canada`s greatest Olympic athletes ever on the first day of class. Alexandre Despatie, who retired from diving in June and has turned to a career on television, co-hosting Montreal’s new morning show Breakfast Television, airing weekday mornings on City. Despatie will be on hand at 11:30 a.m. with fellow show hosts.
This event will also serve as the formal kickoff to mark the 25th anniversary of the rebirth of Royal Vale as a Math and Science French Immersion and enrichment school, originally on Dupuis Avenue in Snowdon and then at its current location, which previously housed the former West Hill High School.
Despatie, 28, is a two-time Olympic silver medalist. He competed in his fourth Olympics in London last year, an impressive feat given the fact he had suffered a concussion only weeks earlier.
Despatie first made a splash on the international stage at a mere 13 years of age, winning gold in the 10-metre plaform competition at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia. After finishing fourth in platform at the 2000 Sydney Olympics at 15, he reached the podium at the world championships for the first time the following year, with a silver in Fukuoka, Japan in the 10-metre event.
There are several candidates for his greatest athletic performance, but the 2008 Olympics were particularly satisfying to Despatie. Competing against the powerhouse Chinese in their home country, Despatie earned silver after fracturing his foot just four months earlier. He'd also been bothered by back problems in the run-up to Beijing.
Despatie, a Montreal native, got his on-air TV start in 2010, when he provided French-language coverage of Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Despatie, alongside legendary Quebec hockey commentators Richard Garneau and Pierre Houde, gave commentary during the opening and closing ceremonies.
He has also hosted a 17-part series for TV, radio and online, which paid tribute to the extraordinary individuals who have helped Canadian Olympians and Paralympians overcome their personal and athletic challenges.
Breakfast Television premiered on Monday, Aug. 26 on City, and airs each weekday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Despatie will be joined by fellow on-air hosts, including Joanne Vrakas, Catherine Verdon-Diamond, Wilder Weir, Laura Casella, and Elias Makos.