Benfeito gets new Olympic medals to replace three lost in condominium fire

Benfeito gets new Olympic medals to replace three lost in condominium fire

MONTREAL — Quebec diver Meaghan Benfeito lost everything in a fire earlier this year, but recovered some prized possessions on Tuesday as she gets ready to compete in the Tokyo Summer Games next month.

On Tuesday, Benfeito received three replacement Olympic medals for those she lost in a blaze that razed the condo building north of Montreal. where she lived with her partner.

“I didn’t cry right away, but just seeing them made me feel good, it represents all the work and sacrifices that I have made over the past 25 years,” Benfeito said. “So four, five months after (the fire), it gives me the motivation I need for the 50 days left before the (Tokyo) Games.”

Benfeito and her partner, football player Alexandre Dupuis, lost everything when their Mirabel, Que. condo, burned to the ground at the end of January. The 15-unit building was completely destroyed.

“I went through the full gamut of emotions when it happened. But at the same time, with the help and support of everyone around me, I was able to get back to training quickly,” the three-time Olympic medalist said.

“Because of that I’m able to smile today, to get through my training.”

Benfeito, 32, lost her three Olympic medals and two gold medals from the last Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru.

On Tuesday, she was able to get replacement medals of the ones she won with Roseline Filion in the 10m synchro at the London Games in 2012, as well as a pair won in the 10m individual and synchro, again with Filion, at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.

For now, the medals will be reside at her parents home for safe keeping.

She also thanked for teammate Mélanie Rinaldi, who launched a ‘GoFundMe’ campaign to help her the night of the fire. The crowdfunding campaign has raised $36,900 to date.

She said the money will go towards buying a home for herself and Dupuis and she hopes to be entertain everyone who has helped her once the pandemic is over.

The event at Place Nadia-Comaneci, located just in front of the entrance to the Olympic Park sports center, took place Tuesday with Eric Myles of the Canadian Olympic Committee present.

Diving Canada and the COC had contacted the organizing committees for the previous games to get replacement medals.

“I was surprised people reacted that quickly. I was just like, ‘I just lost everything.’ I didn’t think of calling Diving Canada or the COC for help,” Benfeito said.

Benfeito is now focused on the Tokyo Olympics with 40 days left to iron out the details. She added she was feeling good mentally.

Last month, Benfeito and Caeli McKay of Calgary secured their Olympic spots in the 10-meter synchronized diving event with a gold medal at a World Cup Diving competition in Tokyo.

Benfeito will continue training before flying to Tokyo on July 17, with her first Olympic competition on July 27.

“Of course it won’t be like the other Games; we won’t have a small training camp to adapt to the time shift,” she said. “It will be fast, but at the same time, if there are games, then it suits me perfectly.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 8, 2021.

Alexandre Geoffrion-McInnis, The Canadian Press

Olympics

Just Posted

The Sylvan Lake Gulls celebrate a sixth inning home run from Nolan Weger on Sunday during a game against the Edmonton Prospects. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Historic opening weekend for Sylvan Lake Gulls

It wasn’t perfect, but perhaps that was the beauty of it. Fans… Continue reading

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Alberta reports 100 new cases of COVID-19

The Central zone sits at 218 active cases

Three Hills RCMP recovered stolen copper wire during recent investigation near Kneehill. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Fatal ATV rollover near Innisfail Saturday

A 77-year-old man from Red Deer County died Saturday after an ATV… Continue reading

Firefighters and emergency services workers helped celebrate Barry Young’s 85th birthday at Timberstone Mews on May 29. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Firefighters in central Alberta make birthdays special

A fire truck arriving outside your house is not normally good news.… Continue reading

A view of Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park is shown in this undated handout photo. More Canadians are expected to leave their passports at home this summer and hit the road in Canada as the weak loonie and low gas prices prompt a deeper exploration of their own country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Travel Alberta *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Report: Alberta losing residents to other parts of Canada

As the COVID-19 pandemic slowly winds down in Alberta, residents are continuing… Continue reading

A large number of supporters were out Saturday at a rally intended to bring awareness about including Hinduism in the grade 2 portion of the K-6 draft curriculum. As it stands now, Hinduism won’t be taught until grade 6 in the proposed draft curriculum. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Video: Rally to support adding Hinduism to draft curriculum draws crowd in Red Deer

The Hindu community in Red Deer came out in droves on Saturday… Continue reading

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Germany's Robin Gosens, left, celebrates Germany's Mats Hummels after scoring his side's fourth goal during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group F match between Portugal and Germany at the football arena stadium in Munich, Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Matthias Hangst/Pool Photo via AP)
Germany clicks at Euro 2020 with 4-2 win over Portugal

MUNICH (AP) — Germany finally clicked into gear at the European Championship,… Continue reading

Fans cheer on their team during the pre-game warmup of Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup semifinal with the Montreal Canadiens facing the Vegas Golden Knights, in Montreal, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
COVID-19 concerns give way to Habs Fever in Quebec as Montreal continues playoff run

MONTREAL — The sun hadn’t yet risen in Montreal on Friday morning… Continue reading

Coronavirus cases are on the rise from India to South Africa and Mexico, in a May 19, 2020 story. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
As Brazil tops 500,000 deaths, protests against president

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Anti-government protesters took to the streets in… Continue reading

A black bear cub forages for food along a salmon stream below a bear viewing spot for tourists in the Mendenhall Glacier Recreation Area in Juneau, Alaska.  (File photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Bandit responsible for vehicle break-ins is a black bear

THORNTON, N.H. (AP) — Surveillance video helped police get to the bottom… Continue reading

FILE - In this April 25, 2019 file photo, Editor Rick Hutzell, center, gives a speech to his staff including Chase Cook, Nicki Catterlin, Rachael Pacella, Selene San Felice and Danielle Ohl at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. The editor of the Capital Gazette, which won a special Pulitzer Prize citation for its coverage and courage in the face of a massacre in its newsroom, is leaving the Maryland newspaper. Hutzell, who worked at the Annapolis paper for more than three decades, authored a farewell column that was published on the paper's website Saturday, June 19, 2021. (Ulysses Muoz/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Editor of paper that endured newsroom shooting says goodbye

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The editor of the Capital Gazette, which won… Continue reading

Most Read