David Kalec receives the
Sports-Études award.

The Chomedey News, July 12, 2003

Up and coming diver and Chomedey resident David Kalec received the Sport-Études Award for his excellence in both diving and academic achievements. Attending Vanier College, 18 year old Kalec manages to balance both endless hours of training and studying, all while competing in national and international competitions.

The athlete has been diving for the past 10 years and competes in three individual events; the 1 metre and the 3 metre springboard, as well as the 10 metre platform. He also competes in synchronized diving with Julio Abate. He credits his brother Christopher, also a diver, as having sparked his interest in diving. “I was in swimming lessons and my brother had already started diving. I wanted to do the same thing as my older brother,” said the diver laughingly. Kalec’s brother competes at the senior level and participated in the 2000 Olympic Games.

David Kalec performs a winning
dive at one of his competitions.

Finding inspiration

When asked who his inspiration is, Kalec admitted that it would have to be his brother. “The way he has improved, everything he’s accomplished. I know how hard he’s worked. Making the Olympics was as much a dream come true for him as it was for me,” explained Kalec. He also expressed great respect and admiration for fellow athletes in his Diving Club; CAMO. More specifically, Kalec holds Alexandre Despatie in high regards for his technique. He also cited Phillippe Comtois as one of the most hardworking athletes, who after hurting his leg on a diving board during a dive, came back to compete in full force. “Doctors said he’d be unable to bend his knee again and that his career was over, but he kept on training and eventually came back. I just find that amazing.”

Greatest accomplishment

Already holding some impressive results for 2002-2003, when asked what his own greatest achievement has been, Kalec hesitated at first and then stated, “It would have to be my Group A [ages 16-18] competition on the 10 metre platform at the December where I came in first.”

Kalec has won numerous medals including a bronze medal in both the 3 metre and 10 metre platform at the Phillippe Comtois Provincial Championships in February, and two a silver medal in both the 1 metre and 10 metre platform at the John Dickinson Invitational, which also took place last February.

Mixing academia with sports

To begin with, committing one’s self to studying is difficult. Kalec on the other hand, has managed to find a way to not only study but train every day of the week for at least 2 hours. “Vanier College has helped me out a lot because they have a Sport-Etudes program which means that I have my schedule already made before anyone makes them. This way, I’m able to fit the classes that I need to my diving schedule. Also, if I happen to have a competition and I have a test that same day, the teachers are really understanding and allow me to write a retake.”

The difficulties he does encounter come with missing up to a week of school to attend competitions. “I have to find a way to catch up by myself. I read a lot and my brother helps me out since he’s in Marketing at McGill. I always do my homework and avoid falling behind.”

The Sport-Études Award was specifically given to Kalec for his dedication and performance in both academics and his sport. The Sport-Etudes Foundation works in collaboration with CBC Radio Canada and RDS to award students with scholarships to help pursue their dreams.

What the future holds

Upon graduation from college, Kalec would like to attend McGill University in management with a concentration in marketing. In addition, Kalec most definitely sees himself pursuing his diving career and aspires to make the 2008 Olympics. “I’m working on improving my diving, learning harder dives and hopefully make some team so that I could go on big international competitions.”

Only the top two finalists in national competitions make teams. Which according to Kalec is really hard since Despatie is there, as well as his own brother.

A family affair

When asked if there’s any sort when diving against his “It’s weird. It doesn’t feel type of competition. I never see I’m competing against my views his brother just like any he must go head to head.

With both sons involved in Kalec’s parents, Klara and Steve, are very supportive. “It’s very important to have their backing because what they think and what they feel really influences me.”

Winning 1st place at the CAMO Invitational International
Competition, Kalec is all smiles for cameras and fans

Listen up young athletes!

As a piece of advice to aspiring athletes who may be daunted by the thought of long hours spent in training and school, Kalec suggested, “Follow your heart and let it guide you to your own path and if things are meant to be, they will turn out. As long as you work hard and always give 100% in what you do, whether it be school or sports.”