ITHACA, New York, June 13. FOUR-time Olympian and 10-year diving instructor Veronica Ribot-Canales will join the Cornell coaching staff as the second Richard W. Gilbert Head Coach of Diving. Ribot-Canales replaces Rick Gilbert, who retired after 39 years of coaching some of Cornell's top student-athletes.
"Veronica is an experienced, mature and proven coach of diving," said Joe Lucia, the Philip H. Bartels '71 Head Coach of Men's Swimming. "She has a strong reputation in U.S. Diving and was chosen to judge last year's NCAA meet. We are thrilled to have her join the staff."
Ribot-Canales earned a spot in the Olympic finals with appearances in 1980 (Moscow, Russia), 1984 (Los Angeles, Calif.), 1988 (Seoul, South Korea) and 1992 (Barcelona, Spain), with best finishes of eighth on the platform and 10th on the springboard, both at the 1992 Games. She was the only female competitor to make finals in both events in Barcelona. She is a 12-time South American champion (1980-92) while competing for her native country of Argentina, winning championships on the 1-meter and 3-meter springboards and the platform. Ribot-Canales later captured a pair of U.S. national titles in the 3-meter in 1992 and 1993 before retiring in 1996 after her fourth year as a member of the U.S. national team.
After retiring from competition, Ribot-Canales formed Team Olympia, a dry land conditioning program that included theory of diving. That program later expanded to a diving training program. She has helped develop Bianca Alvarez, a two-time age group national champion who will compete this coming year at Ohio State. Along with her work with Team Olympia, Ribot-Canales also served as a summer swimming instructor at the Montessori Camp of Kendall (2000-02) and ran the Veronica's Olympia Kids swim school for infant and toddler swimming lessons since 1998. She also spent a year teaching physical education for the Miami Dade County Public Schools, and has served as an aerobics instructor/personal trainer.
A 1983 graduate of Southern Methodist with a degree in physical education, Ribot-Canales and her husband Pablo have two children, Lucas (10) and Olympia (7).
Special thanks to Cornell for contributing this report.