Passages: Chen Wen, Two-Time British Diving Olympic Coach, Aged 80

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Chen Wen: Photo Courtesy: British Swimming

British Swimming has announced the death of diving coach, Chen Wen, aged 80 who worked with the national team across the 2004 and 2008 Olympics.

One of the pioneering coaches of the modern era, Chen joined the British Diving programme as a national coach in 2003, notably working with Leon Taylor ahead of his Olympic silver medal alongside Peter Waterfield in the 10m synchro at Athens 2004.

In addition to his involvement with the British teams across two Olympic Games, Chen is also credited with introducing the water harness to the UK, and subsequently mentoring many coaches in the use of harness training in the gym and pool.

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Chen retired from his role as National Coach following the Beijing 2008 Games, but remained an accessible figure at Crystal Palace Diving Club for many years, such was his commitment to mentoring coaches and athlete alike.

British Diving Talent and Development Manager Julian Bellan paid tribute to Chen’s influence on the course of British diving, saying through a British Swimming release:

“Chen’s legacy and influence on the modern era of British Diving is indisputable, throughout his tenure as National Coach he tirelessly gave up his time to work with young coaches and divers.

“His impact on the shape of the future senior teams over the past two decades is evident, with Tom Daley, Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow among a number of high-profile names to come under his stewardship during junior team training camps to Beijing in the years preceding the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

“Whilst more recently Chen coached Scarlett Mew-Jensen and Maria Papworth at the beginning of their careers. He will be sorely missed.”

British Swimming CEO, Jack Buckner added: “It was with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of esteemed coach Chen Wen. He was a held in high regard by the diving community and his legacy lives on through the countless coaches and athletes he nurtured in the sport.”

Prior to his time with British Diving, Chen enjoyed a successful Sydney Olympic Games with the Australian Team at the turn of the millennium.