Two-Time Olympic Medal-Winning Diver Jennifer Abel Announces Retirement

SR Smith Diving Board

Two-Time Olympic Medal-Winning Diver Jennifer Abel Announces Retirement

Olympic diver Jennifer Abel, who won medals at the 2012 and 2021 Olympics, announced her retirement this week.

Abel made the announcement on Instagram on Tuesday. A day later, she and her fiancé, professional boxer David Lemieux, announced that they are expecting their first child.

The 30-year-old won bronze in the women’s 3-meter synchro diving at the 2012 London Olympics with Emilie Heymans. Nine years later, she paired with Melissa Citrini-Beaulieu to win silver in Tokyo. Abel and Pamela Ware finished fourth at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where Abel was also fourth in the individual 3-meter. She was sixth in that event in London in 2012 and eighth in Tokyo.

“My life as an athlete has prepared me for my adult life and now, for my life as a mother-to-be,” Abel said in a statement. “Today, I know how to forgive myself after failure, where to draw strength in the face of adversity, and the type of energy it takes to succeed.”

Abel’s illustrious career extends well beyond the Olympic boards. As a mixed-race girl – born in Montreal, she is of Haitian decent – Abel was a trailblazer in a sport where she found few girls who looked like her.

She is the Canadian program leader with 10 medals at World Championships (six silver, four bronze). All the medals are on 3-meter, including a pair of individual bronze medals. A product of Pointe-Claire Diving Club, she medaled at five consecutive Worlds from 2011 to 2019.

Abel also won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2010 (1-meter, 3-meter synchro) to go with silver in the 3-meter, 2014 (1-meter) and 2018 (3-meter). She was the 3-meter champ at consecutive Pan American Games in 2015 and 2019, adding the synchro title at the latter.

“I experienced some amazing moments in my career,” Abel said. “It is time now to begin a new chapter.”

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