Virginia Hoover of Telkwa on the five-metre board at the pool in Prince George where she trains for events such as the International Swimming Federation’s (ISF) 2019 World Masters Championships in South Korea where she is competing this week. (Photo courtesy of CKPG TV)

Telkwa diver takes plunge in Korea

Virginia Hoover is headed to South Korea to participate in the ISF 2019 World Masters Championships

A Telkwa diver is hoping to make a small splash in Korea this week.

After catching an early-morning flight Aug. 8, Virginia Hoover is headed to Gwangju, South Korea to participate in the International Swimming Federation’s (ISF) 2019 World Masters Championships being held from Aug 5-18.

Hoover will be participating in the one-metre, three-metre, and either five, seven-and-a-half or 10-metre tower dive events.

It’s her third time participating in the championships.

“This is my last chance to [participate] in the 75-79 age group because it only happens every second year, so I’ll be a bit older the next time they have it.”

Discussing her jump into diving, Hoover said she has always loved the sport.

Growing up in wartime England, however, wasn’t the best backdrop to learn.

That didn’t stop her from trying, though.

“I remember at some beach when I was quite young — maybe nine or 10 — trying to invent the sport of diving off a submerged rock on the beach.”

And while she might not have made a splash back in post-WW2 England, fast forward some 50-odd years later, when Hoover decided she wanted to began (re) practicing diving.

But because Bulkley Valley Regional Pool (BVRP) doesn’t have a diving board (let alone a five-metre platform) Hoover said she had to look elsewhere to train.

“I [had] to drive … to Prince George and back just to get any training.”

But train she did, and over the next 16 years Hoover has participated in a number of competitions, both within the ISF and through other venues.

But make no mistake, she doesn’t expect to win.

That’s because Hoover said these events are heavily-dominated by people who have been diving for much longer than she has.

“I’m just a wannabe — the hasbeens can beat the wannabes anytime.”

Despite acknowledging a personal competitive nature, Hoover said the real reason she goes to the events is to participate in a sport that has always fascinated her.

And while placing would be nice — it’s not expected.

In fact, Hoover said she has only ever placed higher than dead last once in all the diving competitions she has attended.

“I’m not even sure why, it happened in Montreal … and there was six of us on the one-metre springboard and I was fourth — I was just amazed.”

In her spare time outside of her income tax preparation business, she is also an avid snowboarder and pole vaulter.

As for the future, Hoover said she is planning to continue participating at future ISF championships in the 80-84 age bracket.

Not quite what you’d expect for someone about to enter the 80+ age bracket, but when asked about her unconventional sport choices, she laughed it off.

“You have to have exercise of some sort [and] I’m not about to go pump iron at the gym.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Mother grizzly bear with two cubs spotted on Gruchy’s Beach trail near Terrace

Conservation officers also warning public to stay away from Grizzlies on lower Kitimat River

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

B.C. sees 25 new COVID-19 cases, community exposure tracked

One death, outbreaks remain in two long-term care facilities

BREAKING: Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read