Peter Waterfield had a challenging childhood, having been raised in East London by a single parent, but his father understood the importance of sport and helped Peter become a world class diver.
Peter trained in many disciplines but it was fishing with his friends that led him to the swimming pool. Unable to swim at 9, Peter’s dad decided to send him for lessons so he wouldn’t’t get into any difficulty while fishing. Peter went along to the local pool and having learned to swim, he asked for a try on the diving board, quickly discovering a sport he loved.
Peter’s determination to keep diving meant a two hour journey each way for just an hour and a half of training, as his need for professional diving facilities increased.
His commitment paid off and Peter progressed quickly competing in Junior National championships from age 11, moving to Senior National level at just 13. Aged 15 Peter competed in his first Senior International at the World Cup in Atlanta.
At Age 17 Peter left the family home and went to Southampton to live and use a newly built diving complex called the Quays where he went from training an hour and a half a day, to six hours a day!
Making this sacrifice was the main reason he qualified for his first Olympics in Sydney 2000 getting 4th in the synchronised event. He then went on to, taking titles at Commonwealth Games and World Championships and registering his self as an Olympic Silver medalist at the Athens 2004 Games.
In 2008 Peter suffered a major shoulder injury which seriously hampered his performance at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Returning to the UK, Peter underwent major surgery and despite having his career written off by many people, he worked hard to recover. Indeed, Peter cites negative comments about his future as being exactly what drove him through the physical and mental pain back to full health.
Peter had one more great opportunity in his career and that was to go for a home nation Olympics to compete in and to make it extra special for him, the Olympic park was built in east London where Peter grew up as a kid.
The next 4 years saw Peter, team up with Tom Daley, and they was performing great going into the London Olympics and winning the final after third rounds of dives, but a mistake from the pair in the fourth round took the into fourth and they could not recover and that’s where they ended up finishing.
Peter retired from competitive diving in 2013 and is now working with young people around the country trying to inspire the next generation.
“For me being an Athlete Mentor is as much about what the students can give to me as what I can give to them. Inspiring the students with my own sporting story is equally inspiring for me, especially when I see students realise that they are no different to me and can achieve whatever they set their mind to.”