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Paola ESPINOSA
Sport Diving
NOC Mexico   
GenderWomen
Born31 Jul 1986 in Mexico City, MEX
Height1.56 m
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Family
Husband Ivan Garcia Navarro, daughter Ivana [2017]
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
Spanish
Higher education
Business Management - Anahuac University: Mexico City, MEX
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She began diving at age seven in Baja California, Mexico.
Why this sport?
Her parents encouraged her to take up the sport after she was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder [ADD]. She was also inspired by watching Chinese diver Fu Mingxia performing at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.
Name of coach
Ivan Bautista [personal], MEX
Training Regime
She trains at Jalisco State Council for Sport Promotion [CODE] in Guadalajara, Mexico.
General Interest
Hero / Idol
Mexican diver Joaquin Capilla. (altitud.com.mx, 05 Sep 2013)
Injuries
She underwent minor surgery on her right shoulder in November 2019 to treat a recurrent injury. (hgrupoeditorial.com, 16 Nov 2020)

She sustained a back injury [sacroiliitis] four months before the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, as well as suffering from sciatic nerve pain and a dislocation in her hip. She competed at the Games and finished fourth in the 10m platform. (SportsDeskOnline, 30 Aug 2021; 24-horas.mx, 22 Aug 2019; debate.com.mx, 18 Aug 2019; mediotiempo.com, 14 Oct 2016)

She elected not to compete at the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games in Veracruz, Mexico, in order to let a back injury heal. (estoenlinea.oem.com.mx, 13 Dec 2014)

She had an operation on her right knee in January 2013 because of bursitis. (proceso.com.mx, 16 Aug 2016; mediotiempo.com, 11 Apr 2013)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"What you have inside is what defines you. The will to go ahead, to face everything and to be brave." (forbes.com.mx, 29 Aug 2019)
Awards and honours
In 2019 she received the Mexican Sports Award for Sports Merit presented by the Mexican Government in acknowledgement of her career. She also won the Mexican Sports Award in 2003, 2007 and 2009. (marca.com, 07 Nov 2019; contextodedurango.com.mx, 17 Oct 2015)

She had a swimming pool named after her in 2018 in Mexico City, Mexico. (lideresmexicanos.com, 12 Dec 2018)

She lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, and she was Mexico's flag bearer at the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. (marca.com, 27 Jul 2019; espn.go.com, 13 Jul 2015)
Milestones
Along with partner Tatiana Ortiz, she became one of the first two female divers representing Mexico to win an Olympic medal when they claimed bronze in the women's synchronised 10m platform at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. At the 2012 Games in London, she then became the first female diver representing Mexico to win two Olympic medals when she took silver in the women's synchronised 10m platform. (SportsDeskOnline, 30 Aug 2021)

She became the first diver representing Mexico to win a world championship gold medal when she claimed victory in the 10m platform at the 2009 World Championships in Rome, Italy. She also became the first diver representing Mexico to win three and four world championship medals when she claimed bronze in 2011 [10m platform] and 2019 [synchronised 3m springboard]. (SportsDeskOnline, 31 Aug 2021; toronto2015.org, 10 Jul 2015)
Famous relatives
Her husband Ivan Garcia has represented Mexico in diving. He won silver medals in the men's synchronised 10m platform at the 2012 Olympic Games in London and at the 2015 World Championships in Kazan, Russian Federation. (SportsDeskOnline, 30 Aug 2021; expansion.mx, 30 Jul 2012)
Other information
ILLNESS
She admits that she feared for her life after contracting pneumonia having tested positive for COVID-19 in late 2020. The illness also affected her lungs before she made a full recovery in February 2021. "I was very afraid, especially for my young daughter. At night, I was sleeping sat up, as I feared I might not wake up in the morning. I had to have a cortisone injection and I put on extra kilos. I was being confronted with many contradictory messages. I then consulted with an expert and I strictly followed his treatment. After a month, things started to get better and I could resume training." (fina.org, 30 Apr 2021; milenio.com, 04 Feb 2021; lajornada.com.mx, 24 Dec 2020)

CHANGE IN DISCIPLINE FOCUS AFTER MATERNITY BREAK
She gave birth to her daughter Ivana in July 2017. She returned to competition in May 2018 after relocating to Guadalajara, Mexico, and started working with coach Ivan Bautista. She also chose to focus on competing in springboard events rather than the 10m platform. "Now that I will focus on the springboard I need to be stronger and heavier. That's the challenge, to change my body. I have always been a small and thin woman because the platform demanded it. Now I have to learn to compete in springboard. When I was in platform I was always in a very active mood. For the springboard it is quite the opposite. I need to be calm. I will get that with hours of training." She says her daughter became her biggest motivation to continue in high performance sport. "After competing in four Olympic Games it was hard to find some motivation, but it was reignited because of her [Ivana]. I want to show my daughter the same values I was taught and developed through sport. In Mexico there are no athletes who, after becoming a mother, have returned to high performance sport. It has now became a challenge for me, to show that motherhood is not in conflict with being a top athlete." (olympics.com, 29 Jun 2020; apnews.com, 16 Aug 2018; informador.mx, 15 Aug 2018; mediotiempo.com, 20 Jul 2018; excelsior.com.mx, 31 Jul 2017)

OTHER ACTIVITIES
She founded the Paola Espinosa Foundation in Mexico City, Mexico, which aims to support children against bullying and obesity through physical activities, nutritional consulting, motivational talks and legal consulting. "I love the idea of helping and motivating the new generations, not only to practise sport but for sport to become a habit in their lives." She has also served as a spokesperson and election candidate for the Green Party in Mexico and as a United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) representative, helping to protect the rights of people who have been forced to leave their communities. (reporteindigo.com, 07 Jun 2021; animalpolitico.com, 18 Feb 2021; olympics.com, 29 Jun 2020; efe.com, 30 Apr 2020; lideresmexicanos.com, 12 Dec 2018)

 Competition Highlights
Olympic Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
4 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 10m Platform 377.10
6 2016 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 10m Platform Synchro  
6 2012 London, ENG 10m Platform 356.20
2 2012 London, ENG 10m Platform Synchro 343.32
4 2008 Beijing, CHN 10m Platform 380.95
3 2008 Beijing, CHN 10m Platform Synchro 330.06
12 2004 Athens, GRE 3m Springboard 490.20
12 2004 Athens, GRE 10m Platform 455.40
5 2004 Athens, GRE 3m Springboard Synchro 286.92
5 2004 Athens, GRE 10m Platform Synchro 307.74
World Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
Preliminary Round 2019 Gwangju, KOR 3m Springboard 250.15
3 2019 Gwangju, KOR 3m Springboard Synchro 294.90
10 2019 Gwangju, KOR Team Event 319.55 
17 2015 Kazan, RUS 10m Platform 285.65 
8 2015 Kazan, RUS 10m Platform Synchro 294.24 
4 2015 Kazan, RUS 10m Platform Synchro 310.77
6 2013 Barcelona, ESP 10m Platform Synchro 306.39
10 2013 Barcelona, ESP 3m Springboard 305.70
8 2011 Shanghai, CHN 10m Platform Synchro 298.80
3 2011 Shanghai, CHN 10m Platform 377.15
Semifinal 2011 Shanghai, CHN 3m Springboard 286.50
Semifinal 2009 Rome, ITA 3m Springboard 292.80
1 2009 Rome, ITA 10m Platform 428.25
9 2009 Rome, ITA 10m Platform Synchro 297.00
7 2009 Rome, ITA 3m Springboard Synchro 304.50
Semi Final 2007 Melbourne, AUS 3m Springboard 286.80
7 2007 Melbourne, AUS 10m Platform 296.65
7 2007 Melbourne, AUS 10m Platform Synchro 290.88
7 2007 Melbourne, AUS 3m Springboard Synchro 294.90
Preliminary Round 2005 Montreal, CAN 1m Springboard 234.93
Semi Final 2005 Montreal, CAN 10m Platform 447.12
6 2005 Montreal, CAN 10m Platform Synchro 308.46
4 2005 Montreal, CAN 3m Springboard Synchro 291.06
Preliminary Round 2003 Barcelona, ESP 10m Platform 235.89
Semifinal 2003 Barcelona, ESP 3m Springboard 476.91
6 2003 Barcelona, ESP 10m Platform Synchro 277.38
3 2003 Barcelona, ESP 3m Springboard Synchro 299.64
25 2001 Fukuoka, JPN 1m Springboard 189.45
24 2001 Fukuoka, JPN 3m Springboard 229.47
6 2001 Fukuoka, JPN 3m Springboard Synchro 280.74
Grand Prix
Rank Year Venue Event Result
1 2014 Guanajuato, MEX 3m Springboard Synchro 295.20
3 2014 Guanajuato, MEX 10m Platform Synchro 292.26
18 2008   10m Platform  
21 2008   3m Springboard  
20 2008 Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA 10m Platform 266.10
6 2008 Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA 10m Platform Synchro 293.01
4 2008 Montreal, CAN 3m Springboard 325.50
15 2008 Montreal, CAN 10m Platform 278.35
5 2008 Montreal, CAN 10m Platform Synchro 333.42
3 2008 Shenzhen, CHN 10m Platform 385.30
2 2008 Shenzhen, CHN 10m Platform Synchro 332.31
9 2007   10m Platform  
6 2007 Montreal, CAN 10m Platform 292.45
5 2007 Rostock, GER 10m Platform 333.25
6 2007 Rostock, GER 10m Platform Synchro 288.36
3 2007 Rostock, GER 3m Springboard Synchro 303.60
20 2006   10m Platform  
11 2006   3m Springboard  
5 2006 Zhuhai, CHN 3m Springboard 273.70
22 2005   10m Platform  
23 2005   3m Springboard  
3 2005 The Woodlands, TX, USA 10m Platform 350.82
3 2005 The Woodlands, TX, USA 10m Platform 350.82
5 2005 The Woodlands, TX, USA 10m Platform Synchro 281.25
7 2005 The Woodlands, TX, USA 3m Springboard Synchro 257.13
5 2005 Zhuhai, CHN 3m Springboard Synchro 237.99
3 2004   10m Platform  
8 2004   3m Springboard  
7 2004 Athens, GRE 3m Springboard 541.59
3 2004 Athens, GRE 10m Platform Synchro 316.14
6 2004 Rome, ITA 3m Springboard 261.45
2 2004 Rome, ITA 10m Platform 334.11
1 2004 Rome, ITA 10m Platform Synchro 292.86
2 2004 Rome, ITA 3m Springboard Synchro 270.69
6 2004 Rostock, GER 10m Platform 301.35
5 2004 The Woodlands, TX, USA 10m Platform 332.95
4 2004 The Woodlands, TX, USA 10m Platform Synchro 289.23
4 2004 The Woodlands, TX, USA 3m Springboard Synchro 274.44
6 2004 Victoria, CAN 3m Springboard 234.96
6 2004 Victoria, CAN 10m Platform 316.47
50 2003   10m Platform  
21 2003   3m Springboard  
1 2003 Juarez City, MEX 3m Springboard 313.53
1 2003 Juarez City, MEX 3m Springboard Synchro 293.34
2 2003 Juarez City, MEX 10m Platform Synchro 299.73
4 2003 The Woodlands, TX, USA 3m Springboard Synchro 270.39
4 2003 The Woodlands, TX, USA 10m Platform Synchro 265.38
11 2002   3m Springboard  
2 2002 Elektrostal, RUS 3m Springboard Synchro 257.64
3 2002 Juarez City, MEX 3m Springboard 261.57
4 2002 Juarez City, MEX 10m Platform Synchro 262.81
1 2002 Juarez City, MEX 3m Springboard Synchro 282.39
4 2002 Madrid, ESP 3m Springboard 267.93
2 2002 Madrid, ESP 10m Platform Synchro 218.88
1 2002 Madrid, ESP 3m Springboard Synchro 273.84
5 2002 Montreal, CAN 3m Springboard Synchro 259.50
6 2002 Rostock, GER 3m Springboard Synchro 256.53
46 2001   3m Springboard  
3 2001 Montreal, CAN 3m Springboard Synchro 238.98
Pan American Games
Rank Year Venue Event Result
3 2019 Lima, PER 1m Springboard 278.35
9 2019 Lima, PER 3m Springboard 264.30
3 2019 Lima, PER 3m Springboard Synchro 285.00
3 2011 Guadalajara, MEX 3m Springboard 356.20
1 2011 Guadalajara, MEX 10m Platform 370.60 
1 2011 Guadalajara, MEX 10m Platform Synchro 326.31
1 2011 Guadalajara, MEX 3m Springboard Synchro 338.70
1 2007 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 10m Platform 380.95
1 2007 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 3m Springboard 361.20
2 2007 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 10m Platform Synchro 325.14
1 2007 Rio de Janeiro, BRA 3m Springboard Synchro 307.80
8 2003 Santo Domingo, DOM 10m Platform 431.43
2 2003 Santo Domingo, DOM 10m Platform Synchro 278.70
2 2003 Santo Domingo, DOM 3m Springboard Synchro 275.70
Asian Championships
Rank Year Venue Event Result
4 2005 Chenzhou, CHN 1m Springboard 256.00
8 2005 Chenzhou, CHN 3m Springboard 478.56
World Series
Rank Year Venue Event Result
2 2020 Montreal, QC, CAN 3m Springboard Synchro 286.20
6 2016 Kazan, RUS 10m Platform Synchro 279.63
5 2016 Windsor, ON, CAN 10m Platform Synchro 281.40
16 2015   3m Springboard  
3 2015 Beijing, CHN 10m Platform Synchro 320.46
4 2015 Beijing, CHN 3m Springboard Synchro 289.80
6 2015 Beijing, CHN 10m Platform Synchro 278.91
5 2015 Dubai, UAE 10m Platform Synchro 308.40
3 2015 Dubai, UAE 3m Springboard Synchro 303.90
10 2015 Mérida, MEX 3m Springboard 295.50
3 2015 Mérida, MEX 10m Platform Synchro 318.90
4 2015 Mérida, MEX 3m Springboard Synchro 301.20
4 2015 Mérida, MEX 10m Platform Synchro 302.70
10 2014   10m Platform  
13 2014   3m Springboard  
7 2014 Beijing, CHN 3m Springboard 292.80
5 2014 Beijing, CHN 10m Platform Synchro 300.27
8 2014 Dubai, UAE 3m Springboard 324.20
4 2014 Dubai, UAE 10m Platform Synchro 305.37
8 2014 London, ENG 10m Platform 340.65
7 2014 London, ENG 10m Platform Synchro 277.62
5 2014 Monterrey, MEX 10m Platform Synchro 306.60
6 2014 Moscow, RUS 10m Platform 345.90
4 2014 Moscow, RUS 10m Platform Synchro 299.82
6 2014 Windsor, ON, CAN 10m Platform 334.75
5 2014 Windsor, ON, CAN 10m Platform Synchro 303.48
2 2013 Guadalajara, MEX 3m Springboard Synchro 313.20
3 2012   10m Platform  
4 2012   10m Platform Synchro  
5 2012 Beijing, CHN 10m Platform 346.15
2 2012 Beijing, CHN 10m Platform Synchro 327.48
4 2012 Dubai, UAE 10m Platform Synchro 315.09
2 2012 Dubai, UAE 10m Platform 392.10
1 2012 Tijuana, MEX 10m Platform 367.40
2 2012 Tijuana, MEX 10m Platform Synchro 338.37
6 2011 Beijing, CHN 10m Platform 347.70
5 2011 Beijing, CHN 3m Springboard 320.40
4 2011 Guanajuato, MEX 10m Platform 359.15
7 2011 Guanajuato, MEX 3m Springboard 328.500
4 2011 Moscow, RUS 10m Platform 339.80
9 2011 Moscow, RUS 3m Springboard 257.70
3 2011 Sheffield, ENG 10m Platform 356.10
10 2011 Sheffield, ENG 3m Springboard 279.30
4 2010 Qingdao, CHN 3m Springboard 321.00
5 2010 Qingdao, CHN 10m Platform 364.80
2 2010 Veracruz, MEX 3m Springboard 350.80
2 2010 Veracruz, MEX 10m Platform 388.80
2 2010 Veracruz, MEX 3m Springboard 349.30
2 2010 Veracruz, MEX 10m Platform 389.10
8 2009   10m Platform  
9 2009   3m Springboard  
3 2009 Changzhou, CHN 10m Platform 404.20
4 2009 Changzhou, CHN 3m Springboard 344.30
6 2009 Doha, QAT 3m Springboard 309.30
3 2009 Doha, QAT 10m Platform 401.30
3 2008 Nanjing, CHN 10m Platform 382.20
3 2008 Nanjing, CHN 10m Platform 382.20
3 2008 Nanjing, CHN 10m Platform Synchro 348.69
3 2008 Nanjing, CHN 10m Platform Synchro 348.69
1 2008 Sheffield, ENG 10m Platform 393.90
1 2008 Sheffield, ENG 10m Platform 393.90
3 2008 Sheffield, ENG 10m Platform Synchro 306.87
3 2008 Sheffield, ENG 10m Platform Synchro 306.87
1 2008 Tijuana, MEX 10m Platform 412.55
1 2008 Tijuana, MEX 10m Platform 412.55
3 2008 Tijuana, MEX 10m Platform Synchro 323.76
3 2008 Tijuana, MEX 10m Platform Synchro 323.76
3 2007 Mexico City, MEX 10m Platform 345.35
3 2007 Mexico City, MEX 10m Platform 345.35
4 2007 Mexico City, MEX 10m Platform Synchro 305.25
4 2007 Mexico City, MEX 10m Platform Synchro 305.25
6 2007 Mexico City, MEX 3m Springboard Synchro 272.76
6 2007 Mexico City, MEX 3m Springboard Synchro 272.76
3 2007 Nanjing, CHN 10m Platform 400.85
3 2007 Nanjing, CHN 10m Platform 400.85