Based in Montreal at the Pointe-Claire Diving Club under coach Yihua Li since 2016, Caeli McKay is one of Canada’s top 10-metre tower divers. Caeli also forms a partnership with Olympic medallist Meaghan Benfeito in the 10-metre synchro event.
A national team member since 2013, McKay was born and raised in Calgary where she learned to dive. In 2016, at age 16, she made the difficult decision to leave her family and move to Montreal. She became Meaghan Benfeito’s new partner in the 10-metre synchro event after Roseline Filion retired after the 20216 Rio Olympics. McKay initially resided with Benfeito, whom she credits for helping her get acclimatized to her new surroundings.
While there was initially an adaptation period with the young teenager joining the Olympic veteran – McKay even grew taller during the early period – they have gone on to become Olympic medal contenders for 2021.
Together, McKay and Benfeito have won medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, the 2019 Pan American Games, the FINA Diving World Series, and the 2021 FINA Diving World Cup.
Individually McKay has emerged as a diver to watch notably winning a silver medal at the 2019 Pan American Games, and a bronze at the 2021 FINA Diving World Cup.
McKay was initially a gymnast and started diving when she was six years old. She attended an intro-to-diving summer camp hosted by the Dive Calgary club. However, her passion for sport was born when she was five, while watching Olympic medalists cry on the podium at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She told her parents: “I want to go there, I want to go to the Olympics!”
McKay’s first podium at the senior national level came at the 2014 Winter Nationals when she was 14 years old – behind her idols Meaghan Benfeito and Roseline Filion on tower. That’s when she realized she could go far in the sport.
In her spare time, the mountain girl loves to take part in outdoor sports like mountain biking, hiking, snowboarding and fly fishing.
2 World Cup medals
2 Pan Am Games medals
1 Commonwealth Games medals
2019 Pan Am Games
2019 Summer Senior Nationals
Women’s 10m synchro (Benfeito)
2019 FINA World Series – Montreal