Lysanne Richard is an international 21-metre high diving champion, an ever-present ambassador for sport and an extraordinary example of determination. She documented her incredible story in the book “Toujours plus haut” (Higher and Higher). The book discusses self-confidence, surpassing yourself and resilience.
One of the most notable moments of her high diving career was at the 2016 FINA World Cup. Despite a concussion, she won the gold medal. Later FINA named her high diver of the year.
Richard says it was her victory at the 2018 FINA World Cup that was even more satisfying. She had sat out almost all of 2017 due to a back injury and that entire year in general was marred with personal challenges.
She is a regular on the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series circuit which features half a dozen events taking place in picturesque locations around the world. The sport is now part of the FINA World Championships and is a contender for Olympic inclusion in 2024.
In 2016 Richard was second overall in the circuit with two victories and third overall in 2018 and 2019.
She was introduced to the sport while working at a circus show at Canada’s Wonderland in Toronto that had an acrobatic high dive component. From 2004-2014 she performed with the Cirque du Soleil. Along with her career Richard is a mother of three, a sports ambassador and public speaker who does a lot of work with young people in schools.
Another way she promotes her sport is as an analyst since 2015 for RedBull Cliff Diving broadcast on TVA Sport and TVA Sport 2. She has written several blogs for the networks website and the Parc Olympique de Montreal.
Originally from Chicoutimi, Que., Richard has also made it her mission to attract other athletes to the sport and thanks to her involvement the recently created Montreal Diving Institute at Olympic Stadium has recently developed a diving platform at 20 meters in height, making it the only indoor center with such a platform in America.
During the platform she scouted for some outdoor cliff diving sites in Quebec and installations were set for her on the Saguenay fjords and in Beauce near Quebec City.
Richard started diving at age seven in Alma, Que. Her mother wanted to register her for swimming lessons but it was full so she instead went into diving. As they say, the rest is history.