CSI Pacific Athlete of the Month Powered by 2XU

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The Athlete of the Month is our way of acknowledging a BC-located athlete who has displayed outstanding performances in their sport and deserves recognition. Athletes chosen monthly to be the face of Canadian Sport Institute Pacific will receive a celebration feature on our website and a gift from 2XU.

Each athlete selected as Athlete of the Month receives a small token of congratulation sponsored by 2XU. CSI Pacific would like to thank 2XU for their generosity and support of the program.

Current Athlete of the Month

View this month’s 2XU Athlete of the Month

March 2019

Celina Toth

Celina Toth - Athlete of the Month March 2019 1903
Celina Toth - Athlete of the Month March 2019 1903
Celina Toth - Athlete of the Month March 2019 1903

Sport:

Diving

Birthday:

March 20, 1992

Place of Birth:

St. Thomas, ON

Coach:

Tommy McLeod (Registered with CSI Pacific)

Bio

Celina Toth began diving at the age of 12 after retiring from gymnastics. Her transition from one sport to the next occurred in only a handful of days – she quickly found herself at the pool five times a week.

A national team member for the last decade, Toth won her first international medal in 2015, when she finished 3rd in the 10m at the FINA Grand Prix in Madrid. Since then, the Ontario native contributed in qualifying a second Rio 2016 Olympic berth for the country when she finished 4th in the semifinal and wrote her ticket to the final.

She also excelled at many FISU Games, winning gold in the 10m synchro with Carol-Ann Ware at the 2015 Games in Gwangju, South Korea and winning a bronze medal in the 10m event at the 2017 Games in Taipei, Taiwan. Toth also won a medal at each games in the team event, contributing to 4 medals won at the FISU World University Championships.

Along with pursuing her athletic goals, Toth plans to graduate this June after nine years of completing an undergraduate degree in psychology. She wishes to pursue a career in child and sport psychology when her athletic career is complete.

However, once her diving career is over, she is considering a future in the sport of skeleton… because why not!

Celina was nominated for the Athlete of the Month powered by 2XU for March due to achieving her first ever international win in Germany last month.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 2x Fina Diving World Cup Finalist
  • 4x FISU Games medalist
  • 4x Canadian Senior National Champion
  • Gold Medalist at the 2019 Rostock Fina Diving Grand Prix – First International Win!

Q&A

What is the biggest life lesson that your sport has taught you?
To Never Give Up! It may sound cheesy but for most of my career I was always looked over and was told I wasn’t good enough because I was overweight. It was hard being near the top but never reaching it and being judged for how I looked. But I have persevered through it all. I continue to surprise myself and probably many others with the gains I am making, and I do not intend to stop.

What are you currently going to school for? How do you manage your schedule with your other commitments?
I am currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in psychology which has taken me 9 years, and I plan to complete a masters in clinical psychology after 2020. Finding a balance between diving, school and a social life has been very difficult. When I finally figured it out after 3 years of experimentation with doing less courses or only committing to sport, that was when I began to excel in sport and school. The final piece to successfully managing my life was finding my social circle. I found a group of people who support me and all my goals. They understand that I have many commitments and they enjoy spending time with me whenever we can to help me let loose so to speak.

What do you see yourself doing with life after diving?
After diving, I want to continue working in sport for a while but not as an athlete or a coach. I am currently leading my sport’s athlete committee and I want to continue to work with Diving Canada, AthletesCAN and possibly other sports or sporting organizations to make a difference in athlete’s lives and their athletic experiences. I definitely want to do some sort of sport management, broadcasting or intern position before I go back to school and pursue my psychology career in child and sport psychology.

What is the coolest place you’ve been to as part of your athletic career? And why?
My favourite place in the entire world is Bolzano, Italy. Every year FINA hosts a Grand Prix there and I’ve had the opportunity to go a few times. It is so quaint and beautiful. We dive in an outdoor pool hidden in the mountains. We get bikes for transportation and can cycle around the entire city in a day. If I could retire anywhere it would be there, plus the food is amazing!

I also really enjoyed going to the Rio World Cup – Olympic test event in 2016. Placing fourth with my international PB, in the semi-final was so sweet because no one expected it. The excitement around the event and the future Olympics was super cool!

What’s something no one would guess about you?
Oooh good question, there are a couple things. 1) I can get DOWN on the dance floor and party. 2) I have really intense and weird junk food cravings, pretty much all the time. 3) I have a very wide taste in music and can make a darn good playlist.

Do you have any rituals?
I like to see my friends and do something the night before I leave for a competition. I also like to chill and watch movies the night before my event but these aren’t mandatory. What is necessary though is listening to some good pump up music and getting my groove on during competition.

What is one of the hardest parts you’ve struggled with in your athletic career, how have you overcome or worked through it?
The hardest thing I’ve had to deal with is my body image and weight. I was told that I was never going get the scores I deserved because of the way I looked and I needed to lose over 20 pounds. Going through that with little support was hard, knowing that every time I walked into an event people were judging me and only seeing my weight. It almost drove me to quit in 2013, and the next year when the word spread that I was done, sport directors finally reached out to help me find the support I needed to make changes. It took almost 2 years to find the right way and transform my body and in 2016 I finally started to see the changes. My performance improved and I felt stronger and less angry towards the situation. However, this is something I still struggle with every day. There is always going to be this little voice in my head that tells me I’m too fat and I look gross. Some days are harder than others but I’m always using my support system to help me work through it.

What is your favorite activity to unwind outside of sport?
I love going to the beach!! Even if its cold outside. The beach is my happy place. I also like doing anything with my friends, whether its hiking, playing board games, or vegging out watching Netflix, bonus points if we’re watching FRIENDS or Schitt’s Creek.

Do you have anything “special” you travel with that you can’t leave home without when competing?
MY PILLOW!!! Oh my god that is a necessity. If I forget it and have to use an awful and uncomfortable hotel pillow, I get so grumpy. If it’s too big or hard my neck hurts and if it’s too soft and your head sinks into it, it’s no bueno. So I have to have my own perfectly flat, comfortable pillow. Also 2XU compression tights and socks! I am getting old and my body can’t handle all the flying anymore. My legs swell up like sausages and if I don’t wear both my socks and tights, my body is going be in a lot of pain.

Do you have any advice for upcoming athletes?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try different things. People think that sport is everything and they can’t pursue any other goals while committing to sport or enjoy life outside of sport. I think that only limits you and you don’t get to see the total bad a** that you truly are. There is so much time in life, so try new things, make mistakes, learn from them and enjoy the ride!