Rylan Wiens • Pike Lake • Diving
From the beginning, Rylan Wiens has had no trouble diving right into his chosen sport.
"I got started in diving when I was six years old at a summer camp with my brother," he said. "We both went and really enjoyed it. We decided to come back the next year and from there it just took off. I think the thing that makes me so passionate about diving is my drive to excel and win. I have my eyes set on a goal that I want to achieve and I really try hard to get there. Also, I just love the excitement of diving and how it gives you an adrenaline rush every time you do a dive."
Wiens is a finalist in the 2017 Youth-Male Athlete of the Year for the Saskatchewan Sport Awards-an annual awards program of Sask Sport Inc. designed to celebrate and promote the outstanding achievements of Saskatchewan amateur athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers.
Wiens added plenty of medals to his collection last year. He won bronze in the 3m event at the 2017 Junior Pan Am Games, won a silver medal in the 3m Group B at The Sting and won silver in the 3m Group B at the 2017 Junior Elite Nationals, competing against seven provinces. His silver placement broke the Saskatchewan record. He also won a bronze medal in Platform at the 2017 Jeux du Canada Games, where he broke the Saskatchewan Men's Open Platform record he had previously set.
"I would say that my results from last year gave me a bit of a confidence boost and encouraged me that hard work does pay off," he said. "For me, 2017 was a hard year because it was my first year where I trained a full year of 10m with very hard dives and new ones, so the end of the year result was just a nice booster."
For Wiens, it's important to set a good example for younger athletes and his perseverance in sport over the past year is an important lesson to pass along.
"When I was younger, I looked up to people older than me in the sport and really think they had a large impact on how I do things now. I just try to emphasize hard work and staying focused pays off," he said. "Also, I try to set good examples in how I treat other people, especially coaches in the sport because without them we wouldn't get anywhere.
Wiens recently qualified for the Commonwealth Games in Australia, where he hopes to earn a top-10 finish. His ultimate goal is to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He can't envision a future where he's not involved in sports.
"For me, sport is more than a game because it is what I have been working at for the past 10 years of my life and as it gets more serious, it becomes more and more important," he said. "I also feel like it is more than a sport because of the amount of time I spend doing it; it is more like a way of life."
What makes Rylan Wiens #SaskProud?
"I would say that I am 'SaskProud' mainly because I love Saskatchewan and the people here. Also because there are hardly any people from Saskatchewan in high-level sports (compared to other provinces) and to be right up there with the best in Canada makes me 'SaskProud.' "
For more information on our Saskatchewan Sport Awards program please visit www.sasksport.sk.ca/SportAwards. This program can also be found on social media in support of the #SaskSportAwards and the #SaskProud campaign on twitter @CSCSaskatchewan and Facebook CSC Saskatchewan.
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