chris

From a debilitating illness to Olympic gold medallist: Everything you need to know about Chris Mears

hellomagazine.com

Chris Mears and Jack Laugher sent the internet into meltdown on Wednesday when they became the first Great British divers to win gold during the Olympic men's synchronised 3m springboard.

They ended China's chances of dominating the diving golds at the Games in Rio, scoring a total of 454.32 to Qin Kai and Cao Yuan's 443.70. But just seven years ago Chris was told he would probably never dive again after a scary brush with death.

CLICK TO VIEW GALLERY

><img itemprop=VIEW GALLERY

Jack Laugher and Chris Mears won gold in the men's synchronised 3m springboard at the Rio Games

Now, after he proved the doctors wrong, here's everything you need to know about Chris Mears.

Chris is 23-years-old and was born in Reading. His mother died when he was a child, and he has older sister Natalie and younger brother Charlie.

><img itemprop=VIEW GALLERY

During his recovery from a ruptured spleen, Chris worked on music

After training in diving from a young age, Chris qualified for the Youth Olympic Festival when he was 14. But during training in Sydney he contracted glandular fever and suffered a ruptured spleen – causing him to lose five pints of blood.

He was given a five per cent chance of survival and told that, even if he did recover, he would never dive again. When he was eventually discharged, Chris had a seizure in his Australian hotel room which resulted in him being comatose for three days.

><img itemprop=VIEW GALLERY

He and Jack live together in Leeds

Amazingly, he suffered no brain damage of physical disabilities and defied doctors by making a slow but steady return to diving and 18 months later he competed in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India.

During his recovery time, Chris set up a studio in his bedroom and produced electronic dance and house music. He later signed with Insanity Artists and appeared on stage with Labrinth and Pendulum.

><img itemprop=VIEW GALLERY

Chris and Jack in Rio ahead of their amazing win

In 2012 Chris was selected to represent Great Britain at the London games, during which he placed fifth in the 3m synchro and ninth in the men's 3m springboard.

Two years later Chris relocated to Leeds to live and train with new synchro partner Jack Laugher. Discussing their phenomenal win, Chris told BBC Sport: "After going through all that horrible experience, just making the 2012 Olympics in London was enough for me. That was great. But we were in a different position at this Games. We kind of thought we could get gold, but to actually get it is just incredible."    

More on: