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Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix won her first senior title at the British Championships on the 10-meter platform Photo credit: British Swimming

It’s the next stop in the Olympics for diver Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix, who was stunned to be named BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year

The 16-year-old from Nunhead was born on Jan. The winner was announced by Blue Peter on December December and presented at the ceremony in MediaCity on Sunday

Although 2020 was a strange year for the young star, she got off to a great start with a first senior title at the British Championships on the 10-meter platform

A month later Spendolini-Sirieix repeated the performance on the international stage and won her first international solo gold medal at the FINA Diving Grand Prix in Rostock

These successes earned her a place on the Young SPOTY shortlist and she was soon in the history books as the first female diver to win the award

“I was so happy that I was jumping up and down and I couldn’t stop smiling,” explained Spendolini-Sirieix

“With the nomination itself, I was so happy to be nominated and it was a great honor to be nominated

“When I found out I won I didn’t know what to say. I was with Blue Peter and it made the experience so much more amazing and surreal, it was a great feeling

“I had no words at all, but I’m just very happy and grateful that my hard work is seen and paid off

“Diving is a wonderful sport and I am very honored to be the second diver to win the award”

Spendolini-Sirieix started diving at the age of eight when she was discovered by the Crystal Palace Diving Club

She swam and did gymnastics as a child, so she had the flexibility and strength to be successful, but she didn’t enjoy the sport right away

It took her a while to be convinced, but now her love for the sport is growing and she is grateful to be part of the diving community

“I was talented by Crystal Palace for my third year and from there I worked a few days a week and got into the sport competitively,” she said

“I did bigger dives and became more interested in diving and then my love for the sport grew

“At first I didn’t really like it because I thought it was too hard, but the bigger the dives, the better and prouder you feel

“I really liked the fact that I could make an effort and test my bravery and see what I could. Now I love it because this is what I grew up with and it brings me closer to my dream

“At the club it’s almost like you’re my second family and you’re like my sisters and brothers

“I love that community feeling and it makes me really excited to go to training because I can talk to them and we can dive together. It’s really fun”

Young SPOTY isn’t the only award the SportsAid recipient has won this year as she also won the UK swim dive of the year

👀 The last 2️⃣ awards are just around the corner. First, the award for the dive of the year goes to
🏆 Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix! At the end of a breakthrough year, Andrea was named BBC Young #SPOTY with another award 🥇 picTwittercom / 70nONQqD74

Her title-winning final dive, the Back 2 ½ Somersaults 1 ½ Twists, was the dive voted best of the year by the public and the teen was thrilled to be recognized

“I was in the middle of training and had a break,” added Spendolini-Sirieix

“I checked my phone and saw it I yelled “Oh my god, I just won the dive of the year” – that session was a very good session

“It was the last dive and there was a lot of pressure I was very nervous but I got 8s and 85s and when you see the video you can hear my mom screaming really loud

“It secured the gold and I think that got me on the podium. When I got out of the water I had a really big smile on my face

“Now when I think about it, I miss competing because it feels great when you’re competing and finishing the contest and being happy with what you’ve done”

Along with the rest of the nation, Spendolini-Sirieix was unable to go to the pool and gym when the country was locked due to the COVID-19 pandemic

But the diver calls it a year of preparation and hopes it will benefit her to make her dream come true

Spendolini-Sirieix added, “I think the one year is just so we can focus on what we personally need

“I think it really helped because I’m even better prepared than last year. It’s an extra year of practice

“My ultimate goals are medals in the Olympics and participating in many other UK competitions, participating in worlds, being able to travel with the team and have a job and a career after my diving career

“I’m very interested in law and politics and there is a lot of information to learn I am very passionate about the things that happen everywhere and I am very much looking forward to going to university and studying everything””

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Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix

World news – GB – Spendolini-Sirieix aims high after the triumph of the BBC Young Sports Personality