Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix broke down in tears as she spoke to her First Dates star father Fred on Zoom after finishing in seventh place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Women’s 10m platform diving final on Thursday.
Spendolini-Sirieix, 16, reunited with Fred, 49, mother Alex, and other members of her loved ones via video call, following the monumental final at her first ever Olympic games.
The emotional young diver spoke of her pride and emotion at speaking with her family members – who said they were ‘so proud of her’ – and who are unable to attend the games amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Success story: Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix broke down in tears as she spoke to her First Dates star father Fred on Zoom after finishing in seventh place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Women’s 10m platform diving final on Thursday
She said: ‘I am so happy. I was speaking to my family because there is an Athlete Moment screen and I started crying. I am very, very proud of where I came.
‘I was extremely nervous before the prelims so I thought my nerves would get the better of me and I wouldn’t make it to the semi. Then after the semi I got into the final and that was exactly what I wanted to do. That was my plan. I’ve definitely exceeded my expectations.
It definitely gives me confidence for Paris (2024). That is very close, so my whole family can come. Hopefully, hopefully COVID has gone because I want my family to come and watch. I am very, very excited.
‘My dad, my mum and my cousins and my aunties were on the Athlete Moment. They said that they were very proud and that I should be proud as well. They said they miss me and I miss them. It just went back and forth.’
You did it: Spendolini-Sirieix’s first date at an Olympics ended with a superb finish with Chinese 14-year-old Hongchan Quan winning the gold medal
Incredible achievement: Spendolini-Sirieix, 16, is the daughter of Fred, the French maître d’ in Channel 4’s First Dates and his ex partner Alex, and she reunited with him and other members of her loved ones via video call, following the monumental final at her first ever Olympic games
Proud dad: Fred shared a sweet snap of his daughter poolside after the event, captioned ‘well done Andrea’
Star support: Fred’s co-stars Gordon Ramsay and Gino D’acampo as well as Olympians Iwan Thomas and James Heatly showed their support
TV star Fred has been supporting his beloved daughter, who he has nicknamed ‘mon canard’ (my duck), on social media throughout the 10m platform final and her entire competition. He later posted a snap of his daughter captioned: ‘Well done Andrea.’
Spendolini-Sirieix said: ‘He calls it to me as a nickname, I don’t know where it came from. It just stuck.
‘The Olympic experience has been amazing. I’ve got an amazing team and have met so many new people, so many new friends. I definitely didn’t know what to expect coming into the village, but the food was great, I love it.
‘The beds are made of cardboard, people have been complaining. I’ve been sleeping great. I couldn’t ask for a better first Olympics.’
Hearts: The emotional young diver spoke of her pride and emotion at speaking with her family members, who are unable to attend the games amid the COVID-19 pandemic (above speaking to father Fred -left) and mother Alex – right)
So proud: Andrea’s father Fred looked close to tears as he celebrated her first Olympic games with her mother Alex and loved ones
Wow: The diver was hugged by a member of Team GB as she celebrated her achievements with her family
The diver also praised Chinese 14-year-old Hongchan Quan who won the gold medal at the event, while Spendolini-Sirieix’s diving teammate Lois Toulson, 21, finished in ninth place.
She said: ‘She’s 14 and she’s doing stuff like that. I don’t know what to add. When we were warming up and we were waiting to be called out, she was dancing, she was laughing, it looked like she had no nerves. She’s amazing, China are great.’
Spendolini-Sirieix, who is a European bronze medallist, can be proud of a top-10 finish on her Games debut.
Her second dive in the final was let down by a loose entry – scoring her 51.20 however her final dive was a roaring triumph with a score of 72.00, giving her an impressive overall 305.50. Toulson meanwhile scored 64.00 in her final dive and rounded out with a final score of 289.60 in total.
It was another teenager who won the gold medal as China’s Quan became the youngest women’s Olympic diving champ in 29 years. She produced three perfect-10 dives to register a score of 466.2 and beat her team-mate Yuxi Chen, 15, who took gold in last week’s 10m synchro. Australian Melissa Wu claimed bronze.
Andrea and her teammate finished in eighth and ninth respectively in the semi-final in the early hours of Thursday morning to progress to the final, which got underway at 7am. Her famous father took to Twitter to wish her luck and share a slew of supportive messages.
Yes! The TV star’s daughter who is a European bronze medallist, can be proud of a top-10 finish on her Games debut, while her British team-mate Lois Toulson came in at ninth
The previous day, Andrea impressed in the preliminaries – showcasing her pike dive as she kept her knees straight and body bent at the waist during the competition – finishing in 10th place overall out of 30 competitors.
She has progressed to the next round alongside fellow Brit diver Lois Toulson, 21, who finished in seventh place. Andrea scored highly with her forward 3½ somersaults scoring 58.50, improving her score to 68.80 with her 3½ somersaults in tuck position.
She scored 62.40 for her armstand back double somersault with a 1½ twist, wrapping up with a score of 59.20 for her final dive.
Her proud father Fred, 49, took to Instagram to share some snaps of Andrea diving with a sweet message the day before her opening round. Fred is unable to attend the games and is still in London, as spectators are not allowed in the stadiums due to the pandemic.
Winner: Chinese 14-year-old Hongchan Quan stole the show and walked away with the Gold medal
Epic: Yuxi Chen of Team China came in Silver
Soaring: Australian Melissa Wu claimed bronze
Proud dad: The First Dates star’s daughter is Team GB’s youngest diver and has been supported on social media by her TV star father (above with her father)
He wrote: ‘You are living your dream mon We are all with you Enjoy x #olympics #tokyo2020 #diving #platform #10m #goAndrea.’
Fred has been his daughter’s biggest supporter and took to Instagram last month with a sweet message for her.
‘Good luck mon [duck emoji] we are all so proud of you. Have fun x’ gushed the First Dates maître d’, alongside snaps of Andrea at the Games. #olympics #tokyo2020 #diving #platform #10m #teamGB #goAndrea’ Fred added as he cheered on his sports star teenager.
Epic: She showed off her incredible moves while launching into the water during the semi-final held earlier in the day
Taking the dive: She was showing her prowess ahead of her incredible finish in seventh
Following her early morning appearance, Fred delighted in his daughter’s entry into the semi-final and penned: ‘And onto the final! Fisted hand #tokyo2020 #olympics #diving #platform #10m #teamgb #goAndrea’, on Twitter
Wow: Andrea’s second dive in the final was let down by a loose entry – scoring her 51.20
Into position: Divers have two seconds to complete their routine before hitting the water at 35mph
She’s off! Her expert moves in the earlier semi-final were watched by both sporting and First Dates fans
Fred supportively wished his daughter luck ahead of her competition in the Women’s 10m platform in Tokyo.
Sharing a snap of Andrea at the Olympic pool, the teenager looked unfazed by the momentous occasion as she beamed in her Games blue swimsuit.
Andrea presented with the Young Sports Personality of the Year award on Blue Peter last December.
And Tokyo will mark one of the first times that Fred will be unable to watch his daughter compete as spectators are not allowed in the stadiums due to the pandemic.
Success story: Andrea showcased her pike dive as she kept her knees straight and body bent at the waist during the challenging preliminaries of the competition
Living her dream: In the preliminaries Andrea scored highly with her forward 3½ somersaults scoring 58.50, improving her score to 68.80 with her 3½ somersaults in tuck position
Proud dad: Fred took to Instagram on Wednesday to support his daughter’s efforts
So proud: Fred also took to Instagram to share some snaps of Andrea diving with a sweet message the day before her opening round
Sport star: ‘Good luck mon [duck emoji] we are all so proud of you ❤️ Have fun x,’ gushed the First Dates maître d’ last month alongside snaps of Andrea at the Games the year before
The TV personality told iNews: ‘This year is the first year I can’t travel and I have to say that watching her on TV during the Diving World Cup in Tokyo in May this year was the most nerve-wracking feeling I’ve ever had watching her dive.
‘Normally because you’re there you feel more a part of it, but watching on TV you feel completely powerless as a parent, it’s very hard.
‘When you watch football or a 100 metre race, you can be detached enough to enjoy it, but watching my daughter in a competition like the Olympics will be like an outer body experience. I won’t know whether to sit down, stand up or turn around.’
Fred shares daughter Andrea and son Lucien, 10, with his ex Alessandra Spendolini, who he was with for 12 years.
‘Nerve-wracking’: Fred’s daughter is the youngest diver in team GB and Tokyo will be the first time Fred has been unable to watch his daughter compete due to coronavirus restrictions
A maximum of 10,000 home spectators are allowed at events during Tokyo Olympics — but they must wear masks and cannot cheer.
Overseas fans have been banned from attending entirely.
But there will still be a subdued atmosphere as organisers have stipulated ‘masks should be worn in venues at all times’ and ‘speaking in a loud voice or shouting will be prohibited’.
Spectators will not have to provide proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test to enter venues and there will be a lottery of existing ticket-holders to decide who attends.
Restrictions: A maximum of 10,000 home spectators are allowed at events during Tokyo Olympics — but they must wear masks and cannot cheer while overseas fans are banned
Betrothed: Fred announced his engagement to his partner, who he affectionately calls ‘Fruitcake’ in a beaming Instagram post on 17 March captioned: ‘Fruitcake said yes’