Chantelle Newbery became Australia’s first diving gold medallist in 80 years, and the nation’s first female Olympic diving champion ever, when she won the 10-metre platform event at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. She chose for her final effort her pet dive - a backwards two-and-a-half somersault - and executed it almost faultlessly to win from the favourite, China’s Lao Lishi. Her teammate Loudy Tourky won the bronze.
Newbery, who competed successfully as a tumbler in gymnastics - and, at the age of 16, represented her country in both sports - came away from Athens with a second medal, bronze (with Irina Lashko) in the 3-metre synchronised springboard event. Newbery's husband Robert also had a successful Athens campaign after reaching every men's final and claiming two bronze medals at the 2004 Games.
Newbery listed her occupation in the 2004 Team Handbook as “diver, mother”, and throughout the competition her concentration wavered between the action in Athens and her two-year-old son Jet, whom she missed desperately. Australia’s tiny (seven-person) team in Athens finished with six medals (one gold, one silver, four bronze). At the Sydney 2000 Games, Newbery finished seventh in the springboard and fourth in the synchronised springboard. In 2006 at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, she won gold in the 10m synchronised competition. In 2008 she failed to qualify for the final after finishing 14th in the 3m springboard event at the Beijing Olympics. She came out of retirement for those Games, and announced her retirement after them now satisfied she had given and received everything possible from her sport.
Harry Gordon, AOC Historian