Born and raised in Montreal.
It’s better to have two countries behind you than one. Being in Portugal I felt like I was at home… Walking on the street they sort of noticed who I was, and to me that is something really original, because I don’t really get noticed here in Canada – Meaghan Benfeito.
At the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the young Portuguese-Canadian diver Meaghan Benfeito won two bronze medals in the synchronized and individual platform events, adding to the medals she had already won at the London Olympics, the Pan American Games, and the World Championships. Raised in Montreal’s Portuguese community, this granddaughter of immigrants from São Miguel competes for Canada but identifies as Portuguese.
Meaghan Benfeito was born in 1989 in Montreal where she grew up. The granddaughter of immigrants from São Miguel, Azores, Benfeito’s career as an athlete has counted on the support of her parents, two younger sisters, her extended family, and the local Portuguese community in which she grew up. As a young Portuguese-Canadian, she participated in various community activities, including dancing in folklore troupes and participating in parades and religious processions.
Benfeito began diving around the age of 9 attracted by the adrenaline of it. During her 20-year career as an Olympic athlete, her weeks consisted of 6.5 hours of training 5 days a week. She began diving for Canada in 2005 and won a bronze medal at the World Aquatics Championships in Montreal that year. Benfeito and her partner, Roseline Filion, qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics; the 2012 London Olympics where they won a bronze medal in the 10-meter platform synchronized event; the 2016 Rio Olympics, where Benfeito won bronze again with Filion and another bronze medal in the individual platform diving event; and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Benfeito retired from diving after this event. She has also competed at the World Cup, Commonwealth Games, Pan Am Games, World Series, and Grand Prix, securing medals at all of these events. Benfeito was also honoured by the president of the Azores regional government, who awarded her an honorific medal in 2014.
In January 2021, Benfeito and her partner, the Saskatchewan Roughriders player Alexandre Dupuis, were faced with tragedy when a fire in their condo building destroyed their home and all of their possessions, including her three Olympic medals and two Pan Am Game medals. Diving Canada and the Canadian and International Olympic Committees have since replaced the lost medals with new ones.
Hora dos Portugueses