Fred Sirieix’s champion diver daughter Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix won the 10m Platform diving gold medal after competing in her first ever Commonwealth Games. The First Dates star, 50, was every inch the proud father as he jumped for joy in the stands while his 17-year-old daughter won the Women’s Diving 10m Platform at Sandwell Aquatics Centre on Thursday night.
Andrea firmly secured her first place victory with a staggering 357.50 points and was seen wiping tears from her eyes as she hugged her coach after being crowned Commonwealth champion.
She was followed closely behind by her teammate Lois Mae Toulson in second with 337.30 points – as England took home two out of three of the podium medals – while Canadian Caeli Sierra McKay won the bronze medal.
Her proud father Fred took to Instagram later in the evening to share a video of her final dive as he penned a congratulatory message for his daughter – who he affectionately calls ‘mon caneton’, meaning ‘my duckling’.
In the video, as Andrea emerged from the pool following her final dive and her scores were revealed, Fred could be heard cheering as his daughter was confirmed to be the gold medallist. He also posted another video to his Instagram Stories, showing the moment she was awarded her gold medal, with Fred cheering loudly as he celebrated his daughter’s achievement.
Gushing: Her proud father Fred took to Instagram later in the evening to share a video of her final dive as he penned a congratulatory message for his daughter who he affectionately calls ‘mon caneton’, meaning ‘my duckling’
The TV personality also re-shared a number of congratulatory messages for Andrea, as well as a snap of her wearing her gold medal as she posed with her coach. As Andrea was handed her gold medal during the awards ceremony, she eagerly waved to the audience and flashed a huge smile as the crowd erupted into deafening cheers.
She was handed a cuddly toy, which she proudly raised into the air like a trophy while wearing her gold medal around her neck, as she celebrated her well-deserved victory. In the nail-biting final on Thursday, Andrea competed alongside another 11 contestants, after coming out in first place against 14 divers in the preliminary rounds.
Andrea was the last diver to take to the platform, and was described by commentators as ‘strong on the take off’ in her first dive as she received scores of 6.5s and 7s from the judges, giving her a ranking of 61.50 after round one.
After the first round, Andrea ranked in 8th place after a forward three-and-a-half somersaults in pike dive, with her teammate Lois Toulson coming in first place, and fellow England diver Eden Cheng ranking in 3rd place.
But in the second set of dives, the 17-year-old catapulted back into the running as the crowd erupted into cheers as she secured herself another 78.40 points. Despite ranking in eighth position, she amazingly flew back into the lead with 139.90 points after her inward three-and-a-half somersaults in tuck dive.
On her third dive, Andrea nailed an incredible armstand back double somersault with one-and-a-half twist dive, earning her another 72.2 points, keeping her lead by almost 20 points with a total of 215.10.
After the penultimate set, Andrea performed a reverse two-and-a-half somersaults in tuck which secured her a score of 56, keeping her in the first place position with 271.10 points giving her a 15.40 advantage over second place diver Lois. During the tense final set, Andrea performed the same dive as in her last round, and put on another incredible display with the crowd going absolutely wild as she secured another 86.40 points.
Andrea was left with a staggering 357.50 points and ran over to hug her coach, where she was seen wiping tears from her eyes, as the 17-year-old was crowned Commonwealth champion. Ahead of her first ever Commonwealth Games final, Andrea said: ‘I’m definitely really excited. I’m trying to replicate it and have as much fun and enjoy the atmosphere as much as possible.’
Andrea’s Commonwealth Games victory came after she was the favourite after winning the preliminary round, with her father Fred sharing his support as he cheered her on from the crowd.
He took to Twitter to share a snap of the pool and diving boards ahead of his 17-year-old girl’s performance in the Women’s Diving 10m Platform Preliminary round. Speaking to Swim Swam, Andrea said of her first Commonwealth Games: ‘I am so honoured to be a part of a team of such incredible athletes.
‘I’ve never had an international competition on home soil, so I am super excited to have my parents and brother come to Birmingham to support me. ‘I remember watching the Gold Coast and thinking ‘I really want to be a part of that team one day’ and I am so happy to have the opportunity to compete and make my family and friends proud.’
The maître d’hôtel who shares Andrea with ex Alessandra Spendolini – has often shared his pride at his daughter’s sporting achievements, and in December, told how he sought advice from her in a bid to help him succeed in the Christmas special of Strictly Come Dancing.
Fred told the Mirror: ‘When I started rehearsals I was joking that this was like I was representing France at the Olympics. I have been showing Andrea the dances since the first day of the rehearsals and she said to me, ‘Dad, you just have to focus’, which was her main advice.
Andrea finished in seventh place in the women’s 10m platform diving final at the 2020 Tokyo Games, which were held in 2021 after they were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
And while Fred was unable to travel to Japan to watch his daughter compete, he said he was impressed by the attitude that helped her achieve in her sport as he watched her on the television at home, remembering her ‘positive mental attitude’ for Strictly.
He said: ‘When I was getting ready for Strictly I was thinking about her and her confidence, because she’s been there and she’s done it, and now I have to do it and perform something very hard for a big audience.’
Andrea 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.
Andrea reunited with Fred, mother Alessandra Spendolini, 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.
In a sweet video, Andrea was seen wiping her eyes while her mum spoke to her, as she repeatedly said thank you while she was congratulated following her epic turn on the board.
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.
‘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.’