Cody Yano, a business student at NAIT and one of Canada’s top young divers, has an incredibly busy schedule this month. In the next three weeks, Yano will represent Canada’s diving team at the both the FINA World Cup in Shanghai, China and the Commonwealth games in Glasgow, Scotland.
“I leave next Tuesday the 8th for the World Cup in Shanghai, then we go straight from there to Scotland.” Yano said. “There’s always adjustment periods. There might be a day or two where you’re off, getting used to the jet lag, but after that initial shock it fades and you get used to it.”
Although he just turned 23 in early May, Yano already has an impressive list of accomplishments under his belt. Aside from working towards his bachelor’s degree in marketing, Yano won gold at the 2013 Canadian Winter Senior Nationals, silver at the 2013 Canadian Summer Senior Nationals and bronze at the 2012 Summer Olympic Trials.
Since then, he’s secured two National Championships and placed in the finals in two international grand prix events.
Despite a difficult travel schedule, Yano feels he is prepared for the task at hand. He’s hoping for a steady but improved performance at his upcoming competitions.
“I would like to hopefully make it into a semi–final, if not a final at the World Cup and then hopefully make it through to the finals and push for a medal at the Commonwealth Games,” he said.
A huge part of preparing for the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games — or any other competition — comes down to calmness and having fun, he said.
“I think one of the biggest things for me is I have to enjoy what I’m doing and make it fun,” Yano said. “If I’m putting pressure on things and stressing, then things will never turn out. It’s important to relax and enjoy what you do.”
Yano does meditation and breathing exercises to help him relax and relieve stress before a big competition. He will often listen to music between dives to keep him distracted from his competition.
“Before a dive I usually like to go find my place off to the side somewhere that’s kind of quiet and secluded so I’m not watching the competition or anything,” Yano said.
Yano’s strong performances in the past few years have raised a lot of eyebrows, and he knows this is just the beginning.
“Absolutely,” Yano quickly said when asked if competing at the Olympics was his next goal. “That’s something I’m looking to accomplish for 2016 in Rio. Being there and representing Canada is truly one of my biggest dreams and I’ve always looked at the Olympics as the pinnacle of my career.”
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