The photo evidence doesn’t give much away, it’s just a young man in sunglasses and a bandage that covers his head and ears.
But the image of Canadian diver Alexandre Despatie, posted on the Facebook page of his Spanish training partner, is revealing in at least one respect: he’s smiling broadly.
“His voice sounded much better when I spoke to him [Thursday] morning,” Despatie’s mother, Christiane, said.
The 27-year-old double Olympic silver medalist was showing no ill effects from hitting his head on a springboard in Madrid on Tuesday – other than the 10-centimetre scar along his hairline.
Christiane Despatie said he isn’t suffering from any concussion symptoms, but doctors decided to keep him under observation until Friday. He’ll likely return to Montreal on the weekend.
“His spirits are good, his biggest concern is being able to get back into the pool in two weeks,” she said, joking her son was sporting an “Invisible Man” look in the Facebook photo, which he texted to his family.
Despatie required both internal and external stitches – he wouldn’t tell his mother how many – in a 40-minute operation that followed his mishap, which occurred in practice for this weekend’s meet in the Spanish capital. He was performing an inward 3.5-somersault on the three-metre springboard.
It’s not expected the injury will prevent Despatie from attending the 2012 London Olympics., where he is a threat to win a third medal.
Christiane Despatie said the former world champion was touched by the outpouring of support from fans across the country. “It’s been absolutely incredible, and quite touching,” she said.