Parc Olympique in Montréal: a history of excellence!

The 2023 World Aquatics diving tour stops at Montreal, in a facility that was refurbished with Myrtha RenovAction technology and has hosted, in recent years, three consecutive Diving World Series. As World Aquatics has said: “The Canadian competition venue is well-known in sporting circles, with the event taking place in the Montreal Olympic Pool, which has been in use since the city hosted the 1976 Olympic Games.”

The Parc Olympique is an iconic sports area designed by architect Roger Taillibert for the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games. It’s easy to spot thanks to the Esplanade, the biggest stadium in Canada and the tallest inclined tower in the world. Just beneath the tower, you’ll find the high-performance sports centre for 12 different Olympic disciplines. But as Cédric Essiminy, Public Relations Advisor at Parc Olympique, told us, the centre has two different identities. “The centre is a high-performance facility for top athletes, but it is also open to the general public,” he said. “So citizens can swim near Olympic athletes – a special opportunity for children – You can feel the DNA of sports, it’s very inspiring for that practicing swimmer, water polo player or artistic swimmer.” In fact, at Parc Olympique one can train and compete in different aquatic disciplines thanks to the 50m pool and to an astonishing springboard and platform diving indoor pool, as explained by Essiminy: “Now we have three high diving platforms – 20m, 18m and 15m. We are the only indoor facility in North America to offer three high diving platforms where athletes can train in the best condition every day, and so we are able to host diving events no matter the weather.” That’s why World Aquatics chose Parc Olympique for World Junior Diving Championship in 2022, and now for the second stage of the Diving World Cup.

In 2015, in order to bring the centre into compliance with FINA international standards, Parc Olympique decided to renovate. All the pools were refurbished with Myrtha RenovAction technology, thus avoiding significant and long demolition, and making them compliant with the latest regulations. “Renovating a site that is unique, we had to be careful to preserve it,” said Essiminy, “and at the same time we wanted to put the facility into the 21st century. That’s why we chose this equipment and technology. For us it was essential to be on par with the best. We are an Olympic facility and we can’t compromise on the level of the equipment. When you renovate you have to stay “Olympic,” and to be “Olympic” is to be the best. So we had to keep that in mind when we renovated. It’s part of our history. At Parc Olympique, the goal is to train athletes giving them the closest experience to international competition.”

For this top aquatic facility with 2,500 seats, the only issue in hosting major events is to minimize the closure time for its daily patrons. But Essiminy once again confirms that competition is in the DNA of Parc Olympique: “We have been hosting events for more than 45 years, so I can say we quite know how hosting huge events works. We have a lot of expertise in these situations. We also became more relevant by renovating the complex in 2015. We went through major renovation, including the pools, and that investment allows us to be a more compelling choice for hosting major events.”


Photo credits: Parc Olympique