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Olympian Leon Taylor says he'll 'always remember the beaming smile' of Chen Wen

Olympic medallist Leon Taylor has said he will always remember the beaming smile and infectious laugh of British diving stalwart Chen Wen, who has died at the age of 80.

Olympic coach Wen has been instrumental in taking diving to the next level in Great Britain and enjoyed many highs and achievements throughout his decorated career.

One such highlight was being part of the coaching team that led Leon Taylor and Peter Waterfield to glory at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games where they became silver medallists in the 10m Synchronised Platform.

‘Beaming smile’

Taylor, who worked closely alongside Wen for many years, said: “I have countless fond memories of working with Chen over the years and will always remember his beaming smile and infectious laugh.

“He was such a presence within diving in the UK and imparted so much wisdom on many athletes and coaches within the sport.

“I feel privileged to have known him and will always be grateful for the time we spent together and the fantastic memories .”

Wen began his coaching career in 2003 when he joined the British Diving programme as a national coach.

After leaving that role in 2008, he stayed closely in touch with the sport and its members through Crystal Palace Diving Club for many years after that.

His knowledge and expertise of the sport saw him working in Australia and China, where he also worked tirelessly to better the sport and mentor grassroots athletes from a young age.

‘His legacy is indisputable’

British diving talent and development manager, Julian Bellan, said: “Chen’s legacy and influence on the modern era of British Diving is indisputable, throughout his tenure as National Coach he tirelessly gave up his time to work with young coaches and divers.

“His impact on the shape of the future senior teams over the past two decades is evident, with Tom Daley, Tonia Couch and Sarah Barrow among a number of high profile names to come under his stewardship during junior team training camps to Beijing in the years preceding the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

“More recently Chen coached Scarlett Mew-Jensen and Maria Papworth at the beginning of their careers. He will be sorely missed.”

Image credit: British Swimming