Cougar Olympians Among Those to be Honored at City Hall Tuesday

Anastasia Pozdniakova and Yulia Pakhalina represented the Cougars at the Beijing Olympics

Anastasia Pozdniakova and Yulia Pakhalina will be among the Houston Olympians honored Tuesday at City Hall.

Sept. 8, 2008

HOUSTON - University of Houston diver Anastasia Pozdniakova and former diver Yulia Pakhalina will be among the Houston Olympians to be honored Tuesday at City Hall. They will also be attending the event with head diving coach Jane Figueiredo, who was an assistant coach at the Olympics.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008 will be proclaimed "Houston Olympic Heroes Day" by Mayor Bill White at 12:30 p.m. in Hermann Square in front of City Hall.

At least 10 of the athletes, including Pozdniakova and Pakhalina will be at this event.

Entertainment and refreshments will be available to everyone in attendance.

The divers, who competed for Russia, took home a silver medal in the 3-meter springboard synchronized diving event at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Pakhalina also took home a silver medal in the women's 3-meter springboard diving.

Pakhalina earned a bronze in the 3-meter springboard and silver in synchronized diving at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She also was a gold medalist in synchronized diving in Sydney in 2000. While at Houston, Pakhalina was a five-time NCAA individual national champion in the 1-meter and 3-meter springboard. She also recorded 36 consecutive wins in collegiate competition and was an 11-time C-USA Diver of the Week.

Pozdniakova was named the Conference USA Diver of the Meet after winning both the 1-meter and 3-meter championship during the 2007 C-USA Swimming and Diving Championships. She was a red-shirt this past season and did not compete for the Cougars as she trained for the Olympics. In 2006-07, she was also named the C-USA Diver of the Week four times during the regular season.

Pozdniakova continued the success of her sophomore campaign, winning the 1-meter and 3-meter championships at the NCAA Zone D Meet. She finished second on the 3-meter springboard and fifth in the 1-meter competition at the NCAA meet, earning All-America status.



Figueiredo was an assistant coach for the Russian team for the third time, including in 2000 and 2004. She also was an assistant coach for Great Britain in 1996 and competed as a diver in the 1984 Olympics in Portugal.

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