Horton-Perinchief comes full circle for
Katura Horton-Perinchief might have retired more than a decade ago, but she is still heavily involved in the sport that has “given her so much”.
As well as running her popular Star Diving camp at the National Sports Centre, Horton-Perinchief also serves on the Union Americana de Natación technical diving committee.
The 36-year-old is working as a referee and assistant referee during the Pan Am diving events at the Aquatic Centre in Lima and is enjoying being on the other side of the fence.
“It's a really strange transition,” said Horton-Perinchief, who competed at the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. “I retired in 2008, but quite a few of the athletes I dove with are still diving.
“Being on this side of the meet is very different. We, as judges, are responsible for the outcome of the event, so you really want to get it right.
“The Pan Am Games is an Olympic qualifier for diving, which puts added pressure on both the athletes and the judges. It's always a great honour to represent Bermuda and although, in this particular case, I'm not directly involved with the team, being the only Bermudian diving official — and the only one from the English-speaking islands — is humbling.”
Although Horton-Perinchief was disappointed to miss out on cheering for beloved Somerset in Cup Match, she still found a way to closely follow the fortunes of the East Enders.
“It was very tough to miss Cup Match, but I was live-streaming it in between diving events, so I didn't feel so far removed from our island home during our Emancipation holiday,” she said. Horton-Perinchief, whose auntie June Dill represented Bermuda in bowling in Lima, experienced the highs and lows of competition at the Pan Am Games during her diving days.
“I have mixed memories about the Pan Am Games,” she said. “My first games was in 2003 in Santo Domingo [Dominican Republic] and I did very well.
“I made the final in the one-metre springboard and it was just my second major meet for Bermuda.
“My second games was in 2007 in Rio. I got sick when I was there and couldn't dive. I was truly devastated, but I still got to enjoy the event and make friends around the region, which is one of the best things about sport.
“It really is a great unifier. I'm grateful to have been part of the Pan Am Games as an athlete and now as an official.”