Coached by fellow Hall of Famer, Percy Norman, George Athans moved to Kelowna and raised an athletic family including son, George Jr., inducted into B.C Sports Hall of Fame for water-skiing, as well as Greg and Gary. George specialized in springboard and platform diving.

Athans was a ten-time Canadian diving champion between 1936 and 1950 and a member of the 1936 and 1948 Canadian Olympic teams.

From 1938-42, Athans was the Western US and US Pacific Coast Intercollegiate diving champion.

He won two bronze medals at the 1938 British Empire Games in high-board and springboard diving events and later won gold and silver medals in springboard and tower events at the 1950 British Empire Games.

After retiring he coached the Canadian diving teams at the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games and 1960 Olympic Games.