Archive for the 'diving' Category

Picture of the Day: Cannonball!

Jevon Tarantino performs a dive at the U.S. Olympic Trials for Diving in Indianapolis on Saturday. Tarantino will compete for the final spot on the team in a selection camp July 2-6 in Knoxville, Tenn.

Diving Trials Yield Four Olympians

laura wilkinson trials

Laura Wilkinson at the Olympic Trials on Sunday in Indianapolis

Much like the gymnastics teams, the trials for diving don’t decide every member of the team. One diver for each discipline is nominated, and the rest of the athletes are trying for a spot in the selection camp. From those camps, one other athlete will be named, and synchronized diving teams will also be selected. The athletes who have already punched their tickets to Beijing are Christina Loukas and Troy Dumais for the three meter springboard, and David Boudia and Laura Wilkinson for ten meter platform.

Youth is the name of the game in diving. Friends and training partners David Boudia and Thomas Finchum, both 18 years old, battled each other for the spot at 10m platform. Most other competitors are not old enough to buy the Jagermeister they most likely would celebrate with. (For some reason – divers seem like Jagerbomb people.) There is good reason for that – diving beats the crap out of your body. When diving off the 10m platform, divers hit the water at about 35 mph. Think about the stress that puts on the athletes’ joints, neck and head.

That much stress on the body makes Wilkinson’s career even more amazing. At 30, she is twice the age of some of her competitors. She has battled back from injuries and the disappointment of her finish at the Athens games. Her performance Sunday garnered seven perfect 10’s, and Wilkinson showed that she is back and ready to win gold in Beijing.

Try the Trials: Diving and Gymnastics

With less than two months before the Olympics, the Trials are happening at a fast and furious pace. Diving and gymnastics preliminaries have already begun, and swimming and track and field are at the end of next week.

Diving: Laura Wilkinson is the most recognizable athlete trying to make the team. She won gold in Sydney, and was an Olympian again in 2004. You may have seen the commercials on NBC that proclaim she is still a contender – even though she is over 30. (GASP!) Not many divers have careers as long and prolific as Wilkinson’s, and gold in Beijing would be a fitting cherry on top. Christina Loukas is currently in the lead in the 3-meter springboard, and is earning her highest marks on the most difficult dives. Two teenagers dominate the early men’s competition. David Boudia and Thomas Finchum each earned four perfect tens on their first dives, and have the early lead in the 10m platform competition. Catch the rest of the diving trials live on NBC at 3:30 ET Saturday, and 3:00 ET on Sunday.

Gymnastics: The glamorous sport of the Olympics – that is, if you find busted ACL’s, broken bones, and ripped up, calloused skin glamorous. I digress. After day one of the men’s all around competition, Alexander Artemev is in the lead. The bigger stories are the injuries. David Sender, the U.S. all around champion, sprained his ankle in practice on Thursday. Paul Hamm broke his hand at the national championships. Both gentlemen are still eligible to be named to the team this Sunday.  The women start competition tonight. Shawn Johnson, the reigning world champion, will undoubtedly be one to watch, but the U.S. overall is as stacked and talented as they have ever been. Also check out Alicia Sacramone’s powerhouse vaults, and Nastia Liukin, the daughter of two Russian gymnasts. The men’s finals will air Saturday on NBC at 4:30 ET, women’s competition will air Saturday night at 8 ET, and 7 ET Sunday.