The supremely multi-talented Katrina Young got her first taste of the Olympics as a 24-year-old in Rio, where she failed to advance past the preliminaries of the 10m platform competition. Momentum is with her this time around, thanks to a bronze medal performance in the synchronized 10m competition at 2019 Worlds alongside partner Samantha Bromberg. Off the platform, Young expresses herself through music as a vocalist and guitarist.
As part of our preparation for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, NBC Olympics sent questionnaires to a wide range of athletes to learn more about their lives on and off the field of play.
Here’s some of what we learned about Katrina Young:
Tell us about your family.
I have the most supportive family! My mom and dad encouraged my siblings and I to pursue our dreams since we were very young. I followed in my older sister Samantha's footsteps in many things I did. I was amazed at her ability in gymnastics and pursued it as well. When she started diving, it was only natural that I would want to be beside her.
My younger brother, Eddie, decided that diving piqued his interest as well. Soon it was a family sport. We would pile into my mom’s car and drive an hour out to the nearest facility with platforms.
I'm so grateful my mom was willing to stick with us pursuing our dreams as it had to be a logistics nightmare. While diving, my siblings and I were also training in other sports. My mom is one of the strongest people I know. She has been someone I lean on and can talk to about anything.
My dad would fly to competitions with us and cheer us on. He was a great athlete himself and played elite soccer growing up. On the weekends he would work with us on hand/eye coordination. We would play catch with a football, set up baseball in our yard, or kick a soccer ball around. I was always amazed at the finesse he had as an athlete. My dad has been a huge inspiration in my career.
My Grandma Elaine (my Dad's Mom) is a force as well. She is an Olympian who competed in the 1948 Olympics for team Canada in track and field. She has a competitive spirit and has taught me so much about how to perform to my best ability.
My Grandma Bert had a heart of gold. Her motto was, "There is never enough love in this world." I try and remember that in all that I do. I grew up in the house next to hers and would spend time every day with her. We would play music and sing together, draw and paint our nails, among other things. If I ever needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to lift my heart, my Grandma Bert was there for me.
Do you have any pets?
I do have a pet, who I call my dog child. Her name is Lola and she is the most beautiful lady dog in the world! Her theme song is "My Girl" by The Temptations. I love to sing this song to her and she smiles at me every time I do. I love her so very much.
How have your military ties impacted your journey?
My immediate family is not involved in the military. However, my Grandpa and his brother fought in World War II. My Uncle Gerry sacrificed his life in this war.
Learning this as I've grown up has had a major impact on my view of representing the USA. I realize that my freedom and rights are in major part because of those who serve in the military and defend our country. The bravery and selflessness that serving in the military takes inspires me to do my best every day. I am extremely proud to be American and take it very seriously representing the United States in my sport.
Any out of the ordinary aspects to your training?
I enjoy doing yoga and Pilates for recovery, balance and strength. I enjoy the peace of mind these give me and the mind/body connectivity these practices promote.
Please describe your most significant injury and the recovery.
My most serious injury was a broken leg. I broke it while diving in 2005. I believed I had growing pains, however I actually had a fracture that I was pushing through. This fracture grew and turned into a break.
What constitutes your nutrition plan?
Nearly every morning I drink a smoothie and eat 2 eggs for breakfast. After a morning training session I'll have a protein bar. For lunch I'll have a sandwich and salad. By the end of the day I'm usually starving (after second practice or weightlifting). I'll make a hearty dinner. Something like a chicken breast, steamed broccoli or brussels sprouts, and rice or bread.
What would you be doing if not an athlete?
Singing and playing music.
Playing music with friends and musicians in town. Some Sunday nights I jam at an Irish pub in town and sing Irish ballads. Other times on the weekend I'll attend an old-time jam session and sing songs such as "I'll Fly Away."
I also love to go to the beach with my dog and fiancé and explore hiking trails with them.
What is your personal motto, or favorite quote?
"Why try and fit in when you were born to stand out."
- Elle Woods from “Legally Blonde