After a full week of competition at Trials in Indianapolis, this year's U.S. Olympic diving roster is set. In total, 11 athletes will be making the trip to Tokyo, and all but three will be first-time Olympians.
This year's Diving Trials were full of surprising moments — from dramatic final dives, to young breakout stars and surprising omissions, below are a few of the most memorable storylines from the week that was.
Jordan Windle makes first Olympic team
Jordan Windle’s journey to the Olympics began at an orphanage in Cambodia and will now culminate in a trip to the Tokyo Games later this summer. After his birth parents died, Windle was placed in an orphanage as a baby and later adopted by an American father who helped him recover from malnutrition and other severe health issues. In his third Olympic Trials – he debuted as a 13-year old in 2012, then placed fourth in 2016 – Windle finally made the U.S. team by finishing second in the men’s individual platform competition. The Texas Longhorn and 2019 NCAA champion had one of the best dives of the week when his first attempt of the final round earned him perfect 10s from five of the seven judges (video below).
Hernandez, 18, earns Olympic spot in dramatic fashion
While Krysta Palmer ran away with the win in women’s springboard, the battle for the second and final Olympic spot was filled with drama. Heading into the final set of dives, four women were in contention for the spot, including Sarah Bacon, who won silver at a recent World Cup event, and Alison Gibson, who had already qualified for the synchro event earlier in the week. Over the course of several pressure-packed minutes, the rankings continually shifted as each diver completed their attempt one after the other. The last one to go was 18-year-old Hailey Hernandez, who nailed the execution on her final dive and knocked Bacon out of second place.
David Boudia comes up just short of Tokyo
Three-time Olympian David Boudia has defined the current era of U.S. men’s diving, but he will not be headed to the Tokyo Games. After winning four medals on platform, including individual gold in 2012, Boudia switched to springboard during this Olympic cycle for safety reasons. Earlier in the week, he and partner Steele Johnson were forced to withdraw from the synchro competition due to Johnson’s lingering foot injury. That left the individual event as Boudia’s only pathway back to the Olympics. Entering the final round of competition, Boudia was in the lead, but one low-scoring dive midway through the final dropped him down the standings and helped set up one dramatic final dive that would determine his Olympic fate. After Boudia waited on the board for what felt like an eternity, he completed his attempt but ultimately fell less than five points shy of what he needed to score to overtake Andrew Capobianco for the second and final Olympic spot.
Katrina Young rallies to claim Olympic spot
Katrina Young, a 2019 world bronze medalist, is headed to her second Olympic Games, but it didn’t come easy. After missing out on an Olympic spot in the synchro event for women’s platform, Young needed to finish top two in in the individual competition to make it to Tokyo. She was in position to do just that as she entered the final with the lead, but during the final she soon dropped behind Delaney Schnell and synchro partner Murphy Bromberg in the standings. She remained behind Bromberg until her final dive of the night, a clutch dive that vaulted her back ahead of Bromberg and back into the Olympics.
14-year-old Hedberg offers glimpse of 2024 Trials
David Boudia has been the face of the current generation of divers, but what might the next generation look like? Well, Olympic Trials offered our first glimpse into answering that question when a fresh-faced kid named Joshua Hedberg stole the show in men’s platform. Hedberg, 14, would have been too young to compete in the Olympics last year, but the year-long postponement gave him an opportunity to participate in Trials, and he took full advantage of it. Demonstrating impressive technique throughout the competition, Hedberg finished in fourth place despite performing dives that had a lower degree of difficulty than what many of his competitors were doing. Those more difficult dives will surely come in time though, making him a name to remember when Trials reconvene three years from now.
43-year-old Olympic champion Wilkinson makes final
Thirteen years after retiring from the sport and 21 years after winning an Olympic gold medal, Laura Wilkinson returned to the diving board at Olympic Trials and showed why she's an American diving legend. The 2000 Olympic champion in women’s platform is now 43 years old and a mother of four but decided to make a comeback in pursuit of her fourth Olympic team this year. Wilkinson finished 10th in the individual platform standings, but just making it into the final – only the top 12 at the end of the semifinal round advanced onward – was a huge accomplishment.
Who made the Olympic team?
The following athletes won selection to the Tokyo Games, either by finishing top two in one of the individual events or winning one of the synchronized events at Trials.
Men's Synchronized Springboard
Andrew Capobianco and Mike Hixon
Women's Synchronized Springboard
Alison Gibson and Krysta Palmer
Women's Synchronized Platform
Jessica Parratto and Delaney Schnell
Want to watch more highlights from U.S. Olympic Diving Trials? You can find select clips from each event below.