As the 2012 Olympics comes to an end, Waste Management’s Justin Wilcock comments on gold medal winner, David Boudia, the future of USA Diving and the closing ceremonies. Please share your comments and questions.
How about David Boudia’s incredible performance in the Men’s 10M Platform?
I’m still in shock over David's gold medal win! I trained with him prior to the 2008 Olympics and have seen David grow through his career. He is a great guy and a hard worker. It’s great to see him on top of the podium, and it’s so great for our sport, as we have not won gold on Platform since 2000 and not in the men's event since 1988. David withstood the pressure of the competition and put the pressure on the dominant Chinese divers. I am so excited for him and can't wait to watch him defend his medal in Rio!
How would you rate USA Diving’s overall performance in the 2012 Olympic Games?
USA Diving far exceeded expectations at the 2012 Olympics. We were favored to win one bronze medal, and we secured a gold, a silver, and two bronze. This is huge for the organization that has slipped from dominance since the 1984 games in Los Angeles. We needed a strong showing to prove to the U.S. Olympic Committee that we are a sport worth investing in, and we needed it for our athletes to realize that medaling at the Olympics is a possibility.
How do you feel about the team’s chances in 2016?
I am really excited going into 2016. While we have an experienced team in London, there are some young team members who will be able to carry the 2016 team. Bay Area native Kristian Ipsen will be a huge medal favorite. He is young and now experienced, and after three more years of training and experience he will be a contender. Hopefully, David Boudia will continue on platform, and Nick McCrory will be a strong contender. On the women's side, we will be looking to strengthen our women's platform event. For the springboard, we will probably have a new younger group coming up, but watch out for Kassidy Cook, the 17-year-old who missed the team by less than a point in women's synchronized diving!
As the Olympics come to a close, what were some of things you wanted to witness/experience before the Closing Ceremonies?
One great memory was sitting in the Olympic stadium and watching the track events. All the pressure was off, and I was able to cheer on the U.S. athletes. I was fortunate that my event was early enough that I had time to enjoy the games, spend time with my family in the Olympic park and watch other Olympic events.
Describe your Closing Ceremonies experience.
The closing ceremony is a huge party! All of the stress and pressure of the games is gone and everyone is there together enjoying each other’s company. Many of the boundaries by country that existed in the Opening Ceremony are erased, and everyone was just on the field together intermingling. They had a few Greek stars perform and the atmosphere was one of celebration for those who triumphed as well as celebration of humanity.
The Closing Ceremony is also a time that athletes swap country apparel and memorabilia. In 2004, the Chinese delegation all came into the stadium wearing Beijing 2008 apparel which quickly became the hot trading item. I was able to get a hat from them which served as my inspiration over the next four years!
Blogging with an Olympian is blog series written by Waste Management employees Justin Wilcock and Joe Camero. A resident of Pleasanton, Wilcock is a Waste Management LEED Green Associate and Construction Service Account Manager. He assists contractors, builders, and architects meet their diversion/recycling goals. Wilcock also serves on the Board of Directors of USA Diving, and he is the AAC (Athletes’ Advisory Council) Representative for USA divers. A former sports editor for the Southwestern Sun, Camero is a Waste Management Communications Specialist.
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