MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - Just days before the Olympics begin, hundreds of elite divers made their way to Moultrie to compete in the US National Diving Championships.
The meet can be a stepping stone to the Olympics. And two divers are hoping to use the event as a platform to live out their dreams.
At almost every one of 18-year-old Brett Palo's dive meets, his father, Dave, has cheered him on.
"Oh it's critical, it's absolutely critical. Whether he's doing fantastic and getting all 10's or if he's missed a dive," said Dave. "You want to be there for him."
Brett fell in love with diving nine years ago.
"The person I admire is Greg Louganis," said Brett.
But it's not just Olympic dreams that keep Brett going.
"I've learned how to not be a afraid as much and it's also has helped me opened up more as person," explained Brett. "It taught me a lot about life."
Brett's father witnessed his son change because of the sport.
"It's been an incredible transformation of how he's grown and developed and built confidence in himself," said Dave. "It's just been an incredible experience."
But Brett's not the only one who dreams about the Olympics.
"For the last several years when at school you have projects where you write what you want to be when you grown," said Heather Taylor, the mother of diver Ainsley Taylor. "She always writes she wants to be an Olympic diver. And I always ask if that doesn't work out what's plan B. And she's like I'm going to the Olympics."
Heather goes to every meet where her 11-year-old daughter competes.
The US National Diving Championships is Ainsley's first national meet. She also hopes to make it to the Olympics one day.
"I'm learning that even if you don't make it to the next round," explained Taylor. "You should still be proud of yourself because this is a big event."
Ainsley learns the most from older divers, like Brett who enjoys helping young divers.
"It's a really, really nice experience and to be able to encourage younger divers to be able to look up to older divers and to see what their capable of in their future," said Brett.
Brett finished his competition on Tuesday in 30th place.
He'll compete again on tower in a couple of days.