Invitational diving event trains Olympic-level divers
MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - Today, over 200 divers competed in the longest-standing diving competition in Moultrie. It’s named in honor of Robert C. Moss — a former dive coach from the area.
People from South Florida to Ohio came to the invitation-only event to put their diving skills to the test. The divers’ experience levels range from Junior National Champions to the Olympic level.
You might have heard of the phrase “trust your gut.” That is the same for the sport as John Fox, Director of Diving Operations, Head Coach and CFO of Moss Farms Diving, describes diving as having discipline.
“Diving is a unique discipline. It’s a sport but it’s also a discipline. A lot of the athletes that are here in our program train at a really high level. So, they are doing things for multiple hours a week, and so what we like to see them do is to just trust your training,” Fox said.
Tyler Downs, a USA Olympic Diver and 2022 NCAA Champion, reflects on his journey and his coach who pushed him to be the best athlete he can be.
“It means a lot actually because I took a huge sacrifice from moving from St. Louis, Missouri to Indianapolis to train with head Olympic Coach John Winkfield. It was just what I wanted to do, and I wanted it to take me to the highest level, and I knew John could do that,” Downs said.
Some things come naturally, and for some, it’s in their DNA. That was true for Ellie Reese, a four-time Junior National Champion and 2021-2022 Junior National Medal winner, who followed in her moms’ footsteps.
“I was a gymnast till seven years old and my mom was a diver, so she said why don’t you try diving,” Reese said.
Divers have to withstand the pressure of performing at a high level, but with the right coaching, the sky is the limit.
“When you are watching that high-level athlete, it’s like you are watching ballet or some sort of performance and it’s almost effortless. But what you are really seeing is the discipline and the art form of it,” Fox said.
The next step for these divers will be getting ready for the Junior level Olympics in Los Angeles in 2028, and the Olympic trials starting this May.
Copyright 2023 WALB. All rights reserved.