Olympian makes splash in and out of the pool

By: Jeff Archer
By: Jeff Archer

Knoxville, TN (WVLT) - For Chris Colwill, diving is his life. The 2008 Olympian took another step towards a return to the Olympics with a dramatic win in the 3-meter finals at the 2011 USA Diving Winter Nationals.

Colwill nailed his final dive to edge the competition by 2/10 of a point.

Colwill was happy he could keep his focus with the pressure one, saying, "I'm glad that I made a great comeback at the end. I was able to keep my composure and perform my last dive the way I wanted to."

While his winning dive brought a roar from the crowd, he couldn't hear it very well. Chris is hearing impaired. But oddly, Chris says that actually helps him in the sport, "I'm able to block out the distractions. Since I am able to do that I can focus on what I'm doing."

While Chris did win the title, he was as excited and honored to meet one of his biggest fans following the meet.

Noah Ward is a 3rd grader at Bearden Elementary who took up diving a couple of months ago. Like Chris, Noah is also hearing impaired, making Chris the perfect role model.

Noah says, "I think that he never quit on his dreams and stuff like that."

When the two met for the first time on the deck of the pool following Chris' win, you could instantly see the connection.

Noah spoke about the experience say that he was "really excited. And maybe a little emotional."

Chris understood what Noah was feeling, stating, "When I met people that I looked up to, there was a little fire inside of me and I thought 'That's the person I want to be.'"

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