USA Diving News Meet Team USA: Katri...

Meet Team USA: Katrina Young

By Frank Gogola | July 18, 2016, 2:34 p.m. (ET)

Diver Katrina Young will get her first chance to represent the United States on the Olympic stage at the upcoming Rio Olympics.

Young, 24, finished second in the women’s 10-meter platform on June 25 at the IU Natatorium on the IUPUI campus. She jumped up two spots on the final day to grab one of two Olympic spots in the event, finishing behind champion Jessica Parratto.

“It’s been about competing and doing the dives when it matters. I’ve learned to dive now, and I’m learning to compete. I really feel like I’m getting a solid grasp on that. I’m happy to see it come together,” Young said. “Honestly, I feel like I’ve been ready to do this for a long time, and it was just trusting that it was all there.”

Young started diving at 9, following in the steps of her older sister, Samantha. At 13, she won a silver medal on 10-meter platform at the 2005 Junior Pan American Championships.

Two years later, however, she broke her right leg across the growth plate. Any momentum she had toward the 2008 Olympics was swept to the side. Her dreams were put on hold as she was fitted for a cast. As her leg healed, she would sit on the platform, ice her leg and mimic her dives at practices.

It took 18 months to two years before Young felt back to 100 percent. She did physical therapy, and her unrelated uncle helped her realign her body through gradual weightlifting. But, there was one reason above others she believed the Olympics were still a possibility.

“Because my mom [Carol] told me it was possible, to be honest,” Young said with a laugh. “I didn’t really know what the possibilities were, but she told me that she was going to help me heal it and if I wanted to continue working toward the Olympics we would make it happen. She took me to all the best therapists.”

Back on the platform, Young earned a scholarship to Florida State, graduating in 2015 with a degree in music and a double minor in business and Italian.

In 2013-14, fellow 2016 Olympian Amy Cozad joined the FSU staff as an assistant diving coach. Young and Cozad, who finished fourth in the women’s 10-meter platform at the trials, dove together in four synchronized events in 2014. They earned one first-place and one second-place finish.

Young’s best individual national appearances came at the 2012 and 2015 AT&T National Diving Championships, where she earned bronze medals.

Young has received support over the years from her grandma on her dad’s side, Elaine (Silburn) Young, who competed for Canada at the 1948 Olympics in the long jump and high jump.

“She’s been sending me good vibes,” Young said. “She’s very disciplined and knows how much hard work it takes and has continually told me that. So, it’s been nice to have her advice throughout the years.”

Young tried to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, with the trials held in Federal Way, Washington, just south of her hometown of Shoreline, Washington. However, she finished 12th.

Four years later, Young qualified for her first Olympics by jumping from fourth to second during the finals of the Olympic trials. She started the day 25.6 points behind the second-place diver and finished 23.7 points clear of third place. She was the only one of 12 divers to score a 60 or higher on all five dives.

Young has been training at Morcom Aquatics Center in Tallahassee, Florida, and is beyond grateful for how her massage therapist, Chantelle Yandow, has helped with recovery in between training sessions and events.

She’ll be attempting to become the first American woman to win an Olympic medal on the 10-meter platform since Laura Wilkinson won gold in 2000 in Sydney.

“When they say it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to raise someone who makes it on the Olympic team,” Young said. “I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who has helped me along the way. It’s just incredible the support I’ve got.”

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Katrina Young