WEST LAFAYETTE – With 500 days away from Tokyo 2020, 2016 Olympic silver medalist Steele Johnson (Carmel, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) announced today on his YouTube page he will forgo his final season of collegiate eligibility to become a professional diver.
Johnson, who graduates from Purdue University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Film and Video Studies in May, was unable to compete this season for the Boilermakers after undergoing two surgeries on his right foot in the past five months. Johnson had one year left of NCAA eligibility, but ultimately decided the time is right to transition from his life as a student-athlete to working as a professional diver. As he takes the next steps in his diving career, Johnson will focus on his recovery, while preparing for Tokyo 2020 and beyond.
“I’m very excited to enter into the professional world of Diving,” Johnson said. “I am very thankful for my collegiate years at Purdue and would not be where I am today if it were not for their support over the years. This is a season of life I have dreamed of for a long time, and I am excited that it is finally here! Now that I am a professional, I will be able to spend more time focusing on my preparations for the 2020 Olympics.”
The Indiana native earned the Olympic silver medal in the men’s platform synchro with four-time Olympic medalist David Boudia (Noblesville, Ind./West Lafayette, Ind.) at the Rio 2016 Games. As a collegiate athlete, he also captured five NCAA titles and earned three Purdue Male Athlete of the Year honors. With a little more than two years away from Tokyo 2020, Johnson will focus on the upcoming Summer Olympic Games and his wife, Hilary.