Olympic diver Chris Colwill, of Brandon, speaks at Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center about growing up at the pool and his journey to London.

By Kristen Morrell

After qualifying for the U.S. 2012 Olympic Team, diver Chris Colwill returned to the pool where his journey to The Olympics first began.

He visited Brandon Sports and Aquatic Center (BSAC) on July 7 and was welcomed home by friends, family and an entire community.

“This is Chris’s second Olympics, so we are pretty proud of him,” said Chuck Burgess, the executive director of BSAC. “He is going on to bigger and better things on the world stage.”

Colwill started diving at 5 years old when he attended BSAC for summer camp. Today, he is 27 and a two-time-Olympian.

At his first Olympics, in 2008, he competed in the three meter springboard and the synchronized three meter springboard in Beijing. In London, he will compete again in the men’s individual springboard event.

“After having made the team, I feel very relieved,” Colwill said.

According to his father, Chuck Colwill, this year’s Olympic trials in Seattle, were much more nerve-wracking than the last.

“The competition was even better,” Chuck said. “The last time we had a little better sense that he was going to make it early on.”

Despite the uncertainty, Chris won his event and said he is ready to compete again in August.  He said he isn’t feeling overwhelmed because his preparation and training are all about taking things one day at a time.

“The way I feel now is the way I want to feel heading to the Olympics,” Chris said. “I’m just going to go and do the best I can.”

Chris also said he wants to compete better at this Olympics than he did at his first.

“I want to get another shot competing in the finals the way I want to compete,” he said. “If I can do that, I know I can get top three.”

However, regardless of his London performance, Chris said this will be his last Olympics and he has nothing to regret.

As he stood before supporters at the pool where his diving career began, he reminisced about his time at BSAC.  He said he made many friends at camp, participated in different sports and most importantly became a great diver.

“I think this is the ideal way to spend your childhood,” Chris said. “This made me who I am today.”

Chris’ visit to Brandon was short and sweet.  He had just enough time to see his network of fans and receive a bittersweet homecoming. But as he heads to London, Chris will now know he has entire community cheering him on from home.

BSAC is located at 405 Beverly Blvd., in Brandon. For more information, visit www.mybsac.org.

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