TOKYO — Competing in gymnastics for seven years and the trampoline for eight, Krysta Palmer had Olympic dreams at an early age.
But three knee surgeries pushed her into the sport of diving at age 20 and just nine years later she became the first American woman to medal in the sport since 2000.
“It’s been a nine-year journey with diving but it’s been a 24-year dream in the making,” says Palmer.
A dream that was fulfilled in Tokyo as a bronze medalist in the women’s 3-meter springboard.
Palmer says, “I honestly was just in disbelief, and in my mind I’m just thinking this is unbelievable.”
The journey to Tokyo for all athletes has been one of perseverance but Krysta’s journey to the sport just nine years ago has been unprecedented.
“In my mind, I’m just thinking should I start a sport at the age of 20? And, I mean, we went for it,” she says.
With a love for sports but looking for something less demanding on her knees, nine years ago Krysta walked on to the University of Nevada-Reno diving team under the guidance of coach Jian Li You.
“She took me from ground zero and took the talent that I had from trampoline and gymnastics and really transformed me into the diver that I’m here today,” says Palmer.
The diver took lemons and transformed them into a bronze medal.
“I’m stepping on to the podium just shaking my head like ‘what just happened?’”
Three sports, one dream, now a reality.
“Goes to show that anything is possible if you just fight for your goals and fight for your dreams and just keep pursuing your sport and what you love to do.”
Krysta plans to go back to school and pursue a master’s degree in business before setting new goals at the Olympics in Paris in 2024.