Laura Wilkinson

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Laura Wilkinson
Personal information
Full name Laura Ann Wilkinson
Born (1977-11-17) November 17, 1977 (age 37)
Houston, Texas
Height 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Sport
Country United States
Event(s) 3m, 3m synchro, 10m, 10m synchro
Club Woodlands Diving Team
Partner Jessica Livingston (10m synchro)
Former partner(s) Cassandra Cardinell (10m)
Chelsea Davis (3m)
Kimiko Soldati (10m)
Brittany Viola (10m)
Jenny Keim (10m)
Patty Armstrong (10m)
Cristi Christensen (3m)
Kimiko Hirai (3m)
Kathy Pesek (3m), Katie Sustman (3m)
Patty Armstrong (3m & 10m)

Laura Ann Wilkinson (born November 17, 1977 in Texas) is a former American diver and Olympic gold medalist.

Background[edit]

Laura Wilkinson was born and raised in Houston, Texas and lived with her parents Ed and Linda Wilkinson. She attended Klein High School in Houston before going to University of Texas. As a child, Wilkinson was a gymnast, but had to give up on the sport after a growth spurt during puberty made her too tall to continue. It was then that she turned to diving. When she first started diving, a teacher told her she was too old to start a new sport and was later kicked off her high school team because they thought she was a "waste of space". Wilkinson is a 2001 graduate of the University of Texas, where she majored in public relations. While attending school on a scholarship, she decided that she would rather put school on hold and go after her dream to become an Olympian. She trains in The Woodlands, Texas and is married to Eriek Hulseman. The couple welcomed their first child, a girl, Arella Joy, on May 11, 2011. In December 2012, Laura and her husband adopted a baby from China named Zoe. She also travels around the country speaking to girls at The Revolve Tour, a Christian girls' conference. [1]

Career[edit]

One day, while swimming in the gym's pool, she witnessed a young female diver in-training execute an impressive dive, and she quickly developed an interest in the sport herself. The first time she ever jumped off the 10 meter platform wasn't until she was 15 years old. She would then take up platform diving, where in 1995, she joined the U.S. national team.

2000 Summer Olympics[edit]

Six months prior to the 2000 Summer Olympics, Wilkinson suffered a serious foot injury that kept her out of action for a couple of months. During this time, she used mental images to visualize her dives. Her foot was not fully recovered by the time she started diving again, but she was able to qualify for the Olympics. At the 2000 Summer Olympics, Wilkinson, who was still in pain from her foot injury, was in eighth place after the first of five dives in the platform diving finals. However, she earned her the first gold medal for a female American platform diver since 1964.

2004 Summer Olympics[edit]

Wilkinson finished in fifth place at the 2004 Summer Olympics. However, she had already had an impact on her competitors. Several of them repeated the technique she used at the 2000 Olympics by starting their dives with a handstand.

2008 Summer Olympics[edit]

On June 26, 2008, Wilkinson qualified as a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in diving, taking first place in the Olympic trial. This Olympics would be her final competitive dives, as she had previously announced her retirement after these events.

References[edit]

External links[edit]