The Indiana University diving program has three current or former athletes competing in the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Former Hoosier All-American Sara Hildebrand and current All-American Cassandra Cardinell will compete in the synchro 10-meter platform event at the Olympics. Former Hoosier National Champion Kimiko (Hirai) Soldati will compete individually in the three-meter springboard, while Hildebrand will compete in the 10-meter platform event.
Cardinell, who graduated in the spring and has one year of eligibility remaining, and Hildebrand train with the Indiana diving program and are coached by six-time National Diving Coach of the Year Dr. Jeff Huber. Huber is also serving as an assistant U.S. Olympic Diving Coach at the Athens Games.
Here is a look at diaries from Hildebrand and Huber on the trip so far. IUHOOSIERS.COM will have more excerpts throughout the Olympic Games. Cardinell will have a diary on Saturday following the Opening Ceremonies.
The Olympic Diary of Dr. Jeff Huber
As you probably already know, we just returned from a five day training trip in Berlin, Germany. My sister asked me why we left and my response was that we are in Athens for a little over a month and it is really helpful to get out of the Olympic Village and away from other athletes and do some focused training. Actually, many other U.S. sports do the same thing.
The facility in Berlin is perhaps the best facility I have ever seen. It has two ten meter platforms, six one meter boards, a glass elevator that takes you to the ten meter platforms, a dryland training room to die for, and much more. I felt the facility helped Sara and Cassie improve on their timing and synchronicity.
As nice as the training trip was, I think everyone was glad to return to Athens and the Olympic Village. Since our absence, many other countries have moved into the Village and it looks more like the Village in Sydney, with literally thousands of athletes, coaches, and officials moving through the Village streets like a busy metropolis. In fact, to host the Olympic Games, the host country must construct a city to house approximately 10,000 people. Once the Games are over, 2,500 families will move into the Village. One of the divers, or maybe it was our athletic trainer, Tammie Brockman, who graduated from IU, remarked that the difference in the Village from when we arrived to now is like the difference on the IU campus between summer and the academic year.
Today we had two practices and tomorrow we have a mandatory press conference, where all divers and coaches must wear the official Olympic outfitting designated for press conferences (there are an awful lot of rules and protocol to follow). After the press conference, we leave immediately for the pool for our first practice. Our second practice is at 9PM, which is good because that is when we compete in the finals and we can get a feel for diving in the venue at that time of evening.
The Olympic Diary of Sara Hildebrand (courtsey of sarahildebrand.com)
We are back here in the Olympic Village now. Berlin was great, but we are all very pleased to be back here at our 'home' to get settled in before the Games start. Send some prayers that Laura Wilkinson will be voted to carry the U.S. Flag for the country during Opening Ceremonies!! We need a diver and there couldn't be a better representitive (well, ok most of us could do it, but she is an Olympic Gold medalist!!) I will try and put up some more pictures as soon as I can. I am new to this website stuff, so bear with me.
Here is a look at the competition schedule for the Hoosier contigent:
Synchro 10-meter platform Finals August 16
TV: NBC 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST
10-meter Platform August 20-22
TV: NBC 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST (all three days)
Three-meter Springboard August 25-26
TV: NBC 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 p.m. EST (both days)