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Despite pressure, U.S. diving vet wins medal
Olympics » Young teammate helps four-time Olympian achieve success.
First Published Aug 01 2012 01:27 pm • Last Updated Aug 01 2012 11:43 pm

London • Stanford diver Kristian Ipsen arrived at the London Games feeling the gnawing pressure of history. As America’s next great competitor it was up to Ipsen, 19, to help four-time Olympian Troy Dumais finally win a medal.

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The circumstances weighed heavily Wednesday as Ipsen headed into the 3-meter synchronized springboard event at the Aquatics Centre, where the Americans won a bronze medal.

Qin Kai successfully defended his 2008 Olympic title with Luo Yutong as China won its fourth consecutive diving title in London. Russia’s Ilya Zakharov and Evgeny Kuznetsov held off Ipsen and Dumais for the silver.

But U.S. coaches were giddy to earn the second medal of the London Games. On Monday, David Boudia and Nick McCrory were third in the 10-meter platform for the first Olympic diving medal for the U.S. men in 16 years.

Medal number two came after a heartfelt discussion over a lunch of chicken and lettuce. Ipsen admitted to Dumais he felt tremendous responsibility to help him fulfill his dream after years of toil.

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Don’t think about the medal, Dumais, 32, said.

"There’s one thing I want you to do for me," he told his young partner. "Do not look at the scoreboard."

Ipsen, a Clayton native and De La Salle High graduate, left the scoreboard counting to Stanford’s Rick Schavone, who after 34 years was coaching in his first Olympics.

The pair opened poorly, posting the seventh-best score on the first required dive. "I was a little concerned," Schavone said.

He didn’t say anything to Ipsen. Instead he just gestured for him to calm down. That’s all Ipsen needed. He knew he rushed the opening of six dives. Now it was time to be more precise.

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