For Krysta Palmer, it’s all about going for it.
“I went for it,” said Palmer about taking on the world competition in diving this summer. The end result was winning her second straight medal at the World Cup, a fifth place finish in the World Cup in the 3-meter springboard and two more medals at two European Grand Prix events.
And the obvious goal for Palmer going for it is to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Her performance at the World Cup also qualified her for next year’s World Series of Diving.
“I was very happy with my results coming out of World Cup,” said Palmer, a Carson City native and 2010 Douglas High graduate. “I definitely felt proud of myself. To qualify for the World Series is a dream come true.”
Palmer was taking a break after her outstanding summer effort, but when she returns to training she’ll be focused on the World Series. But there’s also another Grand Prix event in November and there’s an excellent chance Palmer would be selected for that competition.
And of course Palmer said, “if it’s offered to me I would go for it. It’s good getting extra competition. It’s all about opportunity.”
At the FINA World Cup in China earlier this summer, Palmer’s fifth place finish in the 3-meter qualified her for the 2019 FINA Diving World Series.
Palmer was in 11th after the semifinals, but moved up to ninth after the first round in the finals, to eighth after the third round, to seventh after the fifth round and finished in fifth with 331.30 points.
Her most successful dive was an inward 2 1/2 somersault pike in the fourth round which earned her 70.50 points. Palmer headed into the World Cup as the 3-meter national champion.
Palmer and her partner, David Dinsmore, also defended their bronze medal at the World Cup in mixed team diving, finishing third at the World Cup for the second straight year. Palmer and Dinsmore finished with 374.65 points.
Then it was onto the European Grand Prix in which Palmer and Alison Gibson placed second and third in two events in 3-meter synchronized diving.
At the Bolzano FINA Grand Prix in Italy, Palmer and Gibson finished second with 268.11 points, 30.84 points behind China’s Chen Yiwen and Wu Chunting. Palmer and Gibson were just 2.40 points behind Yiwen and Chunting after three rounds.
The pair’s strongest dive, a front 2 1/2 somersaults with one twist, came in the third round for 65.70 points. Despite a front 3 1/2 pike in the fourth round that only resulted in 53.01 points and allowed China to lead by 19.14 points, the pair was able to hold onto second. Russia’s Tatiana Stepanova and Daria Selvanovskaia placed third with 248.40 points.
At the Madrid Grand Prix, Palmer and Gibson scored 271.89 points to take third.
The pair began the first two rounds in second place with an inward 1/2 pike and a back 1/2 pike for 49.80 and 44.40 points. The American teammates slipped to third in the third round after a front 2 1/2 somersaults with 1 twist only scored 58.50 points. In the fourth round the duo dove a front 3 1/2 pike for 67.89 points, their highest score of the day, allowing Gibson and Palmer to hold onto their spot at third. Holland’s Inge Jansen and Celine Van Duijn finished 3.24 points ahead of Gibson and Palmer to clinch the silver medal.
For most aspiring Olympic athletes like Palmer, her diving is virtually a full-time job and a tough grind.
“You’re never paid very well,” said Palmer, who added she supplements her income by coaching at the Nevada Diving Center in Reno.
But for Palmer it’s all about her love of the sport and the chance to possibly compete in Tokyo in 2020.
“Most definitely, it’s always been a dream of mine to qualify for the Olympic Games,” she said.
Based on her results in 3-meter springboard individual and synchronized diving, Palmer could even have a chance to medal, although she’s not getting ahead of herself. She did say, “A medal would definitely be a dream come true.”
And Palmer has set no timetable as far as how long she’ll keep diving.
“As long as my body holds up,” said Palmer about how long she’ll continue to dive. “I love the sport. If I still love it, I’m going to continue to do it.”