NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Laura Wilkinson may have to fight back tears when she steps onto the diving platform for the final time during the Beijing Olympics.
Photo by Peter Bick/AfterImage Photos
"It's kind of bittersweet," Wilkinson said. "It's my third Olympics, but it's also going to be my last Olympics. It's kind of a farewell at the same time. I get really excited but really emotional about it a lot."
Wilkinson, who won a gold medal in Sydney in 2000 and finished fifth in Athens in 2004, will begin her competition in the women's 10-meter platform event on Wednesday.
It won't be the first time that Wilkinson has gotten emotional on the platform. Ten years ago, during the 1998 Goodwill Games, she had an experience during her competition that changed her life. But first, some stage-setting is necessary.
Wilkinson became a Christian when she was 8 and "really got into church and God's Word and was really excited about it," she said.
That lasted until her freshman year of high school. That's when she began noticing some people from her church youth group acting one way at church and a different way outside of church. Such hypocrisy made her uncomfortable, and Wilkinson slowly stopped going to church altogether. She became just like those people, she admits.
In her sophomore year in college, she hit the bottom. Her grades started falling. Read More