Dumais travels to London for fourth Olympic Games

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Kristian Ipsen, left, and Troy Dumais start a dive in the men’s 3-meter synchronized springboard final at the U.S. Olympic diving trials on June 22 in Federal Way, Wash. The pair won the event, and will join 14 additional divers from eight nations in search of a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. (Courtesy of the Associated Press)

A veteran on the diving board, Troy Dumais uses age and experience as an advantage when he steps up to the 3-meter platform to perform a dive.

The 32 year-old Texas alumni is one of the oldest competitors aiming to bring home a medal as he heads to London for his fourth consecutive Olympic Games.

Dumais is only the second American to qualify four times, but he is the first American to actually make the trip.

“It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been to the Olympics,” Dumais said. “It’s the idea of the hard work.”

This past week, Dumais qualified at the US Olympic diving trials in Federal Way, Wash. Dumais, along with Stanford diver Kristian Ipsen, took first place in the synchronized 3-meter springboard event, narrowly edging out Longhorn Drew Livingston.

With the win, Dumais became one of the first Longhorns to qualify for the trip to London. Dumais also qualified for the individual 3-meter springboard event with a second place finish at the trials.

On the national level, Dumais has a vast collection of hardware from many Pan American Games, world cups, world championships and other national meets. For the Longhorns, Dumais was a seven-time individual NCAA Champion.

“Being a part of the Longhorn family is truly unique,” Dumais said. “And then to qualify for the Olympics representing and being Longhorn, that’s an even greater achievement.”

At his fourth games, Dumais hopes to live up to personal pressure and expectations and finally bring home a medal. Doing so would make him the first of his siblings to bring home an Olympic medal. Dumais is joined on the diving board by two brothers, Justin and Dwight. Justin, an Olympian from the 2004 games, is attempting to qualify for his second games while Dwight is hoping to qualify for his first.

“Growing up, I did watch the Olympics,” Dumais said. “I just wanted to be a part of it ... this will be my fourth one, and going for my fifth one to qualify and it doesn’t get easier, but still to this day I can’t even describe the feelings and emotions that are involved. There are no words.”

Even after 16 years of competing on the big stage, the meaning of it all still has not escaped Dumais. Over the past several decades, the United States has established itself as one of the perennial powers in the pool. In 2008, the US Olympic team came home with 31 medals, 12 of them gold. The last time the United States did not lead the medal count was in 1988, when it was edged out by East Germany.

“Representing Team USA — you’re the top 1 percent of athletes in the United States,” Dumais said. “It’s an amazing feat. Just to wear the colors and be with the other top athlete — that’s their goal, that’s their dream and the atmosphere it creates is a phenomenal feat.”

So after so many years, how does he do it?

“It’s all mental,” Dumais said. “I mean if you walk up on the board knowing that you are going to do everything fine, chances are you’re going to do everything fine. There are just trillions and trillions of things that could go wrong and you have to have the utmost confidence.”