American diver Troy Dumais is looking to earn his first Olympic medal at the Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia he was sixth off the three-meter springboard and finished fourth with teammate David Pichler in the men's three-meter synchronized competition.
Troy Dumais comes from a diving family, where his older brother Justin now competes with him in the synchronized event. His brothers Brice and Dwight and sister Leanne are also divers.
By the age of seven, his parents were driving him one hour each way to diving lessons. As he got older, Dumais traveled farther and farther to train.
The 24-year-old diver who trains in Texas won a record 19 junior national titles, sweeping all three events at the 1992 and 1993 National Junior Diving Championships.
The road to the top has not always been easy for him. Dumais has struggled with kidney stones during his career, particularly during the 1999-2001 summer seasons. He missed the 1999 World University Games in Spain after being taken to a hospital because of pain on his right side. Then he passed two kidney stones 16 hours before finals at the 2000 Olympic trials. He also had a minor case in 2001, but did not miss any major competitions.
Dumais was the 2002 and 2003 Speedo National three-meter diving champion and three-meter and platform synchronized diving champion with brother Justin. He is also a five-time U.S. Division One collegiate champion, including the 2000, 2001 and 2002 one-meter and three-meter champion.
His first place finishes in the men's three-meter springboard and the three-meter synchronized event with brother Justin at the U.S. Olympic Diving Team Trials secured him a spot on the Athens Olympics team.
Since the Sydney Olympics, Dumais has added three difficult dives to his six-dive list to keep up with his competition.
"You need to be doing the most difficult dives and be doing them better than last Olympics," he says. "Degree of difficulty of 3.5, 3.6, was as good as it got, now we are at 3.8, 3.9 and before you know it, it is going to be 4.0. People are doing front four-and-a-halfs versus three-and-a-halfs. This is going to be an Olympics to watch for any viewer, whether they do not know anything about it [the sport of diving] or they know a ton about it."
Troy Dumais believes that all the top divers have a chance of doing well at this year's Olympics.
"Everybody is basically at the same level in the world," he explains. "It is a whole different playground and whoever steps up and does it the best is going to pull out the win. It is who believes and who has the most confidence that are going to step up and do it at that time and be in the moment that will pull off the win."
Troy Dumais put his schoolwork on hold to train for the Athens Olympics. By the end of the year, he expects to graduate with a degree in exercise science from the University of Texas and hopes to become a physical therapist. But first he hopes to win an Olympic medal in diving.