Q&A: McCormick on Olympics

Riley McCormick (left) and Cameron Bradshaw of the ASU diving team train on a trampoline during a Jan. 13, 2011 practice. (Photo by Michael Arellano)

ASU junior Riley McCormick is headed to the biggest stage of his life once again.

With the help of a one-year hiatus away from collegiate competition, the diver placed first in the 10-meter platform in the Canadian Olympic Diving Trials last month and qualified for his second Olympic Games.

McCormick is one of several current and former Sun Devils that will compete inLondonnext month.

The State Press caught up with McCormick and talked about how he made the Canadian national team, his feelings prior to the Olympics and coming back to ASU next semester.

The State Press: How were you able to place first in the diving trials last month?

Riley McCormick: I’ve been training very, very hard this year. I took the year off from ASU and just focused more on diving. That was just my main focus and just training for this meet.

Basically, everything came together. It was one of those days where everything that can go right pretty much does. I was very thankful, and it was very stressful leading up to it, especially the fact I took that year off. Had I not done well there and had I not have been in the Olympics, it would have been a waste of a year. I was very happy with how things went, and now I’m training hard and looking forward to the Games.

SP: How has that extra time training benefited you more, and what did you work on?

RM: There were a few big things that helped. One was that I didn’t have classes or anything that goes against training. I focused everything on training, whether it’s nutrition, recovery, the rest, everything like that. There was so much time for that.

Training indoors was another thing. Elements never become a problem, and it will never get too cold in the water. It’s been pretty good because I had control over those things.

SP: What has been the most difficult challenge on your journey?

RM: Probably just staying motivated each day. I was training pretty much by myself over here (in Canada) and going into practice each day can be a little difficult. There weren’t actually too many other challenges this year, which I’ve been pretty thankful for. It’s been smooth, and I’m really excited for what’s coming next.

SP: You’ve been on this stage before in Beijing. How do you feel knowing that you just punched your ticket to the Olympics once again?

RM: It’s a great feeling. I was trying so hard just to put everything in place, so that feeling was more of relief. When I made it the first time to Beijing, it was just so exciting. So far, it’s just about trying to make it so I can focus on the real goal.

SP: Talk about what’s it like being an Olympian. How is it being among the world’s best athletes and in that environment in general?

RM: It’s pretty cool. It’s a great sense of pride. One of the coolest things at the Games is walking around seeing all of the famous athletes and people everywhere, and they’re there for the same thing as you are and you’re pretty much equal at that point.

Outside of the Games, it’s always something I’ll have to my name.

SP: Measuring your competition, how well do you believe you could finish in this year’s Olympics?

RM: I’m looking toward the top ten. I got 16th in Beijing and currently I rank ninth in the world, and I’ve been ninth for a few years now. Anything can help on any given day in my sport, so I’m keeping my eyes open and I will see what happens.

SP: When you return to ASU, what are your goals for the rest of your collegiate career?

RM: I would love to win at the NCAAs. I got second in my freshman year, and that would definitely be the biggest thing. On the other side, definitely getting my grades up and start focusing on what’s after diving and after school.

 

Reach the reporter at jnacion@asu.edu

 

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