Laura Wilkinson is a former American diver and Olympic gold medalist. Growing up, Wilkinson was a gymnast, but she had to give up the sport after a growth spurt and puberty made her too tall to continue. After having to stop gymnastics, Wilkinson turned to diving. When Wilkinson first started diving, she was told that she was too old to start a new sport and was later kicked off of her high school team. Wilkinson’s interest in diving occurred while she was swimming in a gym’s pool and she witnessed a young female diver in-training executes an impressive dive. Wilkinson was 15 years old when she first jumped off the 10-meter platform. In 195, she joined the U.S. national team where she took up platform diving. Wilkinson participated in the 2000 Summer Olympics where she earned the first gold medal for an American platform diver since 1964. During the 2004 Summer Olympics, Wilkinson finished fifth. On June 26, 2008, she qualified as a member of the 2008 U.S. Olympic team in diving where she took first place in the Olympic trial. She retired after these events.
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