Laura Wilkinson, 39, aiming for Olympic comeback
THE WOODLANDS, Texas – It's been almost a decade since Laura Wilkinson retired from diving but now, at age 39, the Olympic gold medalist is planning a comeback.
"I want to train for Tokyo. I think I still have it in me," said Wilkinson.
Wilkinson has been considering the idea of making a return to diving for a while now, and watching the 2016 Olympics in Rio as a commentator only reinforced her decision.
"Summer was kind of hard. It was fun to be on the pool deck and get to watch everybody and feel like I was in it, but at the same time it was really emotional because I hadn't talked to anybody about what I wanted to do and what my goals were. It was a very emotional time. I was excited for people but I was envious. I wanted to be in there," she said.
Wilkinson is the last U.S. woman to win an individual diving medal, and back when she was training the first time, she would spend almost eight hours a day at the pool. This time around she has cut back.
"I know I have to be smart. I have to train wisely and I have to make sure I'm recovering properly and that I'm not going to get injured. I know being older, even though I feel good, I know the risk of injury is a little bit higher," she said.
Wilkinson, who is the mother of three children, said the comeback is only possible because of her husband.
"I'm very blessed to have a very supportive husband. He's working out of our house right now so he's staying home with the kids more often. It's a lot of juggling and a lot of planning," she said.
Wilkinson will compete next in College Station at the Texas Junior All-Star Challenge on March 16-19.
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