Olson back tucks back to state

Christian Lewis, Editor in Chief

The slow and steady walk out onto the ominous diving board. So many questions begin to arise. The most intimidating of which is, how to get down. But the answer to that is obvious. Jump. The diving board has always been viewed as a perilous plight for kids across the nation, and at Peninsula, the very bane of students existence. For Gideon Olson on the other hand, it is not only his friend, but the very tool that has lead him to success throughout his high school career.

Olson has been an active member of the swim and dive team since his freshman year in the 2011-2012 school year. Prior to this he was in a very different environment, the wrestling mats at Harbor Ridge.

Despite this, dive ran in his blood. “My dad dove in high school, so he was a pretty big influence, and I guess I saw the thrill in it,” Olson said, “I thought it was a good opportunity to try something new.”

The change of scenery from the mats to the pool suited Olson well. Since then, he has been to the state dive competition for the last two years, placing 16th his sophomore year, and sixth overall last year.

But not all of this has come easy for Olson. He explained that there is a lot of failure in the sport, and sometimes it hurts, but each time you make a mistake, you have to hop right back onto that board and try again to learn from that mistake to make yourself better.

One person who attributed to Olson’s success was the coach of the dive team, Liz Litsch. Litsch explained that dive is an incredibly hard sport because pain is simply part the learning experience, divers must “wear bruises like trophies” because they are bound to happen just because of the nature of how they practice.

That being said, in order to be successful, “divers must be athletic, have a good work ethic, have spacial awareness, but all these things can be learned,” Litsch said.

For Olson, he developed such skills through hard work and perseverance, “He is really willing to learn, he is strong, quick and seldom misses a practice, he is willing to learn.” Litsch said.

For many athletes one of the hardest things is to stay dedicated. Along with competitive diving for the school, he pole vaults on the track team as well as doing trampoline at Mile High Gymnastics on the side.

In order to stay focused “you have to have the right mindset, you have to practice and be dedicated to it.” Olson said, “because there is a lot of failure in the sport, you have to persevere to make it to the top”

This season, Olson has made it to districts and is hoping once again to make it to the state competition. This year he is hoping to place in the top three positions to better his previous standing from last year at sixth place.