23-year-old Olympic medalist and Chapel Hillian Nick McCrory announced his retirement from diving earlier this year. But he’s not putting the sport behind him just quite yet.
It wasn’t an easy decision to make after diving for 15 years, but he recently came to the conclusion that it was time to call it quits.
“It was really hard and a decision I didn’t want to make. I don’t remember not diving in my life. It’s always been a huge part of what I do and who I am so that was really tough and huge adjustment,” Nick says.
Nick’s decision was partly due to a degenerative knee condition that he’s been battling for several years. Eventually, the condition became too much to work around.
Nick’s mother, Ana McCrory, says that his time spent training and competing shaped him as person, and she believes that his experiences will benefit him as he moves forward.
“It was a wonderful, overall, wonderful experience for him and one he’ll never forget. And its really shaped him as a person, you know, its taught him how to interact with other people from different cultures. As well as how to control his.. you know he was always such an active child, and he had to learn a lot of self control and diving certainly did that for him,” Ana McCrory says.
Nick is currently living in Indiana, where he is preparing for medical school applications and volunteering alongside his coach, Drew Johansen.
“Well I mean I love coaching and Drew knows that. One of the things that I liked about him as a coach is his technical approach to the sport and how detail oriented he is. One of the things that he does is watch a lot of diving videos to help become a better coach. He knows that I love the technical side of the sport and coaching in that way, so that was kind of how the connection got made,” Nick says.
Ana McCrory can tell that Nick is really enjoying helping out Coach Johansen.
“He loves working with kids, loves teaching them, you know, all those diving skills that he knows. He gets great pleasure from seeing the kids learning things that he has taught them, so that’s been really nice,” Ana says.
Nick doesn’t know if this will lead to a career in coaching, but he hopes he’ll be able to stay involved with diving as he moves on to the next chapter in his life.
“I’m still figuring all that out. I do love to coach, I love the sport of diving. I don’t know right now if that’s a thing I’ll end up doing for a career. But whatever I end up doing, I do hope to stay involved in diving in some capacity whether it’s coaching on the side, or helping whatever program I am living nearby or various other things. I think diving is such a special thing that I always want to be involved in, in some way,” Nick says.