US Olympic Diving Team 2012: Updated News & Analysis for America's Squad

Alex HallCorrespondent IIIJune 24, 2012

US Olympic Diving Team 2012: Updated News & Analysis for America's Squad

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    The 2012 London Olympics mark the 27th anniversary of diving joining the list of sports contested at the summer games, and Team USA will look to redeem themselves after a less-than-stellar performance last time around.

    The U.S. finished with no medals in diving at the 2008 summer games, but the team has a chance to be a more legitimate threat in London than they were in Beijing.

Key Athletes

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    The U.S. has a chance to take home some gold, silver or bronze across the pond, but all that rides on the backs of these three athletes:

     

    Troy Dumais

    Veteran Olympic-goer Dumais has represented his country in the last three summer games but has failed to take home any hardware yet on the world's grandest stage.

    Just because the former Texas Longhorn hasn't shined on the Olympic stage doesn't mean he's to be taken lightly, though. He and his synchronized three-meter springboard partner Kristian Ipsen won their event at the 2011 National Championships and USA Diving's Athlete Award in 1997 and 2006.

    The two found themselves competing against one another Sunday at the Olympic trials in the individual three-meter springboard event, however. Dumais held off his usual partner for the second-place spot with Ipsen finishing third. Dumais and Ipsen won the synchronized three-meter springboard event.

    The team of Dumais and Ipsen have had success when the spotlight is on them, and they'll need to do so once again when they lights shine brightest in London.

     

    Chris Colwill

    Colwill certainly put together the most entertaining path to the summer games Sunday, when he rallied from third place in the men's three-meter springboard, all the way to first.

    The 27-year-old is another member of the 2008 team who failed to medal, but he showed clutch-like ability when he closed the over 42-point gap between himself and Dumais to capture first place at the Olympic trials.

    It's never great to hear that three of the divers being sent to the games for Team USA didn't take home any titles back in 2008, but these men look hungry to do so this time around.

     

    Brittany Viola

    Unlike her teammates, Viola is no Olympic veteran; in fact London will mark her first time competing on this stage.  

    Viola didn't just qualify, she didn't rally like Colwill, she just dominated. In nothing short of an epic performance, the Minnesota-born diver won the 10-meter platform event by almost 60 points Sunday, with Katie Bell trailing far behind in second.

    The University of Miami graduate nearly qualified for the 2004 games in Athens, but was narrowly beaten out by Laura Wilkinson (who was the last U.S. diver to medal at the Olympics with her 10-meter platform gold in 2000). That being said, this is not 2004.

    Viola has had plenty of time to progress her talent and if she can put together a similar performance when the actual games kick off, she'll easily medal in the 10-meter platform.

U.S. Chances and Challengers in London

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    The short answer to this is, well, everybody. The more imposing challengers though, are China and Australia.

    Both nations finished first and second respectively in the Beijing games, with China dominating in the gold-medal department. The host nation took home seven gold medals four years ago.

    Australia is another team to keep an eye on in London, with the defending Olympic gold medalist in 10-meter platform, Matthew Mitcham, leading the nation's team to Great Britain.

    It will surely be an uphill battle for the Americans just as it was four years ago, but there is a small amount of hope that the underdog can take out the established names when the diving events get underway.

When to Watch

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    Unfortunately for diving junkies, the wait for the Olympic events to kick off are still over a month away, with the women kicking things off with three-meter springboard on July 28. Various events will take place from that date until finishing on August 11 with the men's 10-meter platform.

     

    Television

    NBC Universal and NBCOlympics.com are the one-stop shops for all things diving and Olympics in general.

     

    Venue Information

    London will show off their brand new Aquatics Centre specifically designed by architect Zaha Hadid for the 2012 games. 

    In an interesting design feature, two-thirds of spectators will enter the venue via a bridge that forms part of the roof.

Prediction

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    The prideful American in me would like to say that Team USA will shock the world and take home first place in every event, but the issue is reality.

    Even the biggest names that the U.S. is sending to lead the diving team are medal-less, while the juggernauts of the world like China and Australia, along with Russia and Canada, are going to prove to be tough nations for the team to overcome in all events.

    The three-meter springboard seems to be America's best hope to take home a gold medal. With Chris Colwill, Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen competing, the U.S. couldn't ask for any better names to try to medal in that event.

    Overall, it shouldn't be a repeat performance like Beijing in which America's diving team came home without bronze, silver or gold to their names

    Just don't go telling your friends the U.S. is going to dominate across the board.