Brittany Viola has never made it to the Olympics before—up until Sunday, that is.
And boy, did she do it in impressive fashion. The University of Miami graduate won the 10-meter platform by almost 60 points, receiving all nines from the judges on her second second-round dive.
Viola's dominance Sunday can be traced to her athletic genetics, as her father happens to be 1988 Cy Young Award winning pitcher Frank Viola. While their sports are far from similar, the Minnesota-born diver certainly channeled her father at the 2012 U.S. Diving Trials.
The newest edition to the Team USA diving team told Austin Lyon of the Orlando Sentinal:
It was wonderful to make the team and continue on a dream I've had for a long time. For me, it's just a miracle. It's a gift to be able to do what I'm going to do now.
While new to the Olympic scene, Viola is not a stranger to the big stages in her sport. She was the 2009 captain of the U.S. diving team at that year's World Aquatics Championship and was on the team again in 2011.
She also won the senior women platform championship at the 2011 National Championships and placed second at the U.S. Grand Prix in 2009.
Viola is heading into the 2012 London games off the greatest performance in her career, and that isn't something to simply shrug off. That's the all-important momentum that every athlete loves to feed off of when the lights are shining bright.
The field is no walk in the park for Viola though, with China the heavy favorite in most diving events. Since the 2000 Olympic games, the Chinese have taken 30 of a possible 72 medals while the U.S. has just one to its name.
Not to say that none of her competition is coming in with momentum themselves or have even better chances at taking home the three possible medals in her event, but Viola will bring her A-game if nothing else considering how hard she's tried to reach her sport's grandest stage.
There will not be anything easy about Viola's attempt at finishing in the top-three in the 10-meter, but neither was her dad's '88 Cy Young season.