UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS/OLYMPICS 2021

Gibson, Windle ready to represent Longhorns at Tokyo Olympics

By Zach Smith, Special to the Katy Times
Posted 7/19/21

Alison Gibson and Jordan Windle are resiliently optimistic.

That attitude has helped the pair of Longhorns stay even-keeled when the college and international competitions got tough.

But it …

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UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS/OLYMPICS 2021

Gibson, Windle ready to represent Longhorns at Tokyo Olympics

Posted

Alison Gibson and Jordan Windle are resiliently optimistic.

That attitude has helped the pair of Longhorns stay even-keeled when the college and international competitions got tough.

But it also boosted them to an elite level and helped them earn spots on the U.S. Diving Team, where they will represent the country at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

“Both of them consistently brush off any failures and get right back in with funnel focus, knowing that their next opportunity could go great,” Texas head diving coach and Team USA Diving assistant coach Matt Scoggin said.

Gibson will compete in the women’s synchronized 3-meter springboard, while Windle will take part in the 10-meter platform at the Tokyo Olympics, which runs from July 23 to Aug. 8.

Olympic officials announced last week that there would be no fans in the stands during the games due to riding COVID cases in Japan. Gibson and Windle won’t mind having a bit of pressure lifted.

“They’re pretty practiced with not having any fans in the stands,” Scoggin said. “They’re both really good at getting control of their breathing and staying relaxed.”

Gibson started swimming at the Texas Swimming Center when she was an eight-year-old. She was walking around the swimming pool and eventually met Scoggin, who suggested she give diving a shot.

“I was like, ‘No! I’m a swimmer! I’m going to go to the Olympics for swimming,” Gibson said.

When her youth swim program got a new coach a few months later that cut her days in the pool down, she asked her parents if she could spend one day in the diving well.

“I fell in love with the sport, and now Coach Scoggin is taking me to the Olympics,” Gibson said. “It kind of came full circle. The journey itself has been difficult, but I’ve had a lot of fun along the way.”

People always told Gibson that she had Olympic-level talent, but it was just the love of the sport that kept her going.

Gibson won the 2017 NCAA Title in 1-meter diving, won three Big 12 Championships, and is a four-time All-American. She has represented the United States on two occasions at the FINA World Championships and once at the World University Games.

When she did get burnt out or frustrated, Gibson reminds herself why she started diving and why she loves it so much.

“If you can remind yourself why you love what you’re doing, it revives your soul,” Gibson said.

Windle was born in Cambodia and adopted by Jerry Windle when he was an infant. His diving abilities were noticed when he was seven years old at a summer camp, and two years later, he won a National Title.

“My dad has sacrificed so much throughout my life,” Windle said. “He’s given me what I needed to succeed and I’m taking that as far as can, and so far, it’s worked out. The emotion he showed after the (Olympic Trials) showed how much love he has for me and it makes me want to work hard and make him proud.”

Windle’s career diving credentials are impressive and include six junior national championships, seven senior national championships and two Wold Championship qualifications with Team USA.

With the Longhorns, he was the NCAA Platform Champion in 2019 and 2021, is a nine-time All-American, five-time Big 12 Champion and was named the Big 12 Diver of the Year three years in a row.

“This is the biggest meet of anyone’s career, so I’m trying to treat it like an average meet," Windle said. “But in the back of my mind, I know this is going to be something incredible, and a great experience. This has been a 15-year journey, and I finally get to go to Olympics.”

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