Rio roller coaster ride | Amanda's Blog
Published 17 August 2016 (AEDT) | Author Amanda Main
Amanda Main - Grant Nel's fiancé (diving)
The Team Nel cheer squad consisted of myself, my mum, Grant's mum, dad and brother, and a few other Diving Australia people, as well as many people back in Australia who were up at 4:15am ready to cheer from their living rooms.
Grant's sister Tracey had organized some awesome 'Team Nel' t-shirts and we were looking great and super revved up before Grant's preliminary event. We were also nervous and slightly sweaty as the sun was burning down on us as we waited outside the stadium.
Once we took our seats in the stands I had to pinch myself - we are about to watch Grant compete at the freeking OLYMPICS!!
All the athletes started marching out in their country's track suits. Grant's name was announced and the crowd erupted! It made me so proud to see his name up on the big screen and he had biggest grin on his face as he waved up to us in the crowd.
This Olympics, for the first time since 1992, the diving was at an outdoor venue. When we walked into the venue this didn't even phase us but as the first diver took his place on the board the weather changed dramatically, it became extremely windy and big clouds started rolling in. This rattled so many of the best divers in the world and two of the top divers didn't even progress through to the semifinals because how much of an impact the weather had on their mindset.
I am so proud of the way Grant handled himself on the Olympic stage. He absolutely nailed his forward four and a half somersaults and he finished in the top 18 divers which meant he made it into the semi-finals!!!
The Team Nel cheer squad were cheering their hearts out to help get him across the line and we were so proud and excited to be coming back in the morning for the semi-finals.
Semi-finals were just as intense as the preliminary round. Many of the divers had trouble with the sun being directly above them as it became blinding and made it very difficult to spot the water. These are not the conditions that many divers around the world train in (inside with no sun or wind) so it's always frustrating for the athletes when you can't put forward your best performance because of the conditions.
But as they say, the show must go on.
Grant finished up 15th in the semi's which meant he just missed out on going through to the finals. Only the top 12 go through. I know he was aiming to make the finals and was disappointed to not achieve that goal.
While it's not the result Grant would have wanted, I am so proud of him for making the Olympic team and also the semi-finals! Not many people can dedicate upwards of 30 hours per week for 19 years of their life to a sport.
It gives me great pleasure to say that Grant Nel, you are officially an Olympian!!