Matthew Mitcham, the Australian diver who won the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has written an autobiography, which is now available in bookshops and amazon.com. His book, Twist and Turns, is also available on Kindle.
The media is currently focusing on his shortcomings mentioned in Twist and Turns, but I want to focus on his accomplishments. Not everyone can win a gold medal. This quote from his writing really touched me:
I walked to the end of the platform and, turned around and adjusted my foot position. All the background noise was completely drowned out by an uncanny silence. The infinite rows of spectators on either side of me faded to nothing. Time slowed down. I inhaled, exhaled and took off. I saw the lights in the ceiling and the bright blue water below, my body instantly snapping into my most difficult dive, the back two and a half somersault with two half twists. My take-off was explosive, my movements fluid. Seconds later when I entered the water, neat and straight, I knew I had done well. Maybe very well.
I stayed under water for as long as my lungs would allow me, wondering if perhaps I had done well enough to exceed my every expectation and win an Olympic silver medal.
I surfaced to the sound of the crowd going bananas, and my mum and my boyfriend, Lachlan, were leaping out of their seats… and my coach, Chava, was jumping up and down with his arms in the air, grinning from ear to ear.. That’s when I knew I had done it. Something incredible had happened.
Later, people would remark they were surprised that a gold medal and fame hadn’t changed me. I always responded, ‘Why would I change? Being me was the easiest person to be.’
I was lying. It wasn’t.
Matthew’s amazing final dive in the Beijing Olympics drew four perfect 10 scores from judges and achieved a score of 112.10, the highest single-dive score in Olympic history. He was the first Australian male to win an Olympic gold medal in diving since 1924.
Mitcham placed fourth on the 10 metre platform in the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in Rome.
At the 2010 Commonwealth Games, Mitcham won four silver medals.
In December 2011, Mitcham returned from an abdominals injury to win the Australian 10-meter platform with 480.05 points.
Matthew Mitcham was named Male Diver of the Year 2012.
Mitcham placed 13th in the semifinals of the 10m event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, narrowly missing the mark to qualify for the finals.
And he can do it again. The best of luck to this great athlete!
Closeup of handsome diver, Matthew Mitcham
The sexy athlete, Matthew Mitcham, shirtless