Kristian Ipsen Video Interview, U.S. Olympic Diver
The 2012 games in London were Kristian Ipsen's first Olympic appearance, and Ipsen, 19, had high hopes this summer, and he didn't disappoint, earning the bronze medal in the 3m snychro event with his diving partner Troy Dumais. In 2009, Ipsen and Dumais took home the silver medal at the Diving World Championships in Rome for the 3m synchro springboard event. Ipsen, who also competes in the 3m springboard individual event, has yet to win gold in a major international tournament, but he isn’t letting the pressure interfere with his game. “And I feel like when I just focus on myself and kind of block everything else out, that's when I do well,” Ipsen told Uinterview in our exclusive interview.
Ipsen describes his training in preparation for the games as “rigorous,” and if you’ve seen him up on the diving board you understand why. “Diving is a sport where you need to look good on the board and you're not wearing much [laughs],” he jokes. So what’s his secret? “We practice morning practices four days a week, afternoon practices six days a week. Then we do Pilates, weights, lots of different things,” comments Ipsen. Ouch.
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My fitness regimen has been pretty difficult. I've been trying to focus more on my nutrition, like focusing more on what I'm taking into my body because, before, when I was younger, I didn't really have to worry about it. But now that I've stopped growing — and I'm not that tall — [I do], and especially because diving is a sport where you need to look good on the board and you're not wearing much [laughs]. I feel like right now it's been helping, it's been helping me go in the water cleaner and without as much splash. For fitness and stuff we practice with my coach Rick Schavone, we practice morning practices four days a week, afternoon practices six days a week. Then we do pilates, weights, lots of different things. Some cross-training stuff, so it's been a lot. It's been really rigorous.
To get mentally prepared, I realized that I have to really focus on what's going on in my body, depending on what the meet is. Sometimes I get really really nervous, or sometimes I need to get more nervous or more anxious. I listen to a lot of music before. I bring noise-cancelling headphones with me so I can't hear what's going on outside. For me, when I start thinking too much about what's going on around me and what other divers are doing or what's going on in the facility, I kind of get away from what I need to focus on and what I need to do for my training. And I feel like when I just focus on myself and kind of block everything else out, that's when I do well.
That's a good question. I never planned on diving. I played a lot of different sports when I was younger, but my parents started me up in gymnastics when I was about six, and I did it for three weeks, but I started getting moved up into different age groups with people that were older than me, and when I was young I was really shy. It was tough for me to talk and interact with other people in older age groups. So then my parents tried swimming and I loved the water, but I got bored of going back and forth in the water. I needed something a little extra, so my parents found diving. It's kind of a combination of gymnastics and swimming.