FEDERAL WAY, Wash. -- In four short years, Woodinville's Carrie Dragland has gone from high school gymnast to Olympic diving hopeful. Not bad, considering her first trip to the King County Aquatics Center.
"I jumped off the end of the board and I plugged my nose going in the water and everyone just laughed because I still didn't know how to go in without getting water in my nose," said the 22 year old University of Miami student.
She practiced with other Olympic hopefuls Friday at the Federal Way pool. Next June, she'll return for the 2012 Olympic Diving Trials.
"It's gonna be like being back home, just diving, having fun and doing the best that I can," she said.
Carrie is at the jumping off point of her Olympic career, but for others in the pool it could be their end of their Olympic dreams.
Troy Dumais started his Olympic career at the 2000 trials in Federal Way. Assuming he qualifies, London 2012 will be his final Olympic games. He's never won a medal, and hopes the fourth time is the charm.
But the veteran is also making it a priority to help newcomers like Carrie along. He offers her tips, advice and encouragement. She is giggly and excited. He is serious and all business.
Dumais knows how hard it is to be the best and understands a little inspiration can be good as gold.
"There's a gap from where someone is to where someone wants to be," he said. "If I can make that gap even a little bit shorter, so be it."
The Olympic dive team trials are a year away, but you can get on a pre-sale list for tickets right now by registering at www.2012usdivetrials.org.