According to the Washington Post, Johnson was back on the diving platform a mere month after the incident. Johnson feels fortunate to be competing at all. Both divers stressed their identity isn’t wrapped up in winning a medal. “We are fortunate,” Jill said. By his second birthday, he was jumping comfortably off the diving board with his parents nearby yelling, “Kick your feet” so the tiny tot would get to safety. There was no traumatic brain injury, no spinal injury. Steele grew up in church, which is to say if he wasn’t diving or studying schoolwork at home, he probably was attending youth group. Johnson told Team USA reporter Rebecca Harris. They knew going in that he could get hurt even with proper training. The story is a part of Steele’s life that God is using, but reliving the moment by video wouldn’t help anybody. Steele Johnson almost died on the diving platform. That moment almost changed the trajectory of his life as well as the life of his young diver. At one point during the year, Soldati said Steele apologized to his teammates for being inconsiderate of their NCAA needs as he chased Rio. “It was a glorious moment for all of us, and all of the other athletes that watched it were clapping,” Wingfield said, his tone growing excited even seven years later. We made it easy for you to exercise your right to vote! Seven years ago, I was on my death bed, and now seven years later I’m an Olympic medalist. Diver Steele Johnson, owner of a fabulous name, won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics in 10m men's synchronized diving. “It was truly an accident.”. ANGELS CAMP, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2019) — A driver identified as Dan Tzur was killed and two others were injured Sunday in a collision on Highway 4 at Stockton Road.. Kristina Steele, of Hayward, was riding in a car driven by Matthew Steele when Tzur’s vehicle pulled out of a driveway into their path on at Highway 4 near Stockton Road. Leading into their silver-winning dive, a back 2 ½ somersault 2 ½ twists—Boudia and Steele gave each other a fist bump and got into position on the platform. If something didn’t go great, I could still find joy because I’m at the Olympics competing with the best person, the best mentor, just one of the best people to be around.”. “But when he said he wanted to go on, that’s when we had to look at each other and say, ‘OK, we said if our kid is going to get severely injured or possibly die we’d rather it happen while doing something he loves rather than live a life of regret, because anything can happen,” Jill said. They trained together. He hated talking about it. “If I was going at a faster rate hitting the water, I could’ve torn more of my scalp open.”. Things happen. In fact, he had completed it successfully a day or so before the incident. The blood’s rushing to his head!'”. He opened up about the accident in the above video and a … Steele’s parents haven’t seen the footage and don’t want to. He climbed the stairs roughly three stories to the top of the 10-meter platform, which from that vantage point appears almost 5 stories high when you consider the pool below holds 17 feet of water. They’re grateful for the decision Wingfield made. By There’s always a definite purpose about himself with what it is he’s going to do.”. “I even think Steele getting 13th (individually) was totally God because it’s the, ‘OK, are you still going to say God got me here? Steele Johnson's childhood in photos, from his freak diving accident to goofing around with his brother and snorkeling. “I could have stopped diving, I could have gone back to middle school and just been a normal kid and played different sports like football or soccer.”. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E) They know each other. They have to work up to it, and their degree of dive difficulty also increases as they demonstrate competency. Contact Us. Home They’re grateful for the decision Wingfield made. The Steele Johnson Story: Olympic Silver Medal Was No Accident, Listen to Steele share more of his story with Billy Graham Radio. In 2009, at age 12, he was practicing his favorite dive, a triple reverse somersault in a tuck position — watch for him to ace it in the men’s individual platform diving in Rio — when he cracked his skull on a concrete platform, sliced open his scalp and fell 33 feet into the pool. Why Police Officers Unflinchingly Answer the Call, Will Graham Encourages Law Enforcement at Appreciation Dinner, Virtual Christmas Conference Uplifts Spanish-Speaking Pastors, An Interview With Retired Army Ranger Edward Graham, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201 “There’s certainly a flood of emotion that goes through me,” said Wingfield, a professing believer who strives for a Christ-centered environment for his athletes. “The amount of growth that that kid has had in the past six months has been just so cool to see God wanting to change his desires in what he wants to worship, and it’s been really neat to be able to be on this journey with him.”. Soldati, who once told his church that he’s a follower of Christ who happens to be a diving coach, commends Steele for staying engaged in spiritual discipline, especially under the bright lights of athletic stardom. U.S. diver Steele Johnson won a silver medal Monday in Rio de Janeiro with teammate David Boudia for men’s synchronized 10-meter platform diving. After winning his silver medal, Johnson talked about how easy it could have been for him to walk away from the sport he loves. He preferred the freedom of water wings to the captivity of the inflatable baby raft. Johnson’s account of the injury in a video posted. Earlier this year, the aspiring communications major shared his perspective for the first time on his video blog. I had to think about what happened and had we done everything right and was this a skill he should or shouldn’t have been doing?”. “I have so many issues with trying to think of things, trying to remember things,” Johnson explained. The story is a part of Steele’s life that God is using, but reliving the moment by video wouldn’t help anybody. Divers descend from the 10 meter platform at roughly 33 mph, and the impact was enough to fully open the cut on his scalp. Permissions Meet Simone Biles, America’s New Gymspiration, Ibtihaj Muhammad Didn’t Win A Medal, But She Still Scored An Olympic Victory. “When something like that happens in your life, a near-death experience, you don’t know where you’re going to be going with your life,” Johnson told Team USA reporter Rebecca Harris. He took a deep breath like he was trained to do. After the incident, Johnson was close to never diving again. Something else important to point out is divers don’t start their careers on the 10-meter platform. Steele Johnson proves acting chops in ‘Blood and Water ... played by Johnson, as he suffers a horrific accident at practice and struggles to get back on … Steele’s parents haven’t seen the footage and don’t want to. Seven years after his accident, Johnson, an Indiana native, posted a video on YouTube to retell the nearly tragic day on Jan. 21, 2009. He came out and had a smile even though we knew he wasn’t thrilled.”. Part of HuffPost News. Success. “He was one of those kids who preferred to be upside down instead of right-side up,” Steele’s mother Jill said, remembering how her husband Bill would flip baby Steele as some dads are apt to do. We will say that until our dying day.”. “It almost ended my career, too. “He started doing backflips [off the diving board by age 3-4], and then he started doing inwards and reverses, and I thought he was going to kill himself,” Jill said. “If I was maybe a centimeter closer to the platform, I could’ve fractured my skull,” he said. If something went great, I was happy. Johnson has been diving since he … He had successfully completed the progressions and even collected some more medals at the 2009 Junior Pan American Games. As an Olympic diver, Steele still sees the world upside down at times, flipping from the platform. “All of the things that could have happened, he walked away with a cut and a minor concussion. “I was just still trying to get everything for me, and saying I was doing it for Jesus, but I really didn’t know who Jesus was. And he wants to glorify Him in whatever he’s doing. He revealed in the video that he has since struggled with his memory, both short- and long-term. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. He had a cut and a minor concussion. Brent began his career in public service over 20 years ago as a volunteer firefighter and EMS medic in Chesterfield County. “It’s hard for me to remember people’s names when I meet them for the first time.”. Steele Johnson Almost Died Diving — Now, He's Won An Olympic Medal Doing It. “[He] never did dive in high school because he didn’t attend a regular high school,” Jill said. In fact, he has declined interviews about it up until this point. Steele’s parents attended a Billy Graham Crusade in Indianapolis, and Jill’s parents even volunteered for one in Amsterdam. “He’s incredibly focused. Steele, being the amazing diver that he is, had this horrible accident and now the reverse three and a half is his favorite dive. I was too caught up and wanted my own way. The show, which was rebooted in 2016 after its initial airing in 1956, is hosted by Anthony Anderson. In February 2015, a stress fracture was found in his right foot. They’re free to be completely honest with one another, which is liberating because standing atop a platform 33 feet in the air in nothing but a speedo can be mind game enough. Steele Johnson's childhood in photos, from his freak diving accident to goofing around with his brother and snorkeling. Diving almost cost the Olympian his life seven years ago. “And that’s when we said, ‘Yeah we did.’”. It’s one of his best dives, and that’s mind blowing to me. The young diver’s coach, John Wingfield, jumped into the pool to save him. On the morning of July 6, 2013, the Boeing 777-200ER crashed on final approach into San Francisco International Airport. U.S. diver Steele Johnson won a silver medal Monday in Rio de Janeiro with teammate David Boudia for men’s synchronized 10-meter platform diving. This man, Bill Johnson, used to tell funny stories about this and that, but mostly, he talked about his son, Steele Johnson, the young Carmel-bred diver from Purdue who will be going to the Rio Olympics in a few short weeks.Steele, he would tell me and anybody else within earshot, was the real deal, a diving star who would stand astride the diving world as one of the sport’s elite. But something for Steele, personally, was missing. Dan Tzur, 60, Killed; 2 Injured in Crash on Stockton Road. Steele completed about one and a half somersaults when his head scraped the edge of the platform. Toll Free: 1-877-247-2426. Local: 704-401-2432 He landed on his head, which caused his scalp to become “ripped in half,” according to Johnson’s account of the injury in a video posted on the seven-year anniversary of the fall. It’s not always gonna be that drastic of a change, but just know God’s got a plan and His plan is for us to be conformed to the image of His Son daily.”. The most recent stop on their journey was Rio, where Boudia and Steele claimed a silver medal in the synchronized diving event. Suddenly, his head hit the concrete platform. He didn’t figure it out until he got to college. “The fact that I was going into this event knowing that my identity is rooted in Christ and not what the result of this competition is just gave me peace,” Steele told NBC reporter Kelli Stavast after competing in his first Olympic event. Thirty-three staples and a plastic drainage tube later, Steele was discharged from the hospital. This event wasn’t a story for him; it was real life. The injury nearly cost him his life. It was Jan. 21, 2009. The pain was manageable, so he put off potential surgery. Senior Radio Producer Phil Fleischman contributed to this story. *A line consists of roughly 25-30 characters including letters, spaces, and punctuation. “For me, having my child make this choice and also being willing to proclaim not just to his friends and family but also on national TV, that’s really encouraging, and actually, it’s kind of a good reminder to me about what it’s like to step out on faith,” Jill said. Although accidents in diving are extremely rare, on January 21 in 2009 at age 12, Steele struck his head on a concrete platform doing a reverse 3 ½ … But the Purdue junior is unapologetic about another view even as it loses popularity with his peers, many of whom refuse religion. The video of the dive was erased shortly after the accident and Johnson … Wingfield doesn’t like to talk about the accident. Remembering the incident during a phone call recently, Wingfield paused to collect himself upon learning what Jill said. It was a year, many dryland training sessions (think gymnastics with a diving twist) and lots of dives later before Steele attempted the reverse 3 ½ again. He tucked and somersaulted in reverse three-and-a-half times, unfolding to pierce the water just in time. “With the amount of blood that I lost, it’s likely that I could’ve died,” Johnson said in his video. Jill was encouraged by the way her son took a stand for his faith–and not just a faith in God, but one in Jesus. “We kind of looked at each other and I said, ‘You’re ready,’” Wingfield recalled. “Steele will be one of those guys, he’ll always be doing extra workouts on his own,” Bonhotal said. 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