Longhorn Olympic Trials Q&A: Troy Dumais
June 7, 2012
AUSTIN, Texas -- Former Texas Longhorn and international diving standout Troy Dumais is currently preparing for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in his pursuit of becoming the first American four-time Olympic diver.
Dumais has represented the red, white and blue as a USA Diving National Team member for 17 years and is looking to add to an already impressive list of diving achievements on both national and international levels. In addition to being a three-time Olympian, he is a 35-time national champion, a four-time World Championship and three-time Diving World Cup medalist and has also medaled six times at the Pan-American Games. As a Longhorn, Dumais was also a seven-time NCAA Champion.
TexasSports.com recently caught up with Dumais on training, the benefits of his Olympic experience and his dedication to giving back to the Texas family.
How much is your quest to become the first four-time Olympian in American diving history at the forefront of your mind as you train for the 2012 Trials? It crosses my mind here and there, especially when people talk about it. But it doesn't matter how many times I've been to the Olympics. It's the idea of the hard work that you put through for the quadraniums before the Olympics. Unfortunately, after every Olympics I've felt like I've let myself down and I didn't prepare in the best way with regards to training for those times. It's a unique sport but it also is a frustrating sport, especially when the Olympics come around, because you have to be there, you have to be processed, you have to do that, but then we don't compete until the third and fourth week of the Olympics.
Can you describe the relationship you have with your training partners, particularly your brothers? It brings back childhood memories of how we did it and how we got along and how we pushed each other to continue doing it. So that dynamic has always been a benefit because it's always pushed us to be better. I enjoy competing and training with my brothers because I like to help them out and I like to see them do well, but what stinks is when in competition and mostly in training, you have to be selfish and you have to pay attention to what you do and how you go about doing things. I've always been someone (like) that, even with my competitors here, Drew (Livingston). Or my synchro partner (Kristian Ipsen), he's a teammate of mine in synchro, but then in individuals we are competitors. I'm always a person that likes to help out and see if maybe a correction I can give them will better them because ultimately if it betters them, it's going to push me to be better.
Does having competed in three previous Olympics work to your benefit training to earn the right to compete in your fourth? In a sense yes, in a sense no. Yes, I'm supposed to be wiser, I'm supposed to know what it is, but there is no right or wrong way of doing something. I am learning now there are completely wrong ways of doing things. I used to never want to get out of the water. I would do 10 repetitions of the same dive and until I hit it, I would never go on to push myself to just get it done. But I've also realized that quantity is not what wins a meet. It's quality. And I've had to take a step back and though it's hard at times because I always wanted to do another one, my recovery rate isn't as it used to be.
That's what diving is. It's all mental. I mean if you walk up on the board knowing that you are going to do everything fine, chances are you're going to do everything fine. There are just trillions and trillions of things that could go wrong and you have to have the utmost confidence.
What does it feel like to be part of the United States Olympic Team? Growing up, I did watch the Olympics and I did watch athletes coming in and I just wanted to be a part of it. Everyone asks me to this day what it feels like being a part of an Olympics team. This will be my fourth one and going for my fifth one to qualify and it doesn't get easier, but still to this day I can't even describe the feelings and emotions that are involved. There are no words. If I could take it out and then inject it into somebody else what the motions and feelings would be, I don't even think they would be able to describe it.
What does it mean to represent not only the U.S. but also The University of Texas? First of all, representing Team USA, you're the top one percent of the athletes in the United States. There are a lot of athletes and there are only 650 that usually go. It's an amazing feat. Just to wear the colors and be with the other top athletes, that's their goals, that's their dreams and the atmosphere it creates is a phenomenal feat.
The University of Texas gave me a full-ride scholarship. Matt Scoggin had never had a full-ride diver. I've been the only diver to get a full-ride scholarship to The University of Texas because the swimming and diving team is so strong. My goal is to ultimately bring others and show them that this is not only a sport and a university but also a team to be reckoned with. Being a part of the Longhorn family is truly unique and not only do I get to do that on an academic level, I get to do that as an athlete and there are not a whole lot of people who can say that. And then to qualify for the Olympics representing and being a Longhorn, that's an even greater achievement.