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Steele Alexander Johnson (born June 16, 1996) is an American diver.[1] He has won multiple national titles at both the junior and college level.[2] He made his Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio Games where he won a silver medal with David Boudia in the men's 10 m synchronized platform diving competition.

Steele Johnson
Diving at the 2016 Summer Olympics – Men's synchronized 10 metre platform 11.jpg
Steele Johnson (left) and David Boudia at the Rio Olympics
Personal information
Full name Steele Alexander Johnson
National team  United States
Born (1996-06-16) June 16, 1996 (age 22)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Sport
Country United States
Event(s) 10m, 10m synchro
College team Purdue University
Club Boiler Diving Academy

Contents

Early lifeEdit

Johnson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, to Bill and Jill Johnson. He has an older brother Race and a younger sister Hollyn.[1][3] Race Johnson plays football for Purdue University, the same college Steele now attends. Johnson started diving when he was 7 years old.[1] He later earned his high school diploma from Laurel Springs School, an accredited, private, online school based in Ojai, California.

According to Johnson, on January 21, 2009 at the age of 12, he had what could have been a career- and life-ending injury. Johnson struck his head on the concrete platform during a reverse 3​12 somersault, in tuck position and had his scalp "ripped in half". He fell 33 feet into the water and was motionless until rescued by his coach. Johnson says, "I am incredibly lucky to be alive. My injury truly changed who I was as both an athlete and a person." At the early age of 15 Johnson began posting daily vlogs onto his YouTube channel, TheSteeleJohnson.[4] Occasionally, during his live vlog, he has elaborated on the dive and his head injury. In one post he said, "The dive is now my favorite dive to practice. Something which almost killed me has become the thing I'm best at."[5] He also revealed he still suffers from memory loss due to the accident.[6]

Steele believes the accident happened for the better and it allowed him to train harder after recovering. He says, " I was able to apply what I learned from the accident to make me a more successful athlete."

Diving careerEdit

 
Steele Johnson and David Boudia at the Rio Olympics

Prior to enrolling at Purdue, Steele trained under Adam Soldati at the Boilermaker Aquatic Center on the club level with the Boiler Diving Academy. In the summer of 2014, with his future Olympic diving teammate, David Boudia, he represented USA Diving at the FINA Diving World Cup. He won a bronze medal in the synchronized 10-meter platform.

Also prior to Purdue, Johnson was a six-time senior national champion with USA Diving. This also included Johnson winning the 10-meter platform at the 2013 USA Diving Winter Nationals, 15-time junior national champion, and a four-time champion at the Junior Pan American Games.

Johnson was the first diver, since Purdue alumnus David Boudia in 2009, to win NCAA titles on springboard and platform in the same year. During his freshman year at Purdue, Johnson also won CSCAA Diver of the year, Big Ten Diver of the Year, Purdue Male Athlete of the Year, Two-time All American (1-meter and platform diving), Honorable Mention All-American (3-meter Diving), World Championships Qualifier (Synchronized 10-meter). Johnson also was selected as the Big 10 Diver of the Week 8 times during the 2014-2015 season, and Diver of the Year for 2015[7]

2016 Olympic GamesEdit

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Johnson won a silver medal in men's synchronized 10 metre platform diving with his partner David Boudia. Johnson and Boudia scored a 457.11.[8]

In the 10 meter platform individual event, Johnson placed 13th with a score of 447.85.[9]

2016-2017 College Diving SeasonEdit

During the 2016 season Johnson received silver on 1 meter springboard and qualified for the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. [10] Johnson won bronze on 3-meter and finished in the top four of all three diving events at the Big 10 Diving Championships. Steele scored a 470.05 points on one-meter, surpassing Boudia's previous record of 468.55 set in 2010. Additionally, Johnson won his first Big 10 conference title for platform diving with a score of 547.8. Johnson was also named First Team All-Big Ten.[11]

Personal lifeEdit

Steele is majoring in film and video studies at Purdue with a goal of becoming a director or cinematographer. On the side, he also produces, films, edits, and stars in his own daily vlogs on his YouTube channel. He also made his acting debut in a student film entitled "Blood And Water".[12] Johnson is a Christian.[13][6][14]

Johnson married Hilary Nussbaum in Colorado on June 23, 2017.[15]

ReferencesEdit