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Steele Alexander Johnson (born June 16, 1996) is an Olympic silver medal-winning American diver. He has won multiple national titles at both the junior and college levels. Johnson 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 nameSteele Alexander Johnson
National team United States
Born (1996-06-16) June 16, 1996 (age 22)
Indianapolis, Indiana
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
CountryUnited States
Event(s)10m, 10m synchro
College teamPurdue University
ClubBoiler Diving Academy


Early lifeEdit

Johnson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Bill and Jill Johnson. He has an older brother named Race and a younger sister named Hollyn.[1][2] Race Johnson plays football for Purdue University, the same college Steele attends. Johnson started diving when he was seven years of age.[1] He earned his high school diploma from Laurel Springs School, an accredited, private, online school based in Ojai, California.

According to Johnson, he suffered a potentially fatal injury on January 21, 2009 at the age of 12. 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.[3] 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."[4] Johnson has revealed that he still suffers from memory loss due to the accident.[5]

Johnson believes the accident happened for the better and 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 attending Purdue, Johnson was a six-time senior national champion with USA Diving. Johnson won the 10-meter platform at the 2013 USA Diving Winter Nationals, was a 15-time junior national champion, and was a four-time champion at the Junior Pan American Games.[1]

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), and Honorable Mention All-American (3-meter Diving); he was also a World Championships Qualifier (Synchronized 10-meter). Johnson also was selected as the Big 10 Diver of the Week weight times during the 2014-2015 season, and was named Diver of the Year for 2015[6]

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.[7]

In the 10 meter platform individual event, Johnson placed 13th with a score of 447.85.[8]

2016-2017 College Diving SeasonEdit

During the 2016 season, Johnson received silver on the one-meter springboard and qualified for the 2017 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. [9] Johnson won bronze on three-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.[10]

Personal lifeEdit

Steele majors 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. Johnson made his acting debut in a student film entitled "Blood And Water".[11] Johnson is a Christian.[12][5][13]

Johnson married Hilary Nussbaum in Colorado on June 23, 2017.[14]


  1. ^ a b c "Steele Johnson". Archived from the original on 2016-06-24. Retrieved 2016-06-22.
  2. ^ "Olympic debut 'a whirlwind' for Carmel's silver medal-winning Steele Johnson". Current Carmel. September 1, 2016. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
  3. ^ "TheSteeleJohnson". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2016-08-31. Retrieved 2017-10-12.
  4. ^ TheSteeleJohnson (21 January 2016). "My Story (The Accident)". Archived from the original on 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2016-06-22 – via YouTube.
  5. ^ a b Woods, David (August 9, 2016). "Local Olympic hopeful Steele Johnson reveals memory loss from near-tragic accident". Indy Star. Archived from the original on 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  6. ^ 2016-17 BIG TEN RECORDS BOOK (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  7. ^ Woods, David (August 8, 2016). "Divers David Boudia, Steele Johnson take silver in synchro". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on 2018-11-03. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  8. ^ "Men's Synchronised 10m Platform - Standings". Rio 2016. Archived from the original on 2016-08-26. Retrieved 2016-08-20.
  9. ^ Johnson, Steele. "WE'RE GOING TO BUDAPEST! Just got Silver on 1 Meter and qualified for the World Championships next summer!". Twitter. Archived from the original on 2017-02-04. Retrieved 2017-01-26.
  10. ^ "20 Boilermakers Score at Big Tens". Purdue Sports. February 28, 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-03-02. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  11. ^ Lutz, Rachel (August 4, 2016). "Steele Johnson proves acting chops in 'Blood and Water". NBC. Archived from the original on 2016-08-21. Retrieved 2016-08-22.
  12. ^ Winston, Kimberly (August 7, 2016). "Steele Johnson and David Boudia have faith in their diving". Religion News Service. Archived from the original on 2017-03-28. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  13. ^ "Divers Johnson and Boudia rely on faith to put minds at ease". NBC Olympics. August 8, 2016. Archived from the original on 2017-03-18. Retrieved 2017-03-18.
  14. ^ Woods, David (May 18, 2017). "Vlogger, photographer, actor, groom: Olympic diver Steele Johnson never lets up". IndyStar.