Palmer set for trials, eyes second Olympic games

Krysta Palmer, near, dives in a synchronized competition at IUPUI. Palmer will be competing next week in the Olympic Diving Trials in Knoxville, Tennessee with hopes of qualifying for her second consecutive Olympics.

Krysta Palmer, near, dives in a synchronized competition at IUPUI. Palmer will be competing next week in the Olympic Diving Trials in Knoxville, Tennessee with hopes of qualifying for her second consecutive Olympics.

Krysta Palmer is only a few days away from another Olympic Trials.

After winning bronze as an individual in the 2021 Olympics, she teased a push for the 2024 Olympics when she returned from Tokyo.

She hadn’t even stepped foot outside of the airport before insinuating she wanted to try for Paris in 2024.

Three years later, Palmer is at the doorstep of making history again.

The bronze in 2021 made her the first American woman to medal in the event since 2000.

Next week, Palmer — Palmer, who was born in Carson City and went to school at Douglas High — will compete in Knoxville, Tennessee for a chance to become a two-time Olympian.

It’ll be the third Olympic Trials of her career.

“To be here today at almost the age of 32 still being capable and able to train like an Olympic athlete is pretty unbelievable to me,” said Palmer. “I am very grateful to be standing in my shoes today and have another chance at an Olympic games.”


‘A SPECIAL JOURNEY’

Friday, Palmer celebrated her 32nd birthday on the plane to Knoxville where she will spend the next 11 days.

She’s dialed back her workouts in the recent days after months of rigorous dive training alongside additional conditioning.

There were no guarantees she’d be back at this stage.

She battled through painful training in 2021 after sustaining a hip injury, but it didn’t limit her from a historic performance at the Olympics.

Having rehabbed from several surgeries over the years, Palmer opted to go under the knife again to heal the hip in 2022.

“I didn’t know if I was going to be able to go for 2024. … I was actually in a lot of pain through a lot of my training sessions, leading into that Olympic year,” Palmer said.

She says her body feels ready for the stakes of competition this time around, which has allowed her to appreciate the moments more often.

“It was always in the back of my mind a question whether I’m going to be able to continue after this injury,” said Palmer. “I’ve been able to really enjoy this time around a lot more than probably the last time around because my body is happy.”

She will compete alongside her 2021 Olympic synchronized partner Alison Gibson, who returned to competition after retiring following the Tokyo games.

The pair took eighth in Tokyo and getting a chance at a second Olympic berth is a blessing for Palmer.

“I think it’s been really special journey into this one. After Tokyo, my synchronized partner retired (Alison Gibson). That was a heartbreak for me,” said Palmer. “However, a year ago my coach was a big role in calling her and talking her into coming back.”

In their first competition back together, the duo took fourth place at the 2023 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, securing an Olympic quota spot for Team USA.

“That was a big accomplishment for us and now going into Olympic Trials that gives us a lot of confidence in our abilities to perform at the right time,” Palmer said. “We have both gotten a lot stronger since Tokyo. It’s been an awesome journey alongside Allison and I’m super thankful that she’s come back.”

The quota spot means that Team USA will send its top 3-meter synchronized team to the Olympic games.


QUALIFICATION STANDARDS AND SCHEDULE

In synchro, Palmer and Gibson will need to be one of the top eight teams to move from the preliminaries to the finals. Once in the finals, the duo will need to put together the top score between the prelims and finals to qualify for Paris.

The preliminaries and the finals for the women’s synchro will take place Monday at 9 a.m. (prelims) and 6 p.m. (finals).

The synchronized competition will be slightly different this time around with only two rounds over the course of a single day. In 2021, the event was three rounds.

As an individual, Palmer will need to be first or second to qualify for her second consecutive Olympic games.

The opening preliminary for her 3-meter individual competition will be Thursday, starting at 7 a.m. The semifinal will take place later that day at 2 p.m.

The women’s 3-meter final will be Saturday, June 22 at 4 p.m.

Coverage from Palmer’s Olympic Trials can be found online at www.nevadaappeal.com/news/sports all next week. 

(Krysta Palmer tucks during a dive at the USA Winter National Championships in November. Palmer will be back at the Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center next week to compete in the Olympic Diving Trials./ Courtesy)

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