Olympian Cozad opens Decatur Central diving board at alma mater and mulls her diving future
INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) – The high school band played poolside and a big crowd of elementary school students filled the stands for a big splash at the Decatur Township Natatorium.
2016 Rio Olympics diver Amy Cozad cut the ribbon on the new three meter springboard at her high school alma mater Tuesday. Cozad also took the first dive.
"So cool and so much fun," said Cozad, who graduated from Decatur Central High School in 2009. "I was super nervous up there. I didn't want to mess up in front of all the little ones. It seems weird. I'm this celebrity, this Olympic hero. But on the inside, I'm just a little girl from Decatur Township that likes to go to diving practice."
The current natatorium pool wasn't even built when Amy was a diver at Decatur Central. Now the school system hopes the three meter will springboard into a diving club.
"It definitely opens up a lot of doors," said Decatur Township aquatics director Curtis Cox. "It kind of puts us out there and says, 'Hey! This is what we can do. If you want to be a part of it, come join us.' It can definitely exponentially grow what we can do. When we do start a club team for diving, they'll use that every single day."
"It means opportunity," said Cozad. "They have the opportunity to start a club program and get that thriving and bring in kids of all ages create a cohesive team that can perform well in the sport of diving. It also means an opportunity for the high school and middle school divers, after they graduate Decatur Central, they could go to college and be on a college diving team."
"It definitely backs Decatur's theme of having a grass roots program that leads up to the top by the time they get to high school," said Decatur Township aquatics director Curtis Cox. "Hopefully we'll have some of them that can look back and say, 'I remember when I saw Amy dive for the first time on the three meter'."
"They've got to know how real it is of a chance that they could be great at something like diving or any sport or hobby," said Cozad. "It's possible."
Cozad has rested and relaxed since returning from Rio, but this is a big week for the 25-year-old. She marries her boyfriend of seven years, Alex Magana, on Sunday. After the couple returns from a Cancun honeymoon next month, Amy will decide if she wants to keep diving competitively.
"I've been mulling it around," said Cozad. "I have two good options. Alex and I could start our lives together and start a family or I could continue to train and perform well. Wherever life takes me, it's going to take me in the right direction."
Cozad is also pointing kids in her home township in the right direction.
"What I truly love about the sport is just being able to come in and have fun," said Cozad. "Smack, get hurt a little bit, go up and do it again. Whip your hair around. It's everything. I don't know if I'll ever find anything like it again."