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After injury setback, Steele Johnson remains upbeat

A nagging foot injury led Johnson to withdraw from competition for Team USA.
Credit: AP
File: Benjamin Bramley and Steele Johnson of the United States compete in the preliminary of the men's 10 meter synchronized platform diving competition at the World Swimming Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, Monday, July 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

INDIANAPOLIS — Divers at the IUPUI Natatorium are competing for a spot on Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics.

Unfortunately, a nagging foot injury led Steele Johnson to withdraw from competition.

It's everything he's worked for – and that's why his mindset is so impressive.

“The biggest thing that keeps me going is just the fact that I can hold everything I'm doing with an open hand, that whether I win or lose, this is not the end of the world, this is not my identity. This is not who I am, it's just something I do,” Johnson said.

“I talked a lot about that in 2016 when I qualified for the Olympics was, 'OK, this is exciting, I'm Steele Johnson, I'm an Olympian, but you know, I'm still loved unseen. I'm known and cared for, and that's something that goes beyond sport,'” he said.

"I'm only 24 years old,” Johnson continued. “Ten years from now, I can't keep holding on to my Olympic experiences to get me through the day. There's going to be so many other things that have happened in my life, things that I can rely on, look at, look toward and be excited about. And that's just with everything in life keeps going, whether you win or you lose. I've had a lot of medical setbacks. but the thing that's kept me going is, if I'm able to keep going, great, let's push forward. If not, there's so many other things to look forward to.

“Balance is super key. If you put all your eggs in one basket and the bottom of the basket falls out, you've lost everything. But if you were able to compartmentalize different parts of your life and keep the priorities where they need to be, you're going to be happy, you're going to be joyful, you're going to be successful,” Johnson concluded.

Johnson was paired with David Boudia in a synchronized springboard event, so now, the only way Boudia could make it to his fourth Olympics is if he gets first in the individual event, and that competition is up next.

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