London Bound: Local Athletes on the USA Olympic Team – Cassidy Krug

London Bound: Local Athletes on the USA Olympic Team – Cassidy Krug

Former WPIAL and PIAA champion and Montour High School graduate Cassidy Krug has qualified for the 2012 London Olympics in the 3 meter diving springboard competition. Krug averaged over 364.95 per round at the US Olympic diving trials in Federal Way Washington during the week of June of June 17th thru 22nd. Her overall meet score was 1094.85 was good enough for first place as she outdistanced 2nd place finisher and Olympic qualifier Christina Loukas by 77 points. Krug who missed qualifying in 2004 but went to Athens as a runner to help her teammates and fellow Olympians, and 2008 where she failed due to injuries, finally was able to secure the long sought after Olympics berth.

In 2008 after her failed Olympic bid, Krug decided to retire and concentrate on her job with the Stanford Alumni Association. But within a year at 23 years old, she decided that she missed diving and the competition. She resumed her training with her Stanford diving instructor Dr. Rick Shavone where she worked on consistency and entry into the water

A 2003 Montour High school graduate, she is the daughter of Julian and Doe Krug, both diving coaches at the University of Pittsburgh. MSA Sports was able to reach Julian Krug in his home last week. "I'm not surprised she returned for another try at the Olympics, when you spend your life doing something you love its hard to give it up," he said in response to his reaction of her giving the Olympics one more try. When asked how proud he was of her he said, "I could not be prouder of her, she's a good kid, a hard worker, an all around great girl. I'm happy with her whether she would have made the Olympic team or not." Finally when he was asked if in his wildest dreams he ever thought she would be where she's at today, he said, "I always told her to do what she wanted to do and to make it hers". I tried and didn't make the Olympics and made sure not to put pressure on her to live my dreams. She has the right attitude".

Her outstanding scholastic career started in the year 2000 where she finished 4th in the WPIAL meet. She didn't waste much time as  beginning in 2001 her sophomore year she would win three straight WPIAL and PIAA championships, becoming one of the most prolific divers in the state of Pennsylvania and the nation. Krug was inducted into the 2009 WPIAL Hall of Fame in only the third class ever. A Stanford graduate she won the 1 and 3 meter springboard NCAA titles as a senior in 2007. She was also named the 2007 NCAA diver of the year in 2007.

Among her many accomplishments  she was an 11 time national champion, among them the 2011 and 2012 USA Diving Winter Championship, and the 2010 and 2011 AT&T National Diving Championship. She also competed in and placed in the 2011 Pan American games, the Speedo USA diving national championships, and the FINA world cup among others.

All the hard work has paid off and she will be heading to London and finally be able to represent her country. She agreed to an exclusive interview with MSA Sports.The following is the conversation with Cassidy in Palo Alto, California home.

MSA: Congratulations on making the Olympics, how do you feel?

Krug: Its so cool, this is something I wanted all of my life

MSA: By the way its really hot here, its due to be in the high 90's all weekend.

Krug: I miss Pittsburgh and the season changes, its a lot different out here in California

MSA: Did you ever think as a kid you would be an Olympian?

Krug: It was a far away dream, something I knew was there, but I had to work for it. At first its a dream, then it became a goal, then I had to make it a reality.

MSA: What made you pick California and specifically Stanford coming out of high school?

Krug:  When I went on my recruiting trip the Diving coach told me 'I will put you on the Olympic team". That was a big reason, plus the academics cant be beat.

MSA: There had to be adjustments from high school to college, then college to be an Olympian

Krug: The workload, the level of intensity increased at each level. There is more on the line, everything goes up a notch as you move up.

MSA: You missed making the Olympic squad in 2004 but went as a runner, then missed in 2008. Tell us about those experiences.

Krug: In 2004 I was a Freshman in college and really had no expectations of making it then. It was such a positive experience just to go and watch, being a runner I got to help my teammates with drinks, and faxing documents and just being there. In 2008 in missing Beijing it was heart breaking, it crushed me. I had gotten hurt with 2 bulging discs in my back 6 moths prior. I hardly trained and dove with hardly any practice.

MSA: How bad did you miss diving, and how long did it take to decide to try again?

Krug: I stopped for 9 months, I started my job here at Stanford as a marketing coordinator with the Stanford Alumni Association. I had a nagging feeling, and really started to miss it, I knew I could do better and told my self I would train for a year and see what happens.

MSA: If you had any advice to give to high school divers, or even incoming college kids what would it be?

Krug: Id tell them to do what you love, make it fun but work hard in order to achieve your dreams. Life's to short not to be passionate about something you love to do.

MSA: You have won WPIAL titles, PIAA state titles, NCAA titles, you were inducted into the WPIAL Hall of Fame and were named NCAA diver of the year. How does making the Olympic team compare to the rest of your career

Krug: Oh this is  the number one thing, achieving this dream is at the top of the list.

MSA: What is your favorite thing about diving?

Krug: The moment under the water when you just nailed a dive, that's a great feeling.

MSA: I had a chance to talk to your parents, they told me they never put pressure on you or forced you to dive, talk about their influence on you.

Krug: That's so true, they made diving fun for me, they never made me do anything.They were parents first and coaches second.

MSA: You have been all over the world in diving, talk to us about the diving community.

Krug: I've made a lot of friends everywhere I've been .There are a lot of great people I have had a chance to know. When your standing around waiting to dive, during meets, during practice, you really get to know people.

MSA: Lets get back to the Olympics. You were there and experienced it in 2004 so it wont be all new to you this year, based on your experience what do you expect in London?

Krug: The intensity will be 10 times greater than any other competition there is.The top divers in the world will be there, its on a world stage, there will be more hype, and its the most important competition every 4 years.

MSA: What will the next few weeks be like for you before you head to London?

Krug: Fortunately Stanford has been great to me. I work at the school, and they pretty much let me make my schedule.The school has been very supportive, they let me train here. For the most part I'm training right now and getting rest to prepare.

MSA: Finally what are you thinking before a dive, what is your mental approach?

Krug: I picture my dive in my head while waiting my turn. I know I've put in the work. Its a comforting thought knowing you have done all you can do to be ready.

MSA: Thank you for talking with us. Good luck in London. We are all proud of you.

Krug: Thanks for thinking of me!