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Congratulations Jordan Windle
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 06/01/12
Last updated on: 06/01/12
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Jordan Windle.

Congratulations to Jordan Windle on being the youngest American diver to qualify for the Olympic Trials and, undoubtedly, the youngest Grand Marshal of a Gay Pride Parade. The 13-year-old Olympics hopeful will, along with his two dads, serve as Grand Marshal of the Circle City Indiana Pride Parade, an annual festival celebrating Central Indiana's glbtq community.

The subject of a beautifully written profile in the Indianapolis Star by Neal Taflinger, Jordan Windle is both a diving phenom and an adolescent proud of his family. Indeed, the choice of Jordan and his two dads, Jerry Windle and Andrés Rodriguez, to lead the Circle City Indiana Pride Parade is part of a determined effort to emphasize glbtq families at pride celebrations this year, as Taflinger explains in a related article.

The story of Jordan and his family is inspiring on many levels. Jerry Windle, a former Navy officer, adopted Jordan, whose birth parents died when he was a baby, from an orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2000, when he was two years old. Windle and Jordan have recently collaborated on a children's book in which they tell their story: An Orphan No More: The True Story of a Boy: Chapter One.

Jordan's talent for diving was discovered soon after he completed the second grade in Naples, Florida. Windle had enrolled him in a summer camp at the Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale. There Jordan caught the eye of diving coach Tim O'Brien, whose father, Ron O'Brien, had coached Olympic diving champion Greg Louganis.

O'Brien saw parallels between the young Louganis and Jordan. Louganis, who has become an important mentor for Jordan, admired not only the boy's physical ability but also his emotional and intellectual maturity. "For an 8-year-old, he asked very insightful questions," Louganis said.

Shortly thereafter, Jordan transferred from a public school in Fort Lauderdale to a private academy, Pine Crest, that boasts one of the top swimming and diving programs in the country. He worked with noted diving coach Janet Gabriel at Pine Crest, and at age ten won his first Junior National Diving Championship.

But Gabriel and Louganis encouraged Windle and Rodriguez, whom Jordan calls "Papi," to relocate to Indianapolis, where Jordan could train at USA Diving's National Training Center and work with 2008 Olympic Diving Head Coach John Wingfield.

In November 2010, the family relocated to Indianapolis, and, as Taflinger explains, "quickly settled into a routine that is at once mundane and extraordinary."

Jordan trains eight to nine hours a day, six days a week at the dry-land facility and the Natatorium. When he is not working on his diving, he studies ballet and uses Pilates and weight training to improve his fitness.

Since his training regimen does not accommodate formal school settings, he attends Indiana Connections Academy, a virtual school serving about 2,500 children in Indiana.

From June 17 to 24, the family will be in Seattle, where Jordan will compete in the 2012 Olympic Team Trials. He and his teammate, Toby Stanley, will be competing in the 10-meter synchronized diving event.

Jordan is not expected to make the team this year, but many predict that he will be competing in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics. As Louganis says of the Seattle trials, "This is a good setup for 2016. This is a time to learn. It's a learning process and a journey."

Jordan says that his goal is to be a member of the 2016 team and to compete in both the 10 meter platform individual and synchronized events.

Read more about Jordan at his website.

Below is an "It Gets Better" video that Jordan made in 2011.

The following is a video of Jordan diving, not quite synchronized, with Greg Louganis.

Here Jordan and a teammate dive from the ten meter platform.

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