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Congratulations to Jordan Windle, Again
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 08/18/14
Last updated on: 08/19/14
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Congratulations to Jordan Windle on winning the U.S. Men's Ten-meter Diving Championship. The 15-year-old convincingly won the title on August 17, 2014 after having won four gold medals and one silver at the junior national championships earlier in the month. In 2012, Windle became the youngest American diver to qualify for the Olympic Trials and, undoubtedly, the youngest Grand Marshal of a Gay Pride Parade, when he and his two dads served as Grand Marshals of the Circle City Indiana Pride Parade, an annual festival celebrating Central Indiana's glbtq community.

As Swimming World reports, Windle took the men's ten-meter title as the AT&T National Diving Championships came to a close. He scored 527.8 points to win his first senior national title.

He earned 103.6 points on his first dive, a front 4 ½ tuck, which was the only 100-point dive performed by anyone during the six-day event.

"That first dive really boosted my confidence. After that, my coach just told me to have fun and I did," Windle said. "I really didn't think I'd be a national champion before I was 16, but I had a lot of people telling me I could do it."

In June 2012, when Windle and his two dads--Jerry Windle and Andrés Rodriguez--were selected to lead the Circle City Indiana Pride Parade, the young man was the subject of a beautifully written profile in the Indianapolis Star by Neal Taflinger, who presented him as both a diving phenom and an adolescent proud of his family.

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.

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 subsequently became 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.

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."

In Indianapolis, Jordan trained eight to nine hours a day, six days a week at the dry-land facility and the Natatorium. He also studied ballet and used Pilates and weight training to improve his fitness.

In 2013, Jordan and his father Jerry Windle published a children's book, An Orphan No More, The True Story of a Boy: Chapter One.

The book recounts the story of Rodney the rooster, who is told by the other farm animals that he cannot be a father without a hen. One day he stumbles across an egg that no one wants. He hatches the egg and a little duckling emerges. When the duckling meets some young friends his age, they tease him about not having a mother and about the fact that he does not look like his dad.

The book features a foreword by Louganis.

Windle is expected to compete in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where he hopes to qualify 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.

In the video below, from 2014, Windle discusses the challenges of synchronized diving.

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