Indiana Daily Student

Senior Loukas lives out childhood dream

Senior Christina Loukas has dominated the boards at both a collegiate and national level. Now, it’s time to take on the world.\nLoukas is headed to this year’s Olympics in Beijing, reaching yet another milestone in her already accomplished diving career. She will head to China in August after training in California, and hopes to compete in both individual and synchronized diving.\nLoukas said that diving used to be an extracurricular activity. She spent 10 years doing gymnastics and dove during the summers for fun. After she started feeling burned out from gymnastics, she switched over full-time to diving at age 12.\nShe spent her teen years diving with club teams as well as her high school team in Riverwoods, Ill. She won the state diving title three straight years and came in second the one year she didn’t win. She also placed well in several national meets, including the Junior Olympics.\nMany people saw her potential throughout her career. Because of her gymnastics background, she could easily maneuver her body in tight formations. In high school, she had several people accurately predict her success.\n“I had people tell me, ‘You’re going to make the 2008 Olympics,’” Loukas said. “I was like yeah, maybe I’ll be good, but not that good! Well, here I am.”\nOne of the people who always saw her potential is IU diving coach Jeff Huber. Huber told her from the very beginning that she was going to standout. He couldn’t have made a better prediction.\n“I owe everything to him.” she said. \nLoukas’s college career has been highlighted with successes in both board and platform diving. She was named Big Ten Diver of the Year in her freshman, sophomore and junior seasons after breaking records and performing in ways not always seen by college teams. She has also received Big Ten academic recognition. Always a dominant presence on the boards, Loukas was still shocked to be named to the Olympic team. At 22 years old, she has accomplished her childhood dream. \nDedicated work and long hours of training have helped her to get where she is, but Loukas also contributes some of her success to the strong support system she has in her family. They attend nearly every meet and were present last week when she finished first at the Olympic Diving Trials in Indianapolis.\n“My dad never cries,” Loukas said. “But he had tears in his eyes and my mom was bawling. They were so proud of me. My whole family is so supportive.”

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