Laura Wilkinson competing in 3rd Olumpics, at age 30:
Wilkinson still a factor
2000 Olympic champion and 2005 World Champion Laura Wilkinson
, who once called her coach, Ken Armstrong, "insane" for suggesting that she would still be diving in 2008, now plans to compete in her third Olympic Games at age 30 - the combined age of the two Chinese divers, Wang and Chen, favored for gold. Wilkinson has increased the difficulty of her dive list since the Athens Games and just missed the podium at the 2007 World Championships, managing a fourth place finish despite an August 2006 wrist surgery that prevented her from diving off of the platform until January. When asked about facing the Chinese divers at home in Beijing, Wilkinson says that she expects to feel something like Rocky Balboa when she enters the Olympic arena. Beating the Chinese may in fact be an insurmountable challenge, but Wilkinson, who rallied to win Olympic gold in 2000 on a broken foot, can never be discounted. In February she finished 12th of 12 divers at the World Cup in Beijing, which doubled as the Olympic Test Event. Although it was a disappointing result, it's worth noting that in 2000 Wilkinson also finished last in the test event at the Olympic pool only to win gold at the real thing.