Who is... Kristian Ipsen
Kristian Ipsen won a bronze medal alongside partner Troy Dumais in the synchronized 3m springboard event at the 2012 Olympics. Ipsen has since partnered with Sam Dorman, with whom he placed seventh at the 2015 World Championships in the synchronized springboard. He will compete on the 3m springboard at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Originally, Ipsen started as a gymnast and a swimmer, but found diving to be the perfect combination of both. By age 6, he had been spotlighted by Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd."
Major competitions/ medals
Ipsen and Dumais earned silver medals at the 2009 World Championships in synchronized springboard, and followed that up with a fourth place finish at Worlds in 2011. Also in 2011, the pair earned silver medals at the Pan American Games. At the 2012 London Olympics, they earned bronze medals in synchronized springboard.
At the 2015 Winter National Championships, the gold medal went to the synchro pair Ipsen and Dorman. Ipsen earned a silver medal, too, in his other partnership with Dumais in the competition.
At Worlds in 2015, Ipsen placed seventh in the synchronized springboard after partnering with Dorman for the competition.
Ipsen became the youngest diver to make the finals at the Junior National Championships in all three disciplines (the non-Olympic 1m springboard, plus the 3m springboard and 10m platform) at age eight. He later became the youngest diver to win a junior national title.
"Even on my first days of diving practice, I had no fear. I just wanted to fling myself from the board and try different flips in the air." - Kristian Ipsen
Ipsen was named as a non-traveling alternate to the 2008 Beijing Games when he was 15 years old. Four years later, he won a bronze medal alongside Dumais in the synchronized springboard at the 2012 London Olympics.
Outside the pool
Every year, Ipsen and his family take a vacation to Hawaii. When he and his younger sister Lauren climbed to Black Rock, they purposefully acted nervous before jumping off the cliff. But Ipsen tricked the locals, threw himself backward off the cliff, and pulled out a back 2 1/2 with a couple of twists. The locals were surprised and impressed, and then tried to coax him into doing more and more dives.
Ipsen's family owns a chain of pizza restaurants in and around his hometown of Clayton, Calif. The restaurants are famous for their "Prego Pizza," which, according to legend, send over due pregnant ladies into labor. The "Prego Pizza" is the home to nearly every pizza topping imaginable: salami, pepperoni, ham, mushrooms, olives, bell peppers, extra onions, sausage, ground beef, linguisa, extra garlic, parmesan and oregano. A white pizza - featuring roasted garlic sauce, fresh spinach, light mushroom, light ham, light bacon and diced tomatoes - is named for Ipsen. He admits he might be a little biased, but he says it's his favorite.