Steele Johnson, an Olympic silver medalist and 5-time NCAA diving champion from Purdue University, has announced he will forgo his final year of NCAA eligibility to turn pro. Johnson made his announcement on YouTube, saying “I’m very excited to enter into the professional world of Diving. I am very thankful for my collegiate years at Purdue and would not be where I am today if it were not for their support over the years. This is a season of life I have dreamed of for a long time, and I am excited that it is finally here! Now that I am a professional, I will be able to spend more time focusing on my preparations for the 2020 Olympics.”
Johnson is listed on the Purdue roster as a redshirt senior. He did not compete this season, and wasn’t expected to dive at 2019 NCAA Championships, owing to the fact he has undergone two surgeries in the past 5 months on his right foot. As a redshirt junior in the 2017-18 season he finished in the top 10 of all three diving events at the Big Ten and NCAA Championships. He was NCAA Champion in 3-meter diving and was named Purdue Male Athlete of the Year. As a redshirt sophomore in 2016-17 he won NCAA titles on the 1-meter and 3-meter boards. As a freshman in 2014-15 he won 1-meter and platform diving at 2015 NCAAs.
Johnson took an Olympic Waiver in the 2015-16 season. He was USA Diving National Champion in 10-meter and synchronized 10-meter and he won an Olympic silver medal in the men’s platform synchro (with 4-time Olympic medalist David Boudia) in Rio at the 2016 Games.
Johnson made his announcement 500 days before the start of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. He plans to focus on his recovery and on his preparation for Tokyo 2020.
I have a HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT to share with you all! I’ll give you a hint: it involves my diving career 😎🎉https://t.co/8VUWWp92Uh
— Steele Johnson (@Steele_Johnson) March 12, 2019