Cal Freshman Nicholas Hart Retires from Diving

Nick Hart, a freshman at the University of California-Berkeley, announced last month on Instagram his decision to retire from the sport of diving.

His statement, which can also be viewed in his Instagram caption below:

I’m incredibly thankful for all of the amazing memories, opportunities, and friends diving has given to me. Diving has been one of the biggest pieces of who I am for what feels like my entire life and it will always have a very special place in my heart. I’ve gained so many skills that I will be able to carry forward in everything I do. After a lot of thought, I’ve decided to retire from the sport. Thank you to everyone who has stood by my side, supporting me through the good times and the hard times. A very bittersweet goodbye to this chapter of my life ❤️

Hart, originally from Indiana, competed at one meet for the Golden Bears: the 2019 Trojan Diving Invite in November. There, he was third in 3-meter, fifth in platform, and sixth in 1-meter.

In high school, Hart finished in the top eight at several USA Diving Junior Championships. He also competed at the 2016 FINA World Junior Diving Championships, where he finished 12th in 3-meter.

So far, the only Cal diver to compete this year has been Hart. Senior Connor Callahan and junior Johnny Robinson are both still on the roster after competing at NCAAs last year, but have yet to dive competitively this year. Callahan is entered in the upcoming UCLA Diving Invite this weekend, while Robinson is not.

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Best of luck to him, but “retiring” is such a euphemism. Until your eligibility is up, it is quitting. There can be completely valid reasons for that, and it is everyone’s right to make the best decision for themselves, but it is what it is.

The Ready Room

Is there a difference between quitting and retiring other than the connotation of the word itself?

Samuli Hirsi

comment with your own name if you are such high pedestal lady who never quits anything….. It is not what it is, they sign a scholarship but they have right to opt of it as much as school has. End of story,


So you go through the recruiting process to get into UC Berkeley, and then you quit? Hmmm

Brian M

Don’t hate the player, hate the game.


Don’t knock the hustle.

let me get uhhh

hey, don’t hate the player hate the game.


Hard work and lots of time commitment. It isn’t for everybody, no need to be rude.


Yep, that is indeed what it means to be a college student athlete. But okay liberal.


“But okay liberal.” Ok?


which he no longer is… haha this kid is saying that he will no longer be a student athlete and you’re basically saying “well then he’s no student athlete!”

How bizarre.


Ok, boomer


Not knowing his physical/emotional situation maybe it’s inappropriate to comment at this time? Not everything is as presented on social media


So it must be a pretty good reason.


If the only reason he was admitted to Cal was because he was a recruited athlete pushed in for diving, then you could say he stole a spot admissions from students who’ve spent their whole academic careers trying to get in. He shouldn’t deserve to be a Berkeley student at that point.

If you sign an NLI and end up quitting before your eligibility is up, the following year you should end up having to have your admissions file re-read and considered for standard academic admissions. Put them in the same pool with all the other applicants.

Quack – you’re making the assumption that admission to elite universities is purely an academic matter. Read any interview with admissions staff at any of these big time schools and they’ll tell you that they look as the applicant as a whole person – meaning that they value achievements in high school athletics even if that student isn’t participating in athletics at that school. These schools believe in high achievers. No you don’t get into Cal without good grades, but being a high achiever can mean more than just a 4.85 GPA in high school.

Swim mom

You are making an assumption he is staying enrolled at Cal. Best of luck to Nick in whatever his future holds. Young adults change their minds. Their dreams and directions can change and that’s ok. Instead of making assumptions and criticizing him let’s wish him well. Has anyone ever considered hurtful comments can actually harm these student “athletes”?

Dawn Hart

❤️ Swim Mom

Dawn Hart

A) He’s not a Berkeley student anymore. He didn’t steal a spot “just to get admitted”. There were many factors involved in this difficult and emotional decision for him and our whole family, none of which are your business. Furthermore, he wasn’t “pushed in for diving”. He “spent his whole academic and athletic careers trying to get in” (EARN a scholarship) as much as any other student. A bit presumptuous to assume he didn’t have the grades don’t you think? Diving competitively since the age of 8, he trained full-time in high school to compete at an elite level AND maintained a very high GPA including honors and AP courses. He also had the added stress of dealing with a… Read more »

Corn Pop

You tell’em Dawn.


Nick is a terrific young man, smart, talented, and a hard worker. He’s going to be great on the next step of his journey. He’ll always be part of the diving family.

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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