“It becomes so strong and so captivating.”. Divers descend from the 10 meter platform at roughly 33 mph, and the impact was enough to fully open the cut on his scalp. JOHNSON, Brent Steele, Brent Steele Johnson, firefighter and medic for Caroline County, passed away on Sunday, May 28th, after sustaining injuries from a serious motor vehicle accident. “When something like that happens in your life, a near-death experience, you don’t know where you’re going to be going with your life,” Johnson told Team USA reporter Rebecca Harris. He brings with him a focus and an eye cast toward Tokyo 2020. Steele Johnson has always looked at the world from a different perspective. But the Purdue junior is unapologetic about another view even as it loses popularity with his peers, many of whom refuse religion. Instead, Johnson turned any fears and anxieties into motivation, which followed him all the way to the podium. By his second birthday, he was jumping comfortably off the diving board with his parents nearby yelling, “Kick your feet” so the tiny tot would get to safety. He revealed in the video that he has since struggled with his memory, both short- and long-term. Soldati, who once told his church that he’s a follower of Christ who happens to be a diving coach, commends Steele for staying engaged in spiritual discipline, especially under the bright lights of athletic stardom. And it was forcing us to say, did we really mean this? “The fact that I was going into this event knowing that my identity is rooted in Christ and not what the result of this competition is just gave me peace,” Steele told NBC reporter Kelli Stavast after competing in his first Olympic event. Now, granted the cut was from ear-to-ear and down to his skull, but we say it was a cut because he didn’t fracture his skull. Steele grew up in church, which is to say if he wasn’t diving or studying schoolwork at home, he probably was attending youth group. They knew going in that he could get hurt even with proper training. Once Wingfield established that Steele’s accident was just that—an accident—he deleted the tape. He overcame those fears that were there, and the end result so far has been an Olympic silver medal. After all, Jill noted, accidents happen in everyday life, too. The blood’s rushing to his head!'”. Kellie Van Gilder • Jill was encouraged by the way her son took a stand for his faith–and not just a faith in God, but one in Jesus. It was a year, many dryland training sessions (think gymnastics with a diving twist) and lots of dives later before Steele attempted the reverse 3 ½ again. Unaware of the extent of his injury, Steele popped out of the water and listened as then-coach John Wingfield calmly guided him over to the side of the pool. Johnson hopes to reunite with Boudia in synchro springboard for a Tokyo 2020 run, but he’s not ready to add that event yet. He didn’t break his neck. Senior Radio Producer Phil Fleischman contributed to this story. Why Police Officers Unflinchingly Answer the Call, Will Graham Encourages Law Enforcement at Appreciation Dinner, Virtual Christmas Conference Uplifts Spanish-Speaking Pastors, An Interview With Retired Army Ranger Edward Graham, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28201 Olympic Diver Steele Johnson On How Postponing The 2020 Games Is Forcing Some ‘Tough Decisions’ Competitive diver Steele Johnson won a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro after competing with a broken foot. He had a cut and a minor concussion. Why did this happen to me?’ That’s just never been my attitude towards it, but now I realize that is a story that can help people just because a lot of bad things happen to people in life, and a lot of people are like, ‘Why me? After the incident, Johnson was close to never diving again. ©2020 BGEA “And that’s when we said, ‘Yeah we did.’”. They stayed there until the paramedics arrived. Today is National Voter Registration Day! Wingfield doesn’t like to talk about the accident. Such a comeback story, a tale of God’s protection and timing. AUDIO: Listen to Steele share more of his story with Billy Graham Radio. “[Steele] started to see that the road that he was going on was not satisfying. I firmly believe God’s going to call you home when He’s ready to call you home. They’re grateful for the decision Wingfield made. I have no joy, and I know that is really going to come from Jesus. Diving almost cost the Olympian his life seven years ago. “With the amount of blood that I lost, it’s likely that I could’ve died,” Johnson said in his video. “I grew up taking Steele to practice when he was 10 years old,” said Boudia, who added the divers reconnected at Purdue under the leadership of Soldati. “If I was maybe a centimeter closer to the platform, I could’ve fractured my skull,” he said. Steele’s parents haven’t seen the footage and don’t want to. That moment almost changed the trajectory of his life as well as the life of his young diver. They know each other. Thirty-three staples and a plastic drainage tube later, Steele was discharged from the hospital. As an Olympic diver, Steele still sees the world upside down at times, flipping from the platform. BGEA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Minimum price $125, 1 day publication. Steele wasn’t quite a year old when his parents first had him in the neighborhood pool. This is the second fatal accident to occur in rural Steele County in a one week’s time. Steele, steadfast in his faith, opens his college season this weekend when Purdue hosts a home meet. Yet Steele said he would cringe every time a reporter brought it up. “If I was going at a faster rate hitting the water, I could’ve torn more of my scalp open.”. *A line consists of roughly 25-30 characters including letters, spaces, and punctuation. “That’s our way of coping with the stress,” Jill said. The young diver’s coach, John Wingfield, jumped into the pool to save him. He climbed the stairs roughly three stories to the top of the 10-meter platform, which from that vantage point appears almost 5 stories high when you consider the pool below holds 17 feet of water. The Johnsons watched Steele from the stands in Rio and celebrated wildly over his performance. The entire time, Steele had hidden the fact from almost everyone that he was still suffering side effects from the accident. If something went great, I was happy. Seven years ago, I was on my death bed, and now seven years later I’m an Olympic medalist. Johnson feels fortunate to be competing at all. “It’s not an easy fight, and my thing to Steele all the time is don’t ever think you’ve got this thing under control. “So my mom was always trying to slow me down and put me in lessons so I would be safe about it, but I was pretty rowdy as a kid.”. I’m not happy. She was equally proud when Steele scored 13th individually. They have to work up to it, and their degree of dive difficulty also increases as they demonstrate competency. We will say that until our dying day.”. “It was truly an accident.”. He took a deep breath like he was trained to do. On that day, Steele was practicing a relatively new dive in his lineup, the reverse 3 ½ somersault tuck. He had successfully completed the progressions and even collected some more medals at the 2009 Junior Pan American Games. “It almost ended my career, too. 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