Olympic medalist Palmer returns to airport celebration
Krysta Palmer got the full works when stepping back onto terra firma in her home state Tuesday afternoon.
A water salute, an upgrade to first class and a chance to see her family right as she got off the plane were just a few of the perks awarded to the most recent USA Olympic diving bronze medalist.
After hugging her family Palmer, dressed in a white USA jacket and sporting the bronze medal around her neck, came down the Reno-Tahoe Airport escalator to a massive gathering of her closest family, friends and admirers.
Members of her flight even stuck around to see what it was like to be an Olympic medalist returning home.
“I’m in disbelief at how wonderful our community is,” said Palmer. “I’m so thankful for everyone that came out today.”
Historic feats aplenty
The Douglas High graduate won the bronze in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics late Saturday night into early Sunday morning.
After qualifying through the preliminaries and semifinals the two days prior, Palmer started the finals with two dives that left her in fourth place.
Her third dive lit the commentary crew ablaze, as she posted a score of 73.5.
She followed with a fourth round score of 66.65 before earning 73.1 points on her favorite dive – the double out.
“I really feel like I have that last dive. We train that dive so well,” said Palmer. “I knew that I had it, I just wanted to be as relaxed as possible. … I walked into it with some confidence and under my breath I was saying, ‘you got this.'”
Palmer became the first American woman to attempt the double out in Olympic competition and became the first American women to medal in the individual 3-meter dive since 1988.
Her coach, Jian Li You, who came down the escalator hand-in-hand with Palmer, was the first woman to coach for the USA Olympic Diving team.
“It’s amazing that I walked into her club team. It’s honestly unbelievable,” said Palmer of her coach. “She is the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of all-time).”
The last time an American woman won an individual medal in diving was over two decades ago in 2000.
It’s a historic feat that will be remembered forever by plenty.
Palmer even teased another potential run in 2024.
“The next Olympics are only three years away. There have been a lot of sacrifices made up until this point. … It’s been an amazing journey and I would really love to share that experience with my family. There may be another Olympic games, hopefully my body stays intact … and I’m still having fun doing it.”
Palmer said her Tokyo experience was incredible and being a part of Olympic Village was surreal.
She said she strayed away from social media around events, but was overwhelmed with the support she saw when she was online.
“Just a great big, giant, fat thank you,” said Palmer of her supporters. “I’m just blown away with how many people were watching and supporting and cheering from afar.”
Capping her return, Reno mayor Hillary Schieve named Tuesday August 3, 2021 as ‘Krysta Palmer Day’
Rest and family time will be the first priorities for Palmer in the coming days, but the 29-year-old Olympic bronze medalist suggested she may not even be at her peak yet.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.