Story by Ellie Campbell
Photo by Ben Feria
Sophomore Nicholas Chau isn’t your average high school athlete. Sports like football, basketball, soccer, or track typically come to mind when people think of elite high school athletes. But for Chau, he finds his success when hovering above the water on a diving board. Although SPHS does not offer a diving program at school, Chau placed fifth at the 2019 US Junior Nationals for the one meter dive. With a goal of competing in the 2024 Olympics, Chau’s drive for success goes beyond long practices and extra strength training. Chau tries to give himself every advantage possible by maintaining a high level of self-care.
Striving for the Olympics is extremely time consuming, but Chau holds himself to a high standard. He typically practices four hours per day, five or six days a week and returns home at 10 p.m. with just enough time to finish homework. Chau has adapted to his strenuous schedule and still manages to maintain a solid GPA. But, what separates Chau from other student athletes is his devotion to a strict diet. To help him stay lean and muscular, Chau avoids red meat and instead opts for vegetables, such as spinach and different collard greens. In addition, Nicholas Chau eats protein-rich snacks like eggs and yogurt to build muscle for diving.
Chau begins his preparation long before the day of a meet. He increases his sleep seven to nine hours a night the week before a competition. On the day of the meet, Chau wakes up early to mentally prepare himself for his dive. The 5 feet 7 inches’ sophomore focuses on his own performance rather than his competition. While competing, it is crucial to stay hydrated and energized, so Chau drinks lots of water and eats either chocolates or protein bars to keep his energy boosted.
“I feel that all the work I do now will be worth it. Having the goal of making it to the Olympics and Ivy Leagues motivates me everyday to push through,” Chau said.
Chau has come a long way since his early days of dreaming about competing in the Olympics. His hard work and dedication to his craft have placed him well on his way to getting a shot at his dream. He is determined to break more records, win many more competitions, earn himself a scholarship, and someday win an Olympic medal.