She was the pint-sized teen prodigy who first dived into Australia’s hearts with a silver medal on the 2006 Commonwealth Video games at simply 13 years of age.
Fifteen years on, Melissa Wu remains to be the queen of Australian diving as she prepares to compete at her fourth Olympics in Tokyo after rising up within the public eye.
Wu was a family title in sport by age 15 the place she grew to become the youngest Australian ever to win an Olympic medal in diving when she teamed up with Briony Cole to assert silver within the ladies’s 10m synchonised platform occasion on the 2008 Video games in Beijing.
The Penrith-born Sydneysider says individuals react with shock after they hear she’s nonetheless diving on the high degree on the age of 29.
Melissa Wu (pictured, left) has grown up and appears a world away from her younger self, aged simply 15 (proper) on the Beijing Olympics in 2008
‘Individuals are stunned after they learn the way previous I’m, that I am nonetheless going at this age. Folks nonetheless consider me as being a bit youthful,’ Wu informed information.com.au.
Wu is now an occasion extra achieved athlete in comparison with the one who surprised the world on the Olympic stage 13 years in the past.
She simply missed out on spot on the rostrum with a reputable fifth in London in 2012 and a fourth-placed effort on the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Wu additionally received gold at 2010 and 2018 Commonwealth Video games, in addition to extra medals at world championships alongside the best way.
However the starvation for that elusive Olympic gold medal stays as she prepares for the upcoming nationwide titles to qualify for Tokyo.
Melissa Wu (pictured, left in 2008) was 15 when she grew to become the youngest Australian ever to win an Olympic medal in diving with a silver with Briony Cole (proper) within the ladies’s synchronised 10m Platform on the Olympics in Beijing
Diver Melissa Wu modelled the brand new Olympic uniformed designed by Speedo at a launch in Sydney final Thursday (pictured)
Wu relishes her function as a veteran of the Australian diving workforce having struggled with confidence and self-belief as a youthful athlete.
She loves being a part of a workforce and having the ability to mentor youthful divers.
‘Clearly you are so much older, you are so much wiser, you have acquired much more expertise, so simply as an individual issues are actually totally different after which going from one of many youngest to one of many oldest your function within the workforce adjustments,’ Wu stated.
Regardless of of the swag of medals, Wu’s diving profession hasn’t been all clean crusing, plagued with damage and psychological well being struggles.
Wu additionally struggled with the extremely aggressive, cut-throat tradition of Australian diving within the early levels of her profession, the place she was ‘pitted in opposition to’ fellow divers.
‘The setting and the workforce feeling has been so much higher now in recent times and I undoubtedly really feel like we’re undoubtedly one workforce and a extra supportive workforce,’ Wu stated.
‘I actually loved the again half of those years in diving in comparison with the primary half of that workforce setting and actually feeling a part of one thing.’
The diving prodigy (pictured in 2008 in Beijing) grew to become a worldwide sensation when competing within the Olympic Video games aged simply 15
Wu additionally struggled after her older sister Kirsten took her personal life in 2014 and took time away from the diving earlier than returning to the game to compete at her third Olympics in 2016.
‘I undoubtedly have been occupied with her,’ Wu informed the Sydney Morning Herald whereas competing on the Olympics in Rio.
‘It has been actually exhausting. I achieved one thing so massive and to not be capable to share it with somebody you are that near … I do know she’s at all times with me and I’ve her now in a means I did not have earlier than. I get to share this differently along with her.’
‘I respect these Olympics much more as a result of I’ve been by means of so much these previous couple of years. To have the ability to overcome that and see what I’m fabricated from is a large achievement. I am lastly pleased with myself, it is taken some time, however you’re taking the great with the unhealthy.’
Melissa Wu (far left) was simply 13 when she dived into our hearts on the 2006 Commonwealth Video games in Melbourne, going dwelling with a silver medal
Wu mentioned her profession whereas modelling Australia’s new Olympic aquatic sports activities uniform vary designed by Speedo at a launch final week.
‘Being right here at this time and being within the equipment in individual makes Tokyo appear much more actual, it is so thrilling,’ Wu informed reporters on Thursday.
‘I really like the colors and really feel nice in it.’
‘These Video games might be totally different however we have all been coaching for this second for years, and we’re so shut now to the most important sporting occasion on the earth.’
Wu just lately seemed again on her profession and opened up on her psychological well being struggles on Fox Sports activities program The Again Web page.
‘From a younger age, having that stress in this system I grew up in, it was coaching in a squad that you simply wished to be a workforce however on the identical time pitted in opposition to the highest athletes to remain within the squad they usually had been letting divers go ceaselessly,’ she stated.
‘I grew up with a number of worry of not having the ability to preserve my place within the squad and rising up with athletes so much older, I actually struggled with that.’
‘It was a tricky time. It took a number of years to get out of it.’
Melissa Wu (pictured final week) is aiming to compete at her fourth Olympics, 13 years after she first competed on the Video games as a 15-year-old