Rio-bound: Tempe Marcos de Niza grad Sam Dorman headed to Olympics for the 1st time

Posted at 3:07 PM, Jul 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-18 18:08:50-04

You may not know it, but we have a young man from Tempe going for gold next month in Rio.

Earlier this week while he was training on the campus of ASU, we caught up with Marcos de Niza High School grad Sam Dorman -- and he walked us through what that moment was like when he realized he was an Olympian.

"Going into the last dive, I knew we were up and I said, 'OK, if I hit this dive, we're done. We did it. We're there,'" said Dorman about the moment he qualified for the Summer Olympics in the synchronized 3-meter event.

"Hitting the water, coming up, seeing my family go crazy knowing I hit the dive, it was really an emotional experience, for sure," he said. "Seeing my name put on this wall of Olympians along with everybody else, and it's like, now I 'm considered part of that club. It's weird being on the other side of it where everyone's looking at them; now, they're looking at me."

The 24-year-old and six-time national champion now has an opportunity to bring home a gold medal for Team USA -- but it didn't completely sink in for Dorman until he showed up for an interview at a TV station while training in Miami.

"They started doing my makeup, and I was like, 'Oh my gosh, this is really happening,'" he said. "I'd never had my makeup done. I was kind of a little confused and thrown off by that, but I think that was also one of the eye-openers of, 'Wow, this is going on.'"

Dorman's preparation will continue right up until the games begin in August -- and that means intense training and a strict diet.

Of course, that diet gets put on hold when you're back home visiting family.

"Well, I landed and the first thing we did was got In-n-Out," he said with a laugh.

Dorman now heads to Atlanta for Team USA's pre-Olympic training camp.

"I'm very proud to represent Marcos and Tempe, and I'm glad to be representing the USA," he said.