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The Last Dive This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Myname is called and I walk calmly to the diving board. I take a deep breath andclear everything from my mind. It's hard to stay composed when all I can think ofis nailing this dive.

I eat, sleep and dream diving. The whole seasoncomes down to this final dive, the one and one half forward somersault in pikeposition. This has always been my best dive, but there's always that littlefactor called splash that can shatter the perfect ten.

Standing at the endof the board, I realize how simple this should be. I've done it hundreds oftimes. All I have to do is cool down, concentrate and carry out what should bethe dive that gets me first place in the championships. As I hold the railingsand step up onto the board, everyone falls quiet. I look at my coach and friendsfor reassurance. For two summers in a row, my coach has been working with me toperfect each dive I do. She's always there for me and makes the sport a lot offun. Last year I wasn't even in the championships, but with her coaching, I endedup with an undefeated record in every meet this summer. We both know I'mready.

I look straight ahead and think through the movements I need todo in the next few seconds. I find that I'm holding my breath. Letting it out, Itell myself to chill out and just do it. Making sure my feet are in position, Ibegin my approach. This is when I am most tense. One, two, three steps. I leap upinto the air and land back on the board. Out of nowhere comes a surge of powerfrom under my feet, sending me soaring into the air. Involuntarily, my body foldsin half to a pike position. My toes point, I grab my heels, and I squeeze whatseems like every muscle in my body.

Everything is in slow motion, and Idon't even need to count the number of flips I've done to know when to open up.As I slowly undo this pike position I'm in, my arms come together above my headand, straight as an arrow, I enter the water.

Yes! I think. I've got it,I've got it! In glee I swim to the surface. As I look up I see the judges holdingtheir cards. A smile lights up my face as I swim to the ladder. I get out of thepool and practically run to my coach in happiness.

Walking home, the worldis simply perfect as a gold medal hangs around my neck.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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