"This is the best feeling in life, so far," Slay said, "but I expect to get an even better feeling Down Under in September."
U.S. Diving Trials
A Case of Sydney Stones
Talk about degree of difficulty. At 2 a.m. last Thursday, 17 hours before he was to compete in the finals of the men's three-meter springboard at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Federal Way, Wash., Troy Dumais, 20, was admitted to St. Francis Hospital, trying to pass a large kidney stone. "I felt like my whole side was exploding," he says.
To make matters worse, Dumais, a point off the lead after Wednesday's semifinals, had to tell doctors not to administer the usual narcotic given to patients in his condition, because it was on the IOC's banned list. Instead he was hooked up to an IV bag, received an injection of a nonsteroidal painkiller and, after passing a stone into his bladder, sent on his way at 4 a.m. Thirteen painful hours later he was back in the hospital, trying to excrete the stone. Instead he passed a second stone, or a fragment of the first, into his bladder and arrived at the Weyerhaeuser Aquatic Center 45 minutes before the competition. In the stands his parents, Kathy and Marc, and 28 other supporters in light blue shirts that read DUMAIS DIVING had no clue about his illness. "I didn't want my mom to freak," said Dumais, who at week's end had still not excreted any stones, "so only my brother Justin knew?"
Justin is one of four Dumais siblings who followed Troy into diving after his parents chose it as an outlet for Troy's hyperactivity. One teacher suspected that Troy suffered from attention deficit disorder and suggested that his parents put him on Ritalin. Instead they put him on diving boards.
Justin, 21, would finish 13th in the springboard, but Troy, despite his ordeal, remained in a battle with Mark Ruiz and David Pichler for the two Olympic springboard berths. With one dive left on Thursday, Dumais hit an inward 2� piked for 8.5's, apparently enough to make Ruiz the odd man out. But Ruiz, who had come from seventh place to win the three- and 10-meter titles at the nationals in April, hit a reverse 3� with a� twist tucked for a 9-5 average to vault into the lead. With Dumais on the bubble, Pichler needed only 6's to make the team but over-rotated his final dive and fell to fourth. Ruiz and Dumais, childhood pals, embraced as Pichler slumped against a wall. "We told each other a year ago we were going to make the Olympic team together," said Dumais, whose efforts to keep his side of the bargain gave new meaning to the word trials.