Local: 704-401-2432 “Our job is to be able to go in there and do what it takes to give Him glory, so whether that’s us accomplishing a silver medal or getting sixth place, we have an opportunity to be able to proclaim Him.”. Steele Johnson almost died on the diving platform. A major diving-related head injury almost killed Johnson at age 12, when he struck his head on the concrete platform and his "scalp ripped in half," as The Indianapolis Star reported. There’s always a definite purpose about himself with what it is he’s going to do.”. But when stuff like that does occur, it is for the good of His people in some way or another. “When something like that happens in your life, a near-death experience, you don’t know where you’re going to be going with your life,” Johnson told Team USA reporter Rebecca Harris. Meet Simone Biles, America’s New Gymspiration, Ibtihaj Muhammad Didn’t Win A Medal, But She Still Scored An Olympic Victory. ©2020 Verizon Media. He opened up about the accident in the above video and a … Soldati, who once told his church that he’s a follower of Christ who happens to be a diving coach, commends Steele for staying engaged in spiritual discipline, especially under the bright lights of athletic stardom. “If I was maybe a centimeter closer to the platform, I could’ve fractured my skull,” he said. “It was a glorious moment for all of us, and all of the other athletes that watched it were clapping,” Wingfield said, his tone growing excited even seven years later. I'm Steele and I'm a 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist in Diving! Astonishingly, doctors only diagnosed him with a minor concussion. United States' silver medalists Steele Johnson, right, and David Boudia, left, pose with their medals after the men's synchronized 10-meter platform diving final in the Maria Lenk Aquatic Center at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. We will say that until our dying day.”. The most recent stop on their journey was Rio, where Boudia and Steele claimed a silver medal in the synchronized diving event. Johnson told Team USA reporter Rebecca Harris. “That’s the struggle with the Olympic journey,” Soldati said. “I even think Steele getting 13th (individually) was totally God because it’s the, ‘OK, are you still going to say God got me here? Asiana Airlines Flight 214 was a scheduled transpacific passenger flight from Incheon International Airport near Seoul, South Korea, to San Francisco International Airport in the United States. That accident is ever-present with the Johnsons, who sometimes jokingly call Steele’s reverse 3 ½ the headbanger dive. I firmly believe God’s going to call you home when He’s ready to call you home. “Many people would have quit right then, and Steele had a greater meaning and a greater purpose for what he wanted to accomplish. Johnson explained in his video that Wingfield had to hold Johnson’s head together to prevent him from bleeding out and from chlorine seeping into the wound, which could have caused brain damage. “I reached out to them, and they just poured so much of their time, energy, heart and soul into me,” said Steele, who won two NCAA championships his freshman year at Purdue. The show, which was rebooted in 2016 after its initial airing in 1956, is hosted by Anthony Anderson. One day toward the end of second grade, 7-year-old Steele brought home a flier from school announcing diving lessons. Deadlines. The dive took only seconds to complete and soon enough, the Boilermakers were toweling off, watching their 95.04 score appear. Both divers stressed their identity isn’t wrapped up in winning a medal. “All of the things that could have happened, he walked away with a cut and a minor concussion. Soldati challenged Steele to engage fully in God’s Word and get involved in his local church. I kind of got to the realization of like, ‘This isn’t going to get me anywhere in life. Johnson, a Carmel diver favored to make the U.S. team at the upcoming Olympic Trials, divulged Wednesday he has memory loss from an incident Jan. 21, … Suddenly, his head hit the concrete platform. “For me, having my child make this choice and also being willing to proclaim not just to his friends and family but also on national TV, that’s really encouraging, and actually, it’s kind of a good reminder to me about what it’s like to step out on faith,” Jill said. I had to think about what happened and had we done everything right and was this a skill he should or shouldn’t have been doing?”. “I remember my husband would turn him upside down and he would giggle, and I would say, ‘Turn him right-side up! “It was a great moment so to speak and his confidence, you could see it immediately.”. The young diver’s coach, John Wingfield, jumped into the pool to save him. On that day, Steele was practicing a relatively new dive in his lineup, the reverse 3 ½ somersault tuck. “That’s our way of coping with the stress,” Jill said. Wingfield immediately reviewed the tape from that day and confirmed it was just a fluke. He hated talking about it. He had successfully completed the progressions and even collected some more medals at the 2009 Junior Pan American Games. “I never really struggled with ‘Why me? “[Steele] started to see that the road that he was going on was not satisfying. Sure they’d like to win, but it isn’t all about that. And it was forcing us to say, did we really mean this? In fact, he has declined interviews about it up until this point. “It gave me ease, and it let me enjoy the contest. The blood’s rushing to his head!'”. Unaware of the extent of his injury, Steele popped out of the water and listened as then-coach John Wingfield calmly guided him over to the side of the pool. In 2009, at age 12, he was practicing his favorite dive, a triple reverse somersault in a tuck position — watch for him to ace it in the men’s individual platform diving in Rio — when he cracked his skull on a concrete platform, sliced open his scalp and fell 33 feet into the pool. It’s not always gonna be that drastic of a change, but just know God’s got a plan and His plan is for us to be conformed to the image of His Son daily.”. It’s a roaring lion ready to devour you at any moment,” Soldati said. “Everything happens for the good of those who love Him, so if I sit back and I look at that situation, yes, that is something I don’t want anyone to ever go through and I hope no one ever has to experience something like that in their life. “The fact that I was going into this event knowing that my identity is rooted in Christ and not what the result of this competition is just gave me peace,” Steele told NBC reporter Kelli Stavast after competing in his first Olympic event. Steele Johnson has always looked at the world from a different perspective. The story is a part of Steele’s life that God is using, but reliving the moment by video wouldn’t help anybody. Steele’s parents haven’t seen the footage and don’t want to. For Johnson, it was the final step to overcoming a horrific head injury he endured seven years earlier while practicing his diving. He didn’t figure it out until he got to college. “I could have stopped diving, I could have gone back to middle school and just been a normal kid and played different sports like football or soccer.”. Seven years after his accident, Johnson, an Indiana native, posted a video on YouTube to retell the nearly tragic day on Jan. 21, 2009. Steele sat out his sophomore diving season at Purdue so he could retain collegiate eligibility while training for Rio, but he still trained at the Boilermakers facility. BGEA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. 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