Krysta Palmer is a Carson City native, a Douglas High School graduate—and an Olympian bronze medalist, thanks to her performance in Tokyo in 2021. Palmer won the first Olympic individual medal for a U.S. female diver since Laura Wilkinson won gold in Sydney in 2000. Krysta’s bronze medal was also the first medal for the U.S. in the individual 3-meter springboard since 1988. Starting at the age of 8, her mother drove her from Carson City to Reno five or six times a week for four hours of gymnastics practice. She transferred from gymnastics to the trampoline when she was 12, and went on to compete nationally and internationally. She started diving at the University of Nevada, Reno, when she was 20 years old. Her favorite food is breakfast burritos, and she now has one named after her at Archie’s Giant Hamburgers and Breakfast. It’s called, appropriately enough, The Olympian.
What has been your biggest inspiration and motivation for your diving career?
Actually, it’s been the injuries that I have received over the years. After each injury, I’ve really set my mind to come back stronger. I think injuries have set my path that I’ve lived, from gymnastics to diving. Those injuries have really made me stronger, both mentally and physically.
What is your latest injury?
I was training through Olympic trials and went to the Olympic games in Tokyo with a torn labrum in my hip. I took some time off after Tokyo to see if it would recover and heal up, but it didn’t, and I needed to check it out further. I wound up having surgery in 2022.
How’s it feeling now?
Oh, it feels so much better. I’m so happy that I had the surgery.
Is there anyone specific who has really helped you in your career?
Yes, Jian Li You (UNR’s diving coach, recently named Mountain West Conference diving coach of the year for the eighth time), the most amazing coach in the United States and the world! She helped me transform the skills and the talent that I had from my previous sport background. She put so much time and effort into building such a good foundation in my diving career and really just escalated my success. She has so much knowledge and expertise from her childhood training and being a professional diver herself.
What will you be doing in the coming months?
In May, I’ll be competing in West Virginia. It’s our National Championships event that is a qualification meet for the World Championships and Pan American Games in the 3-meter individual, women’s 3-meter synchronized and mixed 3-meter synchronized. Then it’s on to the Olympic trials in Tennessee in 2024, and hopefully on to the Olympics in Paris in 2024. I hope to represent my country in Paris with my family in the stands cheering me on!