This is the incredible story of Jordan Windle, 22-year-old diver who got to the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year as part of the U.S. Olympic Diving Team.
When he was just a year old, Jordan’s parents died and he was left to live in an orphanage in his homeland of Cambodia. He was a fragile baby who suffered from parasitic infection and whose future didn’t seem bright. However, that all changed when Jerry Windle, a gay man from Florida, stumbled upon an article about a single man who adopted a child from Cambodia.
“The story went on to talk about the close relationship between the father and his son, and something kind of clicked in my head… The article listed (the number of an adoption service) and so I called the number and I said ‘I just read an article, is it possible for a single person to adopt a child?’ and they said ‘Yes, it is,'” Jerry shared with Today.
Months later, he was holding his son in his arms and was ready to give him a new lease on life back in America.
When Jordan turned 7, he attended a summer camp and it was the start of an incredible life journey which involved the sport that would change this young man’s life forever; diving.
While Jordan was at the summer camp, Jerry got a call from Tim O’Brien, whose father Ron O’Brien coached a number of successful divers over the years. Tim told Jerry that there was something in his son and that he was meant for diving.
Two years after Jordan’s first encounter with diving, he “won his first junior national championship, which is almost unprecedented for somebody that just got into a sport,” as his dad told Today. “I know the hard work that he’s put into it, it’s been earned, and I’m just really excited and proud that with his coaching staff, he’s been able to accomplish such an amazing feat,” the proud father added.
When asked why he dives, Jordan answers that it’s because of his dad. Jerry is extremely happy to watch his son succeed and how his career skyrockets further and further with each passing year.
Sadly, because of the pandemic and all the restrictions, Jerry couldn’t accompany his son to Tokyo.
“I can usually hear (my dad) out of everyone in the audience, which is awesome. Not having him at the Olympics will be different,” Jordan said, as per The News & Observer. “I wish he was there, but that doesn’t really change what I’m going there to do: To have fun, show off a little bit, and put on a show for everyone. That’s going to be my intention and I’m hopefully going to make him proud.”
The young star thanked his father for everything he has done for him over the years. “Without him making all the sacrifices that he has, and his love and support the whole time we’ve been together, I really wouldn’t be where I am today. I have him to thank for everything, all my accomplishments. It’s been an amazing journey with him, and we’re still rolling.”