Lin makes a splash in competitive diving


Photo courtesy of Melody Lin

Lin competes at the Amateur Athletic Union Diving Nationals at Northside Swim Center in San Antonio, Texas in July of 2018.

Kaitlyn Delaney

After injuring her elbow from gymnastics in 2016, junior Melody Lin of Freehold Township found herself in search of a new sport to occupy her time. Though Lin lost interest in gymnastics, she explained that she always enjoyed the “flipping around.” So, she searched for a sport where she could do so with a lower injury rate, leading to her current passion of three years: diving.

Melody’s love for the sport comes primarily from the support she finds in it. At meets, those on different teams cheer each other on, creating a benevolent environment rather than the hostile ones found in other competitive sports.

“Nobody is afraid of showing their admiration of others,” Melody said. “The camaraderie is really amazing, and it’s very refreshing to see competing athletes be so amiable with each other.”

Although she dives competitively, Lin feels she underperforms when she competes as a result of her nerves. While she does not let her anxiety get in the way of doing what she loves, it is something she hopes to change in the upcoming season.

“I’m never too upset about it and typically make it my goal to not come in last,” Lin explained. “I’m hoping that this season I’ll start to be a little higher up on the list of girls I compete against.”

To Melody, competitions allow divers to showcase their skills and growth, thus giving them confidence in their abilities.

“It definitely feels good to show improvement,” she said. “It means my work is paying off.”

As for her future, Melody aspires to continue improving her technique and strength, and to possibly qualify beyond regional competitions. She hopes to continue diving if the college she attends has a club or intramural team, but she does not wish to look for recruitment.

“Diving will always be secondary to my academics, but I would love to pursue it in the future if the opportunity arises,” Lin explained.