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43-year-old mother of 4 just qualified for the U.S. Olympic diving qualifying finals

Laura Wilkinson was first woman to have won three major diving world titles, including the Olympic gold medal in the 2000 Olympic Games. She was 22 then. Now she's 43, a mother of four, and 13 years post-retirement—and she just qualified for this weekend's women's platform finals in the U.S. Olympic trials.

"I never thought I would get to come back and dive again after I retired 13 years ago," she told NBC Sports. "So this is really a gift, every dive is a gift. I love doing it and this is really special."

When Wilkinson took home the gold from the Sydney Olympics, she was the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in platform diving in 36 years. No U.S. woman has medaled in the Olympic sport since then. Against all odds, Wilkinson is looking for another medal shot in what will be her fourth Olympic games, if she makes the team.


Wilkinson explained on TODAY, "When you feel called to do something and you're passionate about it, you just want to be all in. It's the drive, it's the love, and I love that my kids get to watch me do this, not just by telling them how to live their lives. But they're seeing me, the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to actually get there."

Wilkinson underwent surgery on her spine in 2018, a procedure that has enabled her to return to the sport that she loves.

"I'm kind of just surprised I'm doing it, honestly," Wilkinson told TODAY. "When I retired at 30 I was old back then, so this whole journey has just been a crazy, fun road."

At 43, Wilkinson is not ancient by any means, but competitive physical sports are a young person's game. Even athletes in their 30s are considered past their prime, so even qualifying for Olympic trial finals is an impressive feat.

"It's never going to be an easy road," Wilkinson said, "but that's what makes the journey worth it. When you get to the other side, whether you achieve all your goals and your dreams or you don't, going through all of that, it refines you as a person, it's walking through that fire, and you become better in that process."

Dara Torres made Olympic history in 2008, winning three silver medals in swimming at age 41. The oldest Olympic gold medalist ever was Sweden's Oscar Swahn, who took home the gold medal in shooting at age 64, and still competed in the Olympics at age 72.

While aging inarguably makes physical competition harder, athletes like Wilkinson prove that you don't have to stop competing just because you reach a certain date on a calendar. Congrats and kudos to her for chasing her Olympic dreams for the fourth time, and for showing the world what's possible with dedication, perseverance, and support.

Watch her interview with Houston's KCRP 2 the day before she qualified for the finals, which take place on Sunday evening.

Diver Laura Wilkinson ready to go for goldwww.youtube.com

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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