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

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


We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

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A deputy locates a missing girl in a Florida swamp.

A 5-year-old with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) wandered off into a swamp near Tampa, Florida, around 5:00 pm on Monday, February 26. The good news is that the girl was saved in about an hour thanks to the work of some brave sheriff’s officers and their incredible thermal technology.

The girl wandered from her home and was quickly reported missing by her family to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department. The sheriff quickly dispatched its aviation unit that used thermal imaging technology to scan the nearby swamplands to try to find the young girl before nightfall.

Thermal imaging technology captures images based on the heat emitted by objects, allowing us to see temperature differences even in the dark, making it super handy for night vision and heat detection. The thermal technology helped the officers quickly identify the girl from high above the trees.

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Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Family

10 things kids get in trouble for that adults get away with all the time

Why do we expect children to have more self-control than grown-ups?

Photo by Keren Fedida on Unsplash

Kids know when we're being hypocritical.

Raising kids is tough and no parent does it perfectly. Each child is different, each has their own personalities, strengths and challenges, and each of them requires something different from their parents in order to flourish.

But there's one thing that parents have long said, with their actions if not with their words, that justifiably drives kids bonkers: "Do as I say, not as I do."

To be fair, both moral and actual law dictate that there are things that adults can do that kids can't. Children can't drive or consume alcohol, for example, so it's not hypocritical for adults to do those things while telling kids they cannot. There are other things—movies, TV shows, books, etc.—that parents have to decide whether their kids are ready for or not based on their age and developmental stage, and that's also to be expected.

But there are some gaps between what adults do and what they expect kids to do that aren't so easy to reconcile.

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Education

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why the heck we have leap days

Neil deGrasse Tyson sat down with comedian Chuck Nice to give an entertaining and informative explanation of our calendar's biggest head scratcher.

Norwegian University of Science and Technology/Wikipedia, Representative Image from Canva

Neil deGrasse Tyson explains why we have a Leap Year.

While Neil deGrasse Tyson might usually break down the more complex mysteries of our universe, he also has a knack for discussing the mundane in a way that makes it every bit as interesting.

On a recent episode of the StarTalk Podcast, where the popular astrophysicist chats about “everything under the sun; Or rather under the universe!” Tyson sat down with comedian Chuck Nice to break down how and why Leap Day came to be.

“People seem to be mystified by it. A day just shows up on the calendar,” Tyson told Nice.

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Family

'Would you let your child wear this?': Mom asks if she's 'overreacting' to a Target dress.

"I don’t usually even let my girls wear bikinis, but maybe I’m overreacting, I don’t know. Thoughts?”

A controversial dress being sold at Target.

There seems to be a constant war between children’s clothing retailers who want to push the boundaries of modesty and parents who push back, saying they are sexualizing children. On top of that, when young girls believe they are supposed to wear clothes that are tight-fitting and revealing, it's very damaging to their self-esteem and body image.

“I think it’s one thing that the girls’ clothes are very fitted and small, and it’s another that they’re in such direct contrast to what you find on the boys’ side, and those two things send a pretty strong message about what they’re supposed to look like, dressed to be slim and to be fit,” Sharon Choksi, a mom of two and founder of the clothing line, Girls Will Be, told CNN.

The topic came up again recently when Meghan Mayer, a mother of 2 and a 7th-grade school teacher, posted a video on TikTok about a dress she saw at Target that received over 1.6 million views.

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