“There’s a lot of reflection going on,” she said. “So many moments and experiences that have brought me to this point.”
“The first time she did a dive she held her nose,” he recalled. “I said, ‘Brit, that’s not going to work.’”
Her first meet against top competition was in Montreal, and she traveled there with her dad, who was eager to make up for the time he lost with her as a child.
“I said, ‘First of all, is she going to survive up there?’” he said. “When she came off, she said, ‘That was the biggest rush I ever had.’”
Brittany is unfazed by plunging off the 33-foot tower — the equivalent of two of London’s famous double-decker buses — and hurtling toward the water at speeds fast enough to cause pain upon impact, especially if her entry isn’t perfect.
“She spit blood for a few days when she entered the water the wrong way,” her father said.
Her famous father wouldn’t be caught dead climbing to the top of the 10-meter tower, let alone the ladder on the 3-meter springboard.
“I go up 10 feet to put on Christmas lights and I’m ready to pass out,” he said, crediting his wife for Brittany’s lack of fear.The elder Viola says the only thing he takes credit for in his daughter’s career is encouraging her to have fun and go for her goals.
“Everything I achieved in baseball was done as a team. This is individual and for the United States,” he said. “She has to go out there for herself and have fun.”