No Experience, No Problem. The Story of Krysta Palmer
(Photo: Andy Barron/RGJ)

When Krysta Palmer switched from gymnastics to trampoline at the age of twelve she had no idea where the sport would take her. She quickly became one of the top trampolinists in the nation. What helped Palmer most with jump-starting her trampoline career was her seven years in gymnastics.

She was well on her way to qualifying for the Olympics, however injuries continued to hold her back from reaching her goal of a Gold medal. In 2008 she tore her ACL, MCL, LCL, and Meniscus in her right knee while doing trampoline. That’s an incredibly tough injury to come back from but she was persistent and fought back from her injury by winning the 2009 national title in the junior elite division for trampoline.

You would think her bad luck had finally left her, until five days before the World Championship in 2010 she tore her ACL on the trampoline once again.

For Palmer this was heartbreaking because her dream had been to make the Olympics ever since she was a little girl and this would be the end of her trampoline career as she decided to retire not wanting to risk damaging her knees any further.

She had very little options after having so many knee injuries involving trampoline. “I decided for my health and well being and also to have good knees in the future that I need to either quit trampoline or go to something else,” Palmer said.

She decided to try and walk-on at the diving team at the University of Nevada. She had tried diving before at the age of twelve but she wasn’t thrilled with the sport and and so she went with trampoline instead.

Somehow after picking up a sport which she had only tried once, she found immediate success and Palmer was able to overcome her injuries both physically and mentally.

So how was she was able to thrive at a sport she never had real interest in until a few years ago? “A lot of it comes from my background in gymnastics and trampoline. Gymnastics gave me the strength and trampoline gave me the air awareness.” said Palmer.

Air awareness is huge when it comes to diving because you have to know where you’re at while making a dive.

Her coach Jian Li You was a major part of her success. “A lot of it also comes from my coach, she’s got a background that not a whole lot of coaches have. She used to be a national team diver in China and she really has the experience and knowledge. She’s converted me from a trampolinist to a diver,” Palmer said.

Krysta Palmer has faced many setbacks but they’ve only made her a stronger person. This is only the beginning of her journey in diving and she still dreams of qualifying for the Olympics.

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