Tempe native Dorman takes silver, parents overjoyed

Aug 12, 2016, 9:40 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO – When he was little, Sam Dorman would get nervous before dive meets. He would look up at his parents, Paul and Marla, for support and they would always respond with a thumbs up.

Before Sam competed in the men’s synchronized 3-meter springboard diving event at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre in Rio de Janeiro Wednesday, it was no different.

“He got out of the hot tub and he looked up at us and we were like in the front row so he could see us and he gave us a thumbs up,” Marla Dorman said. “I knew he was calm and confident.”

Dorman and his partner Michael Hixon clinched a silver medal after scoring 98.04 points on their sixth and final dive, the highest score for any dive in the competition.

The Tempe native was able to make one call to his parents after getting out of the pool before being whisked away for the medal ceremony.

His first words according to his parents? “Was that not incredible?” he said.

Marla sobbed on the phone with tears of pure joy.

“We never take it for granted that they’re going to get a medal or win, but after that last dive it was incredible,” Marla said.

Paul Dorman got chills up and down his spine.

“The feeling after they won a medal was incredible,” Paul said. “It was like surreal. It was like no feeling I’ve ever had before except when I got married and (my children) were born.”

The proud parents usually never talk about diving before Sam’s events. Instead, they just wish him good luck.

“We knew what the competition was and what to expect,” Paul added. “We knew the Chinese were always favored as they always are. It was great to beat the Chinese.”

The Dormans will head back to Arizona soon but Sam will stay behind. He’s managed to make new best friends out of PGA golfers Rickie Fowler and Bubba Watson.

Watson and Fowler have become big diving fans over the last week and have been at all the diving events.

Paul joked about already visiting Sam’s new friends when they come to the Valley.

“I might be going to the Phoenix Open and saying ‘Hey Sam, can you get me a couple tickets to the Phoenix Open? Tell Rickie we’ll come out and follow him’,” Paul said.



Win 2023 Cardinals Rookie Jersey

Register to win a BRAND NEW Cardinals jersey

1 month ago


Cardinals Draft Giveaway

  Bonneville staff predict the Arizona Cardinals 1st round draft pick for your chance to win a new Arizona Cardinals jersey and tickets to the home opener next year! 

2 months ago

Paul Burkett

Win Phoenix Rising Tickets

Register Below for a chacne to win tickets

2 months ago


Win D-backs Tickets

Enter to win a family four-pack of tickets to see the Arizona Diamondbacks take on the New York Mets on July 4th!

18 days ago


Win D-backs Home Opener Tickets

Register below for your chance to win a family four-pack of tickets to the D-backs Home Opener!

2 months ago



Red Hot Chili Peppers with The Strokes

Red Hot Chili Peppers are bringing their 2023 Tour to State Farm Stadium on May 14 with very special guests The Strokes and Thundercat. Register now for your chance to win tickets!

28 days ago

Tempe native Dorman takes silver, parents overjoyed