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.

Penguin Air



Clayton Keller Autographed Hockey Stick

Register below for your chance to win an Autographed Clayton Keller Hockey Stick Follow @Anthony987sport
1 day ago
Devin Booker #1, Chris Paul #3, and Torrey Craig #12 of the Phoenix Suns take a moment later in the...
Kellan Olson

Phoenix Suns run it back with Torrey Craig in no-brainer acquisition

The Phoenix Suns brought back Torrey Craig at the trade deadline, a move that makes all the sense in the world.
5 months ago
Arizona Sports

Panthers’ Sam Darnold getting MRI on shoulder ahead of Cardinals game

Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold is getting an MRI on his shoulder, head coach Matt Rhule told reporters on Monday.
8 months ago
Arizona Cardinals WR A.J. Green runs through drills during practice Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021, in Te...
Arizona Sports

Reports: Cardinals’ A.J. Green, Demetrius Harris placed on COVID-19 list

The Arizona Cardinals have reportedly placed wide receiver A.J. Green and tight end Demetrius Harris on the reserve/COVID-19 list.
8 months ago

Return of the Hottest Tickets

9 months ago
Arizona Sports

Cards-Vikes Relateds

Follow @AZSports
10 months ago
Tempe native Dorman takes silver, parents overjoyed