Diver Knight-Wisdom fights through financial struggles to reach 2nd Olympic GamesSunday, June 13, 2021
Jamaica's Olympic diver Yona Knight-Wisdom has qualified for his second Olympic Games but things could have gone terribly wrong as he struggled financially to make ends meet.
The 26-year-old Knight-Wisdom, having decided to relocate from his family home, said the going got extremely tough, as all of a sudden he had to be paying bills which seriously hampered his preparation.
“It's has been challenging because there have been times when I have to be borrowing money from friend and family to get through,” Knight-Wisdom revealed.
“I have been receiving the funding from the Institute of Sports and it is tremendously helpful because the last few years have been very challenging for me. I moved from Leeds to Edinburg, so I left home which meant I have to pay rent, bills and food and paid for more things than when I was at home,” he pointed out.
“The scholarship that I have been receiving plus now this Institute of Sports funding has been really, really helpful and I am grateful to the Minister Olivia Grange for providing that for athletes and hope that it is something that will continue, not just in the Olympic year, but in the years in between because those are the years that really count,” Knight-Wisdom said.
He continued: “But I am super grateful for it. It has been really helpful. I have been using it for some extra massage treatment and just try to look after my body to get me in a good condition for the Games.”
In 2016, Knight-Wisdom became the first Jamaican diver to qualify for the Olympic Games. In fact, the first in the Caribbean.
“I am now starting to find my rhythm again. I went through the tough phase of getting back into training full time and so hopefully I can start building on all the good work I did in Tokyo at the World Cup. I can start improving on the small details going forward to the Games,” said Knight-Wisdom.
The diver, who won silver at the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru, said preparation is going well so far.
“It took a little bit of time because of the qualification to get back, recover physically and recover mentally. It was quite a stressful environment to recover from the jetlag before getting back into training.
“This is my second Olympic Games and it's so incredible to be saying that. I first watched the Olympics in 2004 at the age of nine and everything that I am doing now is to make that little boy proud. The fact I am going to my second Olympic Games is really fun and I am happy about it,” said Knight-Wisdom.
“I want to improve on what I did five years ago. I want to improve on my semi-final performance. I know I can dive well enough to get into the final, I have to dive well to make that happen, just like everyone else. So that's what my aim is to make it to the final then we see what happens,” he noted.
“I just want people to enjoy the sport of diving. Watch me and support me and I am so appreciative of all the love and I definitely feel that when I visit the island.
“I want people to enjoy the beauty of diving and the competitiveness and maybe one day we can see more Jamaican divers competing at this level, that would be awesome and I want to do my part and help that happen in Jamaica and the Caribbean,” said Knight-Wisdom.
Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at https://bit.ly/epaper-login