U.S. Olympians Troy Dumais and Kristian Ipsen talk about winning a bronze medal in synchronized diving and joke about the goofy faces they make during their dives.
U.S. Olympic diver Kristian Ipsen called winning the bronze medal with partner Troy Dumais in Wednesday's synchronized three-meter springboard “crazy.”
Ipsen, 19, has the facial expressions to prove it. His facial contortions while he flips and turns in the air have garnered him some extra attention, most of it unwanted.
“They’re always on some sort of website or something, and I’m always on it,'' Ipsen told TODAY's Natalie Morales and Al Roker on Thursday. "It’s so embarrassing.''
Barbara Walton / EPA
Kristian Ipsen (left) and Troy Dumais not only won a bronze medal in synchronized diving on Wednesday but also gained online fame for Ipsen's crazy faces during his dives.
While the two mirrored one another on the dive that advanced the pair to medal contention, the faces were all Ipsen’s own. During the dive, he not only made a face with his eyes wide and mouth open, but another with his tongue out. Both were caught on camera.
Even though Morales and Roker tried to persuade him, Ipsen wouldn’t recreate one of his expressions. The faces aren't something he can do on cue.
Al Bello / Getty Images
“I can’t do it,” he said. “Only when I’m diving.”
Morales called Ipsen's expressions proof that there is some serious effort going on while he's leaping and tumbling. “That says, 'We’re going for a medal and we got it,''' she said.
The win was a long time coming for Dumais, who competed in three prior Olympics without winning a medal. This is the first Olympics for Ipsen.
"It feels amazing,'' Dumais said. "It’s more amazing to be able to do it with Kristian. It’s his first one. We had a great competition and it’s a dream come true.”
Ipsen was only 7 years old when he first saw Dumais compete.
“It was crazy because I watched him in all the Olympics in 2000, in 2004, and in 2008,'' Ipsen said. "In 2008 I was the alternate. I was in his position in 1996. It’s really surreal being paired up with him because I’ve always watched his diving and tried emulate his actions. He’s so amazing.”