Diving into the deep end; Matthew Mitchell
Matthew Mitchell, a former La Porte High School student, is currently an online student at Laurel Springs School, training year round for a chance to become an Olympic diver competing in the 2024 Olympics.
The 16-year-old swimmer plunged into diving when he was just nine years old. In fourth grade, he signed up for Turbos, a summer swim program through LPHS. It started off as a hobby; it was more of a second sport to baseball. It wasn’t until about a year ago that Mitchell fully committed his life into diving.
“La Porte swimming and diving taught me how to be a respective athlete during meets, and it is just a good sport in general, and my coach RJ was always there for me,” Mitchell said.
Mitchell’s title went from “ordinary teenage boy” to “Olympic competitor” in just a matter of a couple months. Coach John Wingfield asked Mitchell if he would like to join his summer diving camp and if he wanted to be trained to be a part of their elite team and he took the offer. Now, Mitchell completes six to eight hours of training per day and occasionally stays up until two or three in the morning most nights managing homework and schooling. Not only is it difficult to keep up in school work with just a regular high school sport, but keeping up with school work while training for an Olympic sport is on a whole other level.
“It is very different without Matthew living at home. Matthew and I are best friends, we were inseparable, things have changed now but we are still very close. He can always make me laugh even on my worst day. I miss him alot, and I hope he does well,” Madison Mitchell, sister of Matthew, said.
Mitchell is training for RipFest Diving out of Indianapolis. Mitchell is blessed with a great coach–Coach Wingfield. He was the 2008 Head Olympic Dive Coach, and he has given Mitchell the steps to succeed and overcome obstacles in this sport.
Mitchell’s loss can certainly be felt at the LPHS Natatorium. His leadership and skill were valued greatly by swimmers and coaches alike.
“It’s going to be different without him. The boys season just started, and he was a huge part of it. We could basically count on him to win diving. Matthew kept things light; he was never too serious, never got worked up about stuff. Things can be pretty stressful, but he was always kind of relaxed and in a good mood. That was helpful for everyone involved,” Doty, LPHS head swim coach, said.
Here is to hopefully seeing a Slicer on the podium in 2024!