Summer 2024

Alison Gibson earns Olympic diving spot over best friend Krysta Palmer: 'All glory to God'

Three worthy divers, two available spots.

That was the scenario on Saturday at the U.S. Olympic Diving Team Trials between Sarah Bacon, Alison Gibson and Krysta Palmer in the women’s individual 3-meter springboard final, with a trip to the 2024 Olympics in Paris on the line.

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The three divers had separated themselves from the rest of their fellow Americans yet were neck-and-neck with each other. After the pressure-packed 10th and final round of dives, Bacon had a secured the top spot while Gibson grabbed the second, leaving Palmer an individual bronze medalist in the Tokyo Olympics, one of the best divers in the world, and Gibson’s best friend off of this year’s Olympic team.

Gibson and Palmer shared a heartfelt embrace after the official scores came in.

“First and foremost, I want to say all glory to God,” Gibson told NBC in the emotional moments after her dive, while Palmer smiled and pointed upward.

“I said, ‘You deserve this,'” Palmer said about her message to her friend. “She’s worked so hard and she’s just such an incredible athlete.”

Palmer then turned to Gibson: “I have learned so much from you. To see you grow and see you mature over the last three years is remarkable. Not only do I see it, but everybody else sees it on this pool deck.

“Gosh, I’m just so proud. I feel nothing but joy for you qualifying, and I know that you’re gonna go kick some booty and have some fun out there because that’s what we do best.”

Gibson and Palmer, both of whom had to fight back tears during the poolside interview, are not only best friends but longtime synchronized diving partners as well.

The pair represented the United States at the Tokyo Olympics in the 3-meter synchro event but failed to medal. After disappointment with her Olympic experience, Gibson (who had just turned 22 at the time) retired from diving to focus on a career in brand strategy and marketing.

That is until Palmer, who turned 32 two weeks ago, convinced her to come out of retirement last summer to make a push for Paris, after a lot of prayer from both sides. Palmer and Gibson were unable to qualify for the U.S. in the 2024 synchro competition last week, which had been their goal all along. Still, Gibson will be headed to Paris for her second Olympics, and she knows her friend was essential to making it happen.

“I would not be here without Krysta,” Gibson said in the interview with NBC. “I would not be here. She called me last June and she said, ‘I want you to come back.’ Without that call and without her prayers and without the support of everyone, I would not be standing here today. This girl right here is amazing!”

According to USAdiving.com, Gibson had more words of admiration for Palmer. “I would not be standing here today if it wasn’t for her. She has played an essential role in helping me grow as a person, as a competitor, as a friend,” she said. “So much credit to her. This success is her success as well.”

Gibson and Palmer, who pray together before competing, are both unafraid to speak about their shared faith in God on their Instagram pages. Palmer often delivers faith-based messages, while Gibson cites the Bible passage Ephesians 6:10-18 in her bio.

 

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A post shared by Alison Gibson (@aagtexas)


“My synchro partner is an Olympic bronze medalist!!!!!!” Gibson wrote on Instagram after Palmer’s performance at the Tokyo Olympics. “… Krysta you are amazing and God is good!”

 

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A post shared by Krysta Palmer (@krystapalmer)


“I am overwhelmed by gratitude,” Palmer said in part in the caption to a recent Instagram post. “Though I did not make the cut to qualify for the Olympics, it does not mean my journey was lost. … I can proudly say that I have become a better leader and mentor, and that my belief  in God and His plan has only grown stronger. Through Alison’s guidance, I would not have been able to stand with complete joy at the end because my identity is not 100% defined by my sport.”

Gibson was on the Sports Spectrum Podcast this past December, and together they were featured in the Summer 2024 edition of Sports Spectrum Magazine.

“My faith was something I could always come back to and recognize that no matter how hard it was, no matter what insecurities I was feeling, my identity was centered in Christ,” Gibson said in the magazine, “and God made me uniquely for this purpose and for this path.”

God likewise showed Palmer through the highs and lows of the Tokyo Olympics that He is always attentive to His beloved children, and He is always with them.

“I had never prayed really big prayers before and had such confidence in God to just really do the big things,” Palmer said. “… That was a really powerful moment for me, and it taught me the power of prayer.”

As Gibson prepares to head to Paris for the 2024 Olympics (July 26 – Aug. 11), she knows she can win a medal for her herself, her country, and her dear friend who has to stay behind. Gibson also knows, however, that she’ll be there for an infinitely greater purpose, and that’s to glorify God.

She would have it no other way.

“This is giving us a platform to share our story, to inspire people to take leaps of faith when God calls them,” Gibson said in the magazine. “This is an opportunity to impact the lives of my teammates, inspire my coworkers, inspire the people that I lead in Bible study.

“This is about so much more than the Olympics.”

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