They say practice makes perfect, but a decade ago, Brandon Loschiavo wouldn’t even practice.
“I was petrified of heights,” said the Olympic diver from Huntington Beach. “Anytime I would walk up, I would be locked onto the platform. I couldn’t let go of the rails.”
Then Brandon’s brother, Michael, entered the picture when they were teens.
“My mom’s like ‘Hey, do you want to go to Brandon’s practice?’” Michael said. “I was like, ‘Yeah. Can I jump off the 10 meter platform?’ And she’s like, ‘Yeah, of course you can!’”
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They brought him on the 10 meter and gave him an ultimatum.
“You either go now before he goes or he’s gonna go before you and be able to hold this over your head when you’re an Olympian.”
They climbed the stairs to the 10 meter platform.
“I saw that he was getting a bit nervous and I was like, ‘Hey listen, we’re gonna run and jump off on 1, 2 and 3 and 3 means you better jump,’” his brother recalls saying.
He stood there, contemplating.
“I go, ‘Ready? 1, 2 and 3.’”
He bolted toward the end of the platform.
“And I just run and i jump off,” Michael said.
He lands in the pool and looked around
“I’m like, ‘Why am I the only one in the pool here?’”
He looked up and saw his brother peeking over the edge.
“I’m like, ‘Brandon, jump, jump, jump!’”
“He’s like, ‘Nah, I can’t do it.’”
He wound up coming back down the stairs.
“I was like, ‘Boy, I’m gonna hold this over you when you’re an Olympian.’”
He credits his courage to Six Flags Magic Mountain.
“Goliath, it’s like a 220 foot drop,” he said. “I can physically remember every part of it because it was such a big moment for me, feeling that actual gravity of falling that high. It just clicked with me if strapped in I can fall down 220 feet, there’s no way I can’t jump.”
He’s been doing it ever since.
Source: NBC Los Angeles