Jordan Windle is representing the United States on the U.S. Olympic Diving Team after placing second at the Olympic trials.
Jordan Windle was born in Cambodia, where, tragically, his birth parents died when he was just a year old. The baby was placed in an orphanage in the capital city Phnom Penh. Jerry Windle, an American, always wanted to be a dad but it was difficult for a single gay man in the 1990s. But that was about to change. According to TODAY, Jerry shared, "I started thumbing through a magazine and there was a story in there of a man who adopted a child from Cambodia, and it didn't mention a mother. The story went on to talk about the close relationship between the father and his son, and something kind of clicked in my head ... The article listed (the number of an adoption service) and so I called the number and I said 'I just read an article, is it possible for a single person to adopt a child?' and they said 'Yes, it is.'"
At the time of adoption, Jordan was struggling to stay alive suffering from malnutrition, scabies, intestinal parasites, and severe infections. But dad Jerry took the 18-month-old and nursed him back to health. Now that little baby from Cambodia is all grown up and going to the Olympics! The 22-year-old is representing the United States on the U.S. Olympic Diving Team after placing second at the Olympic trials.
Unfortunately, his dad won't be able to watch him compete due to COVID restrictions on spectators. "I can usually hear (my dad) out of everyone in the audience, which is awesome. Not having him at the Olympics will be different," said Jordan. "I wish he was there, but that doesn't really change what I'm going there to do: To have fun, show off a little bit, and put on a show for everyone. That's going to be my intention and I'm hopefully going to make him proud." Jerry couldn't be a more proud father. "I know that Jordan knows that I'm with him," Jerry said. "That I physically can't be there is incredibly disappointing, because I just love the show that he puts on ... Though I can't be there with him, we're going to have a huge watch party out here in California, and I know that there's another one going on in Florida with family and friends out there. It's disappointing but at the same time this is Jordan's journey and this is the pinnacle of it, and I want him to enjoy this experience as best he can ... That's what I've always wanted for him."
As for his journey into diving, Jordan was just 7 years old when he was he was spotted by Tim O’Brien, the son of Hall of Famer diving coach Ron O’Brien, at summer camp. He noticed the youngster's talent for the sport and Jerry enrolled his son in the Fort Lauderdale Diving program. Since 2014 he's won four U.S. senior titles. According to NBC Sports, Windle won the 2019 NCAA title for Texas and finished in second place at this season’s NCAAs.
Jordan went back to Cambodia for the first time in 2016 performing diving exhibitions for children. In 2011, Jerry and Jordan shared their story in the children’s book An Orphan No More: The True Story of a Boy. Jordan is grateful for his dad's support all these years. “It’s everything,” Jordan Shared. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him, his love and support. He’s always there for me, calling me. I’d give him anything, and I’m sure he’d do the same.”