Louisville coach on the road to Rio Olympics

Louisville coach on the road to Rio Olympics
Sharon Proctor & John Proctor III (Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)
Sharon Proctor & John Proctor III (Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – The 2016 Rio Olympics are less than three weeks away. And while many of us will celebrate the athletes, the coaches shouldn't be forgotten.

A Louisville native is headed to Rio.

"When we found out, we just brought the house down," Sharon Proctor said.

That was June 25, when Olympic dreams became a reality.

On that day, Florida State University diver Katrina Young placed second in the 10-meter platform diving competition at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Indianapolis, solidifying her spot in the Rio Olympics. Young credited the very dive that solidified her spot on the team to her coach, John Proctor IV — Sharon Proctor's son.

"My coach, John Proctor, he has worked with me so much on just mind-training and drowning out the distractions," Young said in a post-dive interview.

Proctor has always been good at what Young calls "mind-training." His parents, Sharon and John Proctor III, call it empathy.

"He gets the best out of people, isn't that the definition of a good coach anyway?" Proctor III asked. "I mean, that's what it is. He's always been that way."

That empathy, mixed in with athleticism, even from a young age makes him a good coach, according to Sharon Proctor. Proctor's former athletic resume is decorated with success. He won back-to-back state championships in diving at St. Xavier High School in the early 1990s, before competing for Auburn University.

"He was doing the double flips, (it) scared me to death every time he did it, but he did them," Sharon said. "He went to St. X, where he became state champion twice."

Proctor's diving career was cut short because of a knee injury, but his love for the sport remains fiery. However, what perhaps burns even hotter than Proctor's passion, is household pride.

"You'll realize nothing you'll ever do in your life can match what you feel when you see a child do something," Proctor III said. "They don't even have to do it great! They just have to do it."

Proctor's daughter, Leigh Proctor, sums it up nice and short.

"I'm really really proud of him," she said. "I know he deserves this. I hope they do well."

John Proctor and Katrina Young will be headed to Rio in just a few days.

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