Q&A with diver Abby Johnston
Do you have pets and if so, what are their names and breeds? What do they mean to you and your life?
I have a cat name Miss Lily Louise Johnston and she is a pure-bred, Grand-Champion lineage European Burmese. I have an entire album on my phone dedicated to pictures of her because I'm a good mom. She means a lot to me because she was my friend when I moved away from home in high school to train. Don't worry, I made other friends in North Carolina but she was by my side when I learned how to live on my own at age 17.
What is your music of choice while training? Do you have a favorite go-to song/songs that motivate you?
Anything Taylor Swift. Also obsessed with Drake. And country music. And the Grateful Dead and Jimmy Buffet. If I need an immediate pump up, it's 'Make Me Proud' by Drake featuring Nicki Minaj.
Do you have a celebrity crush? Do you have an Olympic crush?
John Krasinski - If you see this, please know that I think you're perfect. I loved you in everything you've ever done, even Aloha when you said a total of 10 words in the whole movie.
As for Olympians, I'd say David Beckham. I guess he's cross-listed as celebrity and Olympian but either way, he's a total babe. I saw him in the stands at the London Olympics and waved really enthusiastically, then took a creepy stalker pic. I obviously still have it on my phone.
What is your favorite movie? Please tell us why.
This is like asking a parent to pick a favorite child: it's cruel and unusual punishment. Some of my faves are Mean Girls (not a day goes by that I don't quote it), Stepbrothers (likewise), The Notebook and Now & Then.
Can you admit what your worst habit is?
Is this one of those interview questions where I'm supposed to state my weakness but then turn it into a strength? Because if so, I'd say my vice is that sometimes I eat so many pizza rolls that I think my body might become one. And then I sing about it to the tune of "Your Body is a Wonderland." If I was to turn that into a strength, I'd say that I'm keeping the pizza roll company in business and that's stimulating the economy.
If you were not an athlete, what would you like to be doing?
If I wasn't an athlete, I'd still be in medical school but I'd have a heck of a lot more free time and my abs wouldn't be so fly.
How do you unwind after a competition?
Carbicide - consuming all the chocolate that I didn't eat for the weeks leading up to it. I also like to have a fun trip or something to look forward to when I'm nervous about competing. I refer to anything after competition as "the other side." Like when the hotel has an amazing looking dessert, I think "can't wait to have that on the other side."
What social media platforms do you typically engage with?
Snapchat and when I'm with Miss Lily, I call it SnapCat
Please describe any tattoos you have.
Olympic rings on my ribs. My dad is very strict but he let this one slide. I LOVE YOU DAD, I PROMISE I WON'T GET ANOTHER!
Are you superstitious? If so, please share what you do or don't do around competitions.
In the words of Michael Scott, "I'm a little 'stitious." The night before, I fold my clothes in a particular way. I listen to Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" before I leave for the meet.
What is your earliest memory of playing or seeing your sport? What was it about your sport that propelled you to dedicate your life to it?
I first went off a board when I was really little, probably three or four but didn't start competing seriously until I was 13. There's something so addicting about the rush of flying off the board, it's kept me coming back for more for 13 years.
What athlete, in any sport, has been your greatest source of inspiration?
All of the Magnificent 7 gymnasts that I watched and idolized as a little girl. I met Shannon Miller and LOST MY COOL.
Who was most influential in helping you achieve your dreams?
My mom and dad. They both encouraged my sisters and I to be athletes and that we could do whatever we set our hearts to. I think some parents would dismiss their 7-year-old daughter's statement that she's definitely going to the Olympics but my parents told me that there is nothing I can't do and that motto was very formative for me.