Q&A with diver Amy Cozad
What kind of work do you do outside of diving?
The only work I do outside of diving is math tutoring. I tutor at the athletic academic center about eight hours a week in between practices. I was a math major and I love the chance to keep my math skills sharp while giving back to the athletes that currently represent IU.
Who is your favorite musician and what do you listen to while training?
Nicki Minaj, Nicki Lewinsky, Nicki the ninja, Nicki the boss, Nicki the Harajuku Barbie. Boom. She is my motivation and my inspiration. I have a playlist with only her songs and I listen to her every day. She makes me feel like I really can accomplish anything I want in this life.
Otherwise, I also like '80s music and country music like Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw and George Strait.
What is the last concert you attended?
I think the only concerts I've ever been to have been Spice Girls, Blink 182 and Lil Wayne/ Nicki Minaj.
Do you have a personal motto?
There's a motto written in the pool that says "Train Like a Champion." I love that! Whenever I am feeling down and getting too hard on myself, I look at that and it lets me reset. I also like to tell myself to stay in the moment rather than dwelling in the past or getting anxious about the future.
What is your earliest memory (and your age) of playing or seeing your sport and what was it about your sport that propelled you to dedicate your life to it?
I was at swimming lessons at IUPUI. The water was so cold and I was such a little kid. I would get out of the water in between sets to warm up. While I sat there I could see the divers way down at the other end of the building jumping and flipping all over the place. One day our swim coach took us down to the diving well to jump off the 1-meter platform. One plunge in that bath tub warm water was all it took. Bye-bye ice cold swimming pool, hello diving! From Day One, I was hooked. There was always something new to learn. I went home every day with an exciting new adventure to talk about. And 12 years later, it's still so exciting and I'm still learning.
Who has been your greatest influence and why?
This may sound kind of weird, but I am my own greatest influence. There were girls who were way better than my when I was a freshman at IU. I worked hard and overcame so many obstacles. I ended up beating all of those girls and accomplishing my goals. I don't set limits to my abilities. All I hope for is to be the best Amy Cozad I can possibly be.
Can you tell us about your family?
My parents are Tom and Donna Cozad. They divorced when I was about 5 years old. My mom is working for her real estate license and is a waitress. She wasn't as involved with my meets and practices but my mom supported me mostly outside of diving. She gave me my first car and my first house. She also gave me her never-give-up attitude.
My dad is a pig farmer. My dad has been to almost every competition I have been in since I started college. He drove all over the U.S. and has flown all over the world to come watch me dive over the last six years.
My Aunt Janet helped raise me and is the person that got me started in diving lessons. She put me in swim lessons that eventually lead into diving lessons. She took me to the majority of my competitions as well. She was a veterinarian and owned her own practice in Indianapolis before moving away from Indiana to be with her husband in North Carolina.
My fiance, Alex Magana, and I have been dating for six years as of October 2015. We got engaged in May 2015 and plan on getting married on September 25, 2016. We met in high school. We have two dogs together and live together in Indianapolis.
Tell us about your dogs.
I have two pups. B is a beagle/ terrier mix and he's 2 years old. Alex and I got him in the summer of 2013, shortly before we moved to Florida. B demands to sleep under the covers and will bark at the top of his lungs randomly for no apparent reason.
Manny is a lab/ heeler mix and he is 1 year old. We got Manny shortly after moving back to Indiana in 2014. He loves his big brother B. He will only sit and lay down if B does. He knows what "bath" means and he has yet to poop on a leash.
For the first couple months of 2015, Alex was working the third shift at work. This meant that he worked from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. The dogs kept me company at night and were wonderful cuddle buddies. They are such a huge part of my life. Alex and I jump on any opportunity to take them to a new park.
Do you collect anything?
White dog hair on my dark colored clothes. Room keys at all the hotels I stay in around the world.
Can you admit what your worst habit is?
My worst habit is overloading myself with too many things to do. I plan to do so many things in one day that I get a bit overwhelmed. But I do it to myself!
If you were not an athlete, what would you like to be doing?
I would probably be a landscaper. I love doing yard work and getting all sweaty and dirty and climbing trees. My grandma always had beautiful gardens and I always admired how hard she worked at keeping them perfect.
Do you have a lucky charm or an item that you can't train or compete without?
A swim suit plus a shammy to dry myself off with. I love my red, white and blue headphones that I got at the 2011 World University Games.
Do you have any pre-competition rituals?
Tuna is my only must-have on competition day. A packet of tuna from Walmart or a tuna sandwich from Subway. Gotta have it! I also like to be alone on competition days, without any distracting conversations.
If you are to indulge, what's your go-to snack?
Cereal. Any type, I have it every day.
When you have time off, what would constitute a perfect day for you?
Going to the park with Alex and the dogs, Outback Steakhouse for dinner and cereal for dessert.