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Summer Olympics History: American Greats in Women's Diving

The Best for the U.S. After World War II

Yahoo Contributor Network

The U.S. has a great tradition of winning Olympic medals in women's diving. At the Summer Games held from 1920-1976, American women failed to win at least one of the two diving golds just once-in 1960.

However, with the entry of China into the Olympics in 1984 came a changing of the guard as their women have tallied one Olympic title after the other in diving. In fact, the only individual gold for American women in the sport since '84 came in 2000.

The following list includes the women I regard as the best for the U.S. in diving since 1948:

Lesley Bush: Bush was a top diver for the U.S. in the 1960s and competed in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics. She won gold in platform diving in '64 at the Tokyo Games.

Jennifer Chandler: The best in the 3-meter springboard for the U.S. in the mid-1970s, Chandler took gold in her specialty in '76 at the Montreal Games before her career was shortened by injuries.

Vicki Draves: The women's diving star of the 1948 Olympics in London, Draves captured the 3-meter springboard and 10-meter platform titles, while leading the American women to five of the six medals available.

Sue Gossick: Gossick was another member of the strong U.S. women's diving squad at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. She earned gold in the 3-meter springboard and was one of three American women with a podium finish in the sport.

Micki King: King was the most decorated diver for the U.S. from the mid-1960s through the 1972 Olympics in Munich. An injury derailed her hopes of gold in '68, but she captured the 3-meter springboard title in '72.

Pat McCormick: McCormick continued America's dominance of women's diving throughout the 1950s with golds in all four of her events from the 1952 and 1956 Olympics. Her daughter, Kelly, won silver and bronze in the 3-meter springboard at the 1984 and 1988 Olympics respectively.

Paula Jean Myers: Somewhat overshadowed by the gold-medal finishes of McCormick in the 1950s, Myers still created her own impressive list of accomplishments. She won four medals in all-three of them silver-at the Olympics spanning 1952-1960.

Laura Wilkinson: Wilkinson battled injuries to earn the 10-meter platform gold at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, and is the only American woman to win an individual gold in diving since 1984.

Related content: Summer Olympics History: American Greats in Women's Diving Before World War II

Patrick Hattman covered the London Games for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He is already looking forward to the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

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