Pat McCormick, Olympic diving champ from Seal Beach, dies at 92
Pat McCormick, the record-setting Olympic diving champion from Seal Beach who won gold in the springboard and platform events in both the 1952 and 1956 games and later served on the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee in 1984, has died at the age of 92.
McCormick died March 7, USA Diving announced Friday. The organization did not release further details about her death, but her son Tim told ESPN that she died of natural causes at an assisted living facility in Santa Ana.
Born in Seal Beach in 1930, McCormick grew up practicing her dives at bridges in neighboring Long Beach, where she attended Woodrow Wilson High School, Long Beach City College and Cal State Long Beach.
One of the most decorated divers in the sport’s history, McCormick remains the only female diver to win back-to-back Olympic gold medals in both springboard and platform. Greg Louganis matched the feat in 1984 and 1988.
She won 26 U.S. national titles, second all-time among U.S. women. She was undefeated at national championship meets in 1951 and 1954, winning all 10 national titles available to women in those two years. She won gold on platform and silver on 3-meter at the Pan American Games in 1951, and she followed up with gold on both events at the 1955 Pan American Games.
In 1956, she won the James E. Sullivan Trophy, awarded annually to the best amateur athlete in the country, becoming just the second woman to win that honor.
McCormick is a member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame.
She also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, traveled down the Amazon River, skied in Switzerland, body surfed, competed in horse jumping and got her pilot’s license, according to ESPN.
“Her life was so wonderful. She was quite a spitfire. She lived her life to the fullest her way,” Tim McCormick told the network.