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Becky Ruehl Stays on Top in Diving and in Life

Date: June 9, 2000
By: Eric Lose
Photo by: Lisa Ventre
Archive: General News

What do champions do that most of us don't? They know what they want, why they want it and then they do it ... while the rest of us are thinking about getting started. That's what makes UC student Becky Ruehl a champion: She makes up her mind, then she does what it takes.

image of Ruehl diving

While Ruehl has been earning her BA in graphic arts from DAAP in the standard five years, she has also found time to do a few other things. She finished fourth in the 10-meter platform dive in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and won four national titles. If that isn't enough, just after Commencement, she will go to Seattle to compete in the 2000 Olympic trials.

A shoulder injury just after the 1996 Olympics kept Ruehl away from the high platform for three years, but she says she's ready for this month's competition. "I think I still have room to improve. Some things I haven't quite gotten like I used to have before my injury, but some things are better. The trials are in three weeks, and whatever happens there, happens. I want to keep diving for another year or two to fulfill some personal goals, some things that my coach and I have set up in the past couple years. There are certain dives I want to learn, certain techniques I want to be able to do to reach my peak in diving, to achieve my potential."

Becky started gymnastics at age 4, began diving at 7, and said that from the eighth grade on she knew what she really wanted to do. "I always liked to draw and sketch, but it always had to have a reason, it had to communicate something. That's what graphic design is, visually communicating something. I liked drawing, but it had to have a reason."

After graduation, Ruehl will apply her artistic talents at Kolar Design on Eighth Street in Cincinnati. "I took the job because it's a good personality fit. I was really lucky to end up at Kolar. They're very flexible with my diving."

When asked if she has accomplished all she wanted at UC, Ruehl replied: "Yes, I feel like I've really been blessed because I got to the Olympics after my freshman year, got to win an NCAA title and I've gotten an incredible education. The education means more to me than any of the athletic stuff, because it will last for my entire life."

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