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Divers synchronize first pitch at DBAP

Duke diver Nick McCrory throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at last night’s Durham Bulls game, in which they beat the Norfolk Tides 3-2.
Duke diver Nick McCrory throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at last night’s Durham Bulls game, in which they beat the Norfolk Tides 3-2.

Abby Johnston and Nick McCrory are no strangers to the spotlight. After all, Johnston and McCrory snapped a 12-year medal drought for the United States in Olympic diving this past summer at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Thursday night at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, however, was a different story.

The Duke divers’ summer accomplishments were honored at last night’s game, where the divers threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

“I was nervous,” Johnston said. “I really didn’t want to hit the dirt, but I did, which is really disappointing. Everyone kept telling me to aim high and I tried to, but I got a little nervous.”

After all the attention the duo has received this summer, McCrory wondered why Johnston, a silver medalist in the women’s synchronized 3-meter springboard in this past Olympics, was so anxious.

“Nick asked, ‘Are you nervous?’ Johnston said. “I said yes and he told me that we’ve performed in front of more people at the Olympics. I told him, ‘Yeah, but I was good at that.”

McCrory, a bronze medalist in the men’s synchronized 10-meter platform, felt he had a solid performance on the mound.

“I thought it was OK, but I don’t really know,” McCrory said. “It may have been a little low. People who know baseball [may think differently though].”

Johnston and McCrory returned from the London Games more than a week ago, but still feel overwhelmed with the attention they have received.

“It’s been a great reception at home,” McCrory said. “The support has been amazing from everywhere. That’s really what kept us going throughout the Olympics.”

The transition has been similarly surprising for Johnston, who is unaccustomed to the new attention.

“I’m just so flattered when people want to take a picture,” Johnston said. “It’s just weird to me. It’s what I’ve always dreamed of and it’s just crazy.”

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