The independent news organization of Duke University

2018 Icon: Abby Johnston

Duke's mission statement for athletics is centered around the educational value of sports, promoting character traits for success later in life and an expectation for high-level performance in competition and the classroom.

In a decade at Duke, Abby Johnston has checked all those boxes.

As an undergraduate, she was the Blue Devils' first national champion diver and an Olympic silver medalist in 2012 in London in the 3-meter synchronized springboard. After graduating in 2013, she remained in Durham to enroll in medical school in 2014.

Although her college eligibility in a Duke uniform ended by the time she became a medical student, Johnston's diving career was not over. She kept training while balancing a grueling course load for two years to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she finished 12th in the individual 3-meter springboard.

Johnston officially announced her retirement from diving three weeks ago and is in the middle of her fourth and final year of medical school.

She said that diving and medicine are both her passions, and she left her mark at Duke in each field. As she finishes her competitive athletic career and nears the end of her lengthy Duke education, it would be hard to find somebody who has more aptly exemplified Duke's ideal student-athlete.

Editor's note: This profile is part of our new initiative called The Chronicle 18. We are highlighting 18 people and groups who are defining what it means to be at Duke this year. Read about the project and more of our selections.


Share and discuss “2018 Icon: Abby Johnston” on social media.