Reacting to 18-year-old diver Jerry Pisey Windle’s impressive performance in last weekend’s USA Diving National Championships, where he won a gold, a silver and a bronze, NOCC Secretary-General Vath Chamroeun said: “We welcome him with open arms. We would be proud to have him represent us but that choice has to be made by him and his family.”
Nearly 15 years since he was adopted by American single parent Jerry Windle as a 2-year old from his native Prey Veng province, Windle has grown to be a strong, self-assured and highly skilful diver knocking on the doors of US national reckoning as one among the top-flight divers his age.
In the weekend show, he won the men’s 10m platform diving gold, finished second in the men’s 3m springboard and picked up a bronze medal in the men’s 1m springboard, reaffirming his relentless
drive towards bigger goals.
Last May, the teenager visited Cambodia with his father for the first time since moving away to US and was quite candid in his assertion that he would love to be associated with the land of his birth.
Besides taking part in a diving demonstration at the Olympic Stadium pool, he had a fruitful meeting with the NOCC secretary-general and other sporting personalities, heightening expectations at the time that he could soon be an asset the Kingdom could be proud of.
“As much as we want him in Cambodia as a potential medal prospect and great inspirational model, it is understandable why he might prefer to pursue his career in the US,” Chamroeun said.
But Cambodia will be banking on the teenager’s fascinating life story and sporting success on top of his own professed love for his homeland to inspire a generation of aspiring athletes.