In a world where divers can earn $30,000 a day and dive for as little as $500,000, Cody Ko is doing it for the money.
And his success is just one of the reasons he’s the kind of guy that you want to be around.
The 24-year-old diver, who has been diving since he was 7, has spent his entire life being taught about diving.
He began diving in 2013, and after earning his first dive certificate at 16, he moved to Florida in 2018 to pursue his dream.
After working his way through the ranks in the industry, Ko found his first big break in 2016 when he was chosen to compete in the 2018 World Championship in Mexico.
The diving was held at the historic Mar del Plata in Mexico City, and Ko made the final cut to represent the United States at the tournament.
Ko was ecstatic when he heard he would be representing his home country, but his hopes for the tournament were dashed in a matter of hours when he discovered he would not be competing at the event.
Ko had been told his chances of winning depended on how he performed in the finals.
But Ko wasn’t content with just getting into the finals and was determined to take home the bronze medal.
He had his work cut out for him, as he was competing in the same tournament as World Champion Kyle Purdy and was on the same team as his former teammate, who was also selected to the finals at the 2017 event.
“The way I saw it, I had to win and it was going to be hard,” Ko said.
“It was tough to just take my mind off it.
It was a lot of pressure, but I kept pushing and kept doing what I had been doing.”
As the competition went on, Ko had his hopes of winning the tournament in Mexico and being chosen to represent his country shattered.
After losing to Purdy, Ko went on to lose to Pudgy in the semifinals of the finals in Puerto Vallarta.
Ko, however, didn’t give up and kept going, even though he was losing to him in the final round.
“I still went for it,” Ko told Axios.
“I was always going for it.
I was still motivated.”
After the 2017 World Championship, Ko became the first American to win a World Championship event since Michael Phelps in 2015.
His World Championship win also made him the first diver to be selected to compete at the 2018 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
While his World Championship victory has given him a lot more confidence, Ko’s World Cup performance also inspired him to continue competing.
“It was great for me to win that tournament and get to Rio,” he said.
Koh has been competing at all the World Cup events he has been invited to compete on since 2016.
He is the only American diver to have won two of the three World Cup medals in 2016 and 2017.
“A lot of people don’t really know about the fact that Cody Ko has been doing this all these years,” said former World Champion James Davenport.
“But that’s the thing, you know?
That’s what makes it so awesome.””
Cody is a true champion, and it shows that even when you get knocked down, you can keep going and keep pushing.
That’s what makes it so awesome.”
The world is finally waking up to the fact it’s time to give divers the chance to compete for a living, and with Ko’s success, there’s hope that more people will realize that diving is a worthwhile career choice.