Q&A: Gophers diver Vivi Del Angel wins platform national championship

Interview: Viviana Del Ángel wins NCAA Platform Diving National Championship.mp4

Gophers second-year diver Vivi Del Angel moved away from home to train in Mexico City at 12-years-old, spent time in the Mexican Navy, and sought out Gophers legendary coach Wenbo Chen, making the transition to the United States a couple years ago. The long journey for the now 24-year-old culminated in a national championship over the weekend.

The Veracruz, Mexico native opened Saturday at the NCAA Championships in Athens, GA with a score of 308.80 in the platform diving prelims. That put her in second place heading into the evening’s finals session.

Del Angel put on a show in the finals, scoring 327.90 in five dives to take the crown. The next closest competitor was over 23 points behind Del Angel in total score.

With the victory, Del Angel became the first Gopher woman to ever earn the title of National Champion on the platform.

KSTP Sports spoke with Del Angel on Monday, and her excitement was still on display.

***Click the video box above to watch our conversation with Del Angel***

Del Angel learned to speak English in Mexico, nearly made the 2020 Mexico Olympic team, and said she loves Minnesota winters. While she won’t compete for the 2024 Mexico Olympic team in Paris, this national title, she noted, is a huge deal in her native country.

Extra special on Saturday was the fact that Del Angel’s parents were able to make it to the Georgia campus to watch their daughter make history.