RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Diane Maiese has been a national champion as a diver and coached at the Division I level.

Now, she’s pouring her energies into DiveRVA and trying to grow the diving community in the Richmond area.

“I never thought that Richmond would be the place that it could actually happen and now I know that it is,” Maiese said.

Maiese expects interest in the sport to increase after the Tokyo Olympics this summer.

“There are people in every corner who in some way have had a connection to diving or knew someone that dove, whether it was in the summertime growing up at their local pool or they watch it as one of their favorite sports in the Olympics. Everyone wants to be involved in it somehow.”

Maiese got a front-and-center look at this year’s hopefuls, attending the Olympic Trials in Indianapolis last week.

“To have three young ladies of color not only qualify but go and participate was huge because when I was an athlete many moons ago, I was told that it doesn’t matter how good I get, I will never represent our country in the Olympics,” Maiese said. “And to have Kristen Hayden place top 4 (on the 3-meter springboard), I was definitely crying up in the stands with how well she did and how strong she finished. She let me know that she is not done yet and she is going to make that team and train for 2024. I know she can do it. So it will be amazing to see the next step, the next barrier she breaks by actually making the team.”

With no dedicated facility in the Richmond area for diving, Maiese and her athletes use a variety of venues.
“We have to find time wherever we can,” Maiese said. “It is shocking for people to hear that every time one of these pools is being built, which is wonderful that we are getting another Olympic-sized pool,  it doesn’t include the sport of diving. We just have swimming for right now in Richmond and we are trying to expand and make sure that happens.”

DiveRVA is a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information or to donate, visit