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Tucson's Delaney Schnell makes history for Team USA, takes Olympic silver in women's synchronized diving

Delaney and Jessica Parratto made history by bringing Team USA its first-ever medal in women's synchronized diving late Monday night.
Credit: AP
Jessica Parratto and Delaney Schnell of the United States' pose for a photo after winning silver medals during the women's synchronized 10m platform diving final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)

TOKYO, Japan — An Olympic diver with Tucson-ties made Olympic history for Team USA late Monday night.

Delaney Schnell, a Tucson native and diver from the University of Arizona's diving team, took a silver medal in women's synchronized diving with teammate Jessica Parratto.

The medal is the first Team USA has ever won in the event.

"Tears were indeed produced watching Jessica Parratto and Delaney Schnell make history," Team USA tweeted Tuesday morning.

At only 22-years old, Schnell has garnered career highlights such as being a 2020 World Cup team member, a 2015 and 2019 Pan American Games team member, and a two-time Junior Pan American silver medalist on platform.

Parratto and Schnell were competing for just the third time together, having teamed suddenly at the U.S. trials after Schnell's partner got hurt. 

“Jess and I just ended up making it work," Schnell said. "Took a lot of faith in each other, a lot of trust in each other that paid off.” 

Parratto and Schnell were next to last after their first dive, but worked their way higher over the next two rounds to earn the first U.S. medal in the event.

The pair scored 78.72, earning marks from 8.0 to 8.5 for synchronization. The Chinese earned 84.48 points, barely creating splashes as they knifed into the water. The Mexicans scored 71.04, while Japan fell out of medal contention by scoring 61.44.

China won its first gold in Tokyo in women’s 3-meter synchro springboard and earned silver in men’s 10-meter platform synchro.

Tokyo Olympics

Watch some of our Olympic content featuring athletes and stories with unique Arizona connections on our 12 News YouTube playlist here.