Making Waves

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Dominic Giordano stands 32 feet above the ground. His heels hang off the platform's edge, toes splayed wide for steadiness. His thoughts are as calm as the pool's water below. Just have fun, coach Julian Krug's voice echoes in his ears. He draws a breath. He says a quick prayer for strength, peace, joy. Then-with confidence-he jumps.

After transferring to Pitt in January 2015 from Florida State University, Giordano quickly established himself as a dedicated member of the Panthers diving team. Two weeks after arriving on campus, the Wexford, Pa., native set a University record in platform diving. Three times this past fall, he was selected the Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Diver of the Week-rounding out an even four for his career. But Giordano is more motivated by his team than he is by winning awards. "Our motto this year is 'don't worry, be happy,' which I think is really great," says the junior, who is majoring in humanities.

As Giordano sets his sights on this summer's Olympic trials in Indianapolis, Ind., the University of Pittsburgh is preparing to give Trees Hall-where Pitt's aquatic student athletes spend hours training and competing-a face-lift. The multimillion-dollar fundraising effort will not only support state-of-the-art renovations but will also nourish the championship aspirations of athletes like Giordano. Construction of new locker rooms, a team meeting room and lounge, nutrition center, and legacy wall to celebrate the swimming and diving team's history is scheduled to begin in March 2016. With luck, the project will be finished in time for Giordano's senior season.

Back above the pool's still waters, the diver falls through the air-his body twisting three and a half times around and turning one and a half backwards somersaults. Just in time, he straightens and enters the water with barely a splash. Giordano resurfaces to the sound of his teammate's cheers. He knows he's done well. He's happy.    

For more information about the Trees Hall renovations, visit

This story was originally published in Pitt Magazine. To view the original publication click here.