Hammond inducted into Colorado College Hall of Fame

Local attorney says his collegiate diving career seems 'like it happened in another life'

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— Sometime, ask Kris Hammond about his diving experience at the national championships in Africa.

Until then, realize the local attorney is the greatest diver to ever come out of Colorado College, an achievement for which he was recently inducted into the school's hall of fame at a ceremony in Colorado Springs.

"Well, I was really blown away and touched," Hammond said. "That's really all I can say. I was really honored."

Hammond qualified for the NCAA Division III National Championships in the 1- and 3-meter diving events in each of his four years at Colorado College.

He was named an All-American four times, his best finish being fourth, and he still holds the 11-dive championship record at Colorado College with 458.6 points.

"Diving can be nerve-wracking and extremely stressful," Hammond said. "Diving is one of those sports - I don't play golf, but it's probably the same way in golf - that a tiny little micro-error one way or the other makes a huge difference. It all happens really quickly. That's the bad part of it. The great part of it is you get to fly through the air."

Originally from Loveland, Hammond picked up diving in seventh grade. Before attending Colorado College, Hammond was an exchange student in Rhodesia, Africa, where he competed on the national diving team at international competitions.

After he graduated, Hammond coached Colorado College for one year.

"It's great and everything, but it was so long ago. It's like it happened in another life," he said of diving. "Gosh, I was like 19 or 20 years old. I was a college student. It really does seem like it happened in another life."

Hammond said the great thing about diving is the discipline and attention to detail it requires.

There's nothing like a near-perfect dive, he said. There's also nothing like landing wrong and coughing up blood.

"When it works, it's a beautiful thing," he said. "When it doesn't, it's awful."

Although Hammond had some beautiful moments and awful moments, the best was when he met his wife, Becky, a member of the women's swim team and a world champion synchronized swimmer.

The couple moved to Steamboat Springs in 1986.

"There will be several coaches that are going to be there and several teammates are going to be there," Hammond said. "I'm excited and honored."

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