By Josh Blessing | BSU at the Games
VIDEO: The Thomas Finchum Story
On any given afternoon, you can find Thomas Finchum standing 33 feet above a diving well. He has about two seconds to perform a perfect routine, recalling the hours of practice that have guided him to this point.
The scene happens over and over. It has to for one of the world’s elite divers.
However, the Olympic diving stage isn’t the only stage for Finchum. There’s another platform where he performs, but one not everyone sees—yet.
While many people spend their whole lives searching for something to strive above and beyond in, Finchum has managed to exceed in another area along with diving—his music.
“I was always singing in choir,” Finchum said while his band, Northern Nights, set up for a concert just over his shoulder. “It was always so different being in a choir. You never have the chance to stand out.
“You’re always in a big group so it was never intimidating or nerve-racking at all. Doing this, being out front and center—it’s totally different.”
The nonstop lifestyle of training for the London 2012 Olympic Games takes its toll not only physically but also mentally.
The demanding hours to be an elite athlete can be pressing, but Finchum’s dream of becoming a country music star keep him moving forward.
“He’s extremely dedicated,” said Chelsea Kogg, Finchum’s cousin and band manager. “A lot of people get envious because he’s so good at a lot of things. People overlook everything he gives up to be good at two things in such a huge way.”
The fast-paced lifestyle the Olympian lives is evident in his musical journey too.
During summer 2011, Finchum and friends Brock Bell, Drew Beechler and Nathan Ayer formed Northern Nights. Less than six months later—Dec. 1, 2011—he celebrated his birthday by receiving a unique present.
The band’s debut single, “Baby I’m Gone,” was released on iTunes for the whole world to hear. Northern Nights officially began its music career.
“That was a pretty cool present,” Finchum said. “It was crazy. Our song was up on iTunes. The whole world could pretty much hear it. It was that point where, well, I can’t really turn back now.”
Finchum knows there is no limit for what Northern Nights can become. The single downloads and live performances added to his schedule weekly prove it.
“We want to do as much as we can in music,” Finchum said. “It’s a crazy industry. It’s a lot of rejection and a lot of hard times. I’m used to working hard—and I’m used to having big dreams.”
Josh Blessing is a junior telecommunications major at Ball State University covering sports for BSU at the Games. Follow Josh and the BSU team at @JoshJBlessing, @bsuatthegames and www.facebook.com/bsuatthegames.