Say this much for Chris Colwill.
At least he went down swinging.
Colwill, a 24-year-old diver from Brandon, finished last in a 12-man finals field Tuesday night in the three-meter springboard competition. Part of the reason, at least, was Colwill's refusal to play it safe.
After a sixth-place finish in the semis, Colwill increased the degree of difficulty of his program until it was the hardest of any diver in the field. It didn't pay off.
"I tried to do harder dives," Colwill said. "It could have worked out in my favor, but it didn't. If you want to get a medal, you need to do a higher degree of difficulty."
He Chong of China won the competition, owning the best score of all divers in five of six rounds. Colwill, by comparison, had only one dive better than 10th and none better than eighth.
"I know I could have done a lot better, because it's my first time at the Olympics," Colwill said. "I got a little nervous. I think I was thrown off a little. I just made mistakes."
In the earlier semifinals, Colwill had closed his performance with two dives that took him from 12th to sixth.
In the finals, however, there would be no such surge. On his final dive, Colwill tried a 2½ reverse somersault twist. His father, Chuck, has a different name for it. He calls it his son's "wild-man dive."
Again, it did not pay off. Colwill scored 5s and 6s and totaled only 66.3.
"I've only done it twice internationally and three times nationally," Colwill said. "I am capable of getting 90.0 on that dive. I can do the dive well. I just hesitated and didn't follow through."
Still, Colwill said he enjoyed his Olympic experience. He and partner Jevon Tarantino barely missed a medal when they finished fourth in synchronized diving.
"It was definitely a great performance," Colwill said. "I wasn't sure what I was capable of. I think it could have been a little overwhelming. I know in my heart that I can do it."