Cliff Devries: Accident, What happened to him?

Cliff Devries

Who is Cliff Devries

Cliff Devries is a diving coach with the Rochester Institute of Technology and a cancer survivor. He gained fame in 2016 and 2017 as a result of media coverage and a viral video of him diving off a 3-meter diving board while paralyzed.

Cliff Devries: Bio Summary

Full NameCliff Devries
famous asdiving coach
Age 49 years old as of 2022
Date of BirthOctober 30, 1973
Place of Birth United States of America
Zodiac signScorpio
Siblings Unknown

Cliff Devries was born on October 30, 1973, in the United States of America. As of 2022, he is 49 years old. Her Zodiac sign is a Scorpio. He began his coaching career at Monroe Community College, serving as the founder of the Mavericks Dive Club.

Cliff’s story gains extra attention every late October 2021 as he prepares for his birthday dive into a pool. As said earlier, Cliff’s is no ordinary dive – it’s a dive from a person who’s seen his Olympic dream cruelly snatched away by circumstance but refused to let his broken aspirations define him. 

What you Need to Know about the man

Devries started his first stint as the diving coach for the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Tigers in 1999. He returned to the same position in 2005 after a three-year hiatus.

Devries has worked with a number of All-Americans. Natalie Snyder, RIT’s first female All-American diver, was trained by him. He also coached All-American divers Quinn Donahoe and Matt Joseph, who were both named All-Americans in 2007. Evan Wendt was named Upper New York State Athletic Conference Diver of the Year in 2011. He coached eventual All-American John Tellgren in 2013. Matt DePalo received the same honor in 2014.

Devries became the diving coach at the University of Rochester after stints at MCC and RIT.
Chris Devries has won eight Conference Championships and has been named Coach of the Year of the Upper New York State Athletic Conference in 2000, 2002, 2007, 2008, and 2011.
Devries is not only a diving coach but also the director of Upstate New York Diving, the state’s largest diving club.

He founded Upstate New York Diving in 2006, which is now the state’s largest diving program. While at RIT, he was named the Upper New York State Athletic Conference Diving Coach of the Year six times, most recently in 2016. He was the first diving coach to receive the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America’s Richard E. Steadman Award in 2018.

What happened to Cliff Devries

During his time at Rush-Henrietta Senior High School, Devries outperformed the competition. He had the athletic build of a swimmer and a constant desire to improve. Devries earned All American honors during his junior and senior years.

The promising diver received a scholarship from the University of Kentucky. He jumped right into his studies at Kentucky, eager to improve his skills and gain national attention. However, things didn’t go as planned, though Cliff Devries saw the Olympics as an achievable target. “With my increasing skills and the rate at which I was improving, I thought I had a chance,” Devries said.

What happened to Cliff Devries? Cliff Devries’ shoulder stopped cooperating with the rest of his body. It let him down whenever he tried a difficult move. “I started to lose movement in my shoulder,” Cliff explained. “My shoulder was becoming noticeably weaker and weaker. I was struggling.”

Cliff Devries consulted doctors to know what is wrong with him so they can find a solution . However, an MRI revealed a 6-inch tumor pressing onto Cliff’s spinal cord, thus impacting movement on his shoulder and arm. Cliff talked to Reporter about the gut-wrenching moment he received the news from his parents:

“They said, ‘Cliff, you’re going to die. You’ve got a large tumor in your spinal cord. It took the breath out me. All these plans of a future, a family – everything was wiped away.”

Cliff underwent a 13-hour surgery rife on a sensitive spine. During the surgery, the Surgeons lost Cliff at some time during the operation, but they got most of the tumor out. “They don’t know whether I died or whether it was equipment failure, but for a short time they didn’t have any life signs on me,” Cliff explained.

The procedure saved Cliff’s life, but it paralyzed him from the neck down. The tumor wrecked his Olympic dreams, nearly destroyed his mobility, and sucked all the energy from the previously effervescent diver. “There were times where, yeah, I wanted to die,” Devries added.

Cliff Devries’ Family

Cliff Devries

Every year on Cliff Devries’ birthday, October 30, he dives into a pool from a diving board. One of his dives off a 3-meter diving board went viral in November 2017. In a video interview, he said the following: Being around diving has always been a type of support and a great type of therapy for me. So just being in a pool, being in a wonderful facility like this, it’s exhilarating and it’s exciting.

Cliff Devries is married. He is supported by his wife, Stephanie, and four kids. His son, Corey, helped him climb up the stairs and keep him steady before his dive. His daughter, Grace, cheered him on poolside.

Cliff couldn’t help but feel left out whenever other coaches stepped onto the diving boards. “You want to feel what is like to be bouncing, to be flying, and then to go through that water,” Cliff said on nightline. “I’m going to do a dive – I’m going to do a dive on my birthday.”

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