Jerry Windle chanced upon a story in a magazine about a man who adopted a child from Cambodia. From then on, Jerry felt hope. He immediately called the number of the adoption service written in the article and inquired if an unmarried person could adopt a child. The service said, “YES.”
A few months passed, and Jerry had adopted a sick 18-month-old boy in an orphanage in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The baby’s name was Jordan, and he had scabies and intestinal parasites. He was severely malnourished and was suffering from infections. Jerry nursed him back to health. The once sickly baby grew up healthy and represented the country in the Tokyo Olympics.
Jordan claimed that his dad cheered the loudest in the audience during his competitions. However, during the pandemic, COVID restrictions could not allow Jerry to be with his son in Tokyo, but he still supported him. “I wish he was there, but that doesn’t really change what I’m going there to do: To have fun, show off a little bit, and put on a show for everyone. That’s going to be my intention, and I’m hopefully going to make him proud,” Jordan said.
Jordan was 7 years old when he attended summer camp and impressed a man named Tim O’Brien. He informed Jerry that Jordan reminded him of Greg Louganis, a former diver and champion. Louganis was also coached by his own father.
During the Olympics, Jordan never forgot his roots and still represented Cambodia, although he was raised in the US. He has a Cambodian flag tattooed on his arm. Back in the US, Jerry, together with family and friends, organized a watch party at home in full support of his son.
“It’s disappointing, but at the same time, this is Jordan’s journey, and this is the pinnacle of it, and I want him to enjoy this experience as best he can… That’s what I’ve always wanted for him,” Jerry said.
“I tell everyone, when they ask me why I dive, I dive purely for my dad and how much he loves watching me,” Jordan said. “Without him making all the sacrifices that he has, and his love and support the whole time we’ve been together, I really wouldn’t be where I am today. I have him to thank for everything, all my accomplishments. It’s been an amazing journey with him, and we’re still rolling.”
Screenshot images credits: © Texas Longhorns/YouTube