This story proves that a man with a merciful heart can overcome any obstacle.
We firmly believe that parental love has the power to transform lives and rise above all social prejudices. This man with a big heart raised an Olympic champion on his own.
It all started with a magazine article
Jerry Windle dreamed of becoming a father since forever. He was trying to adopt in the United States. One day he came across a magazine article about orphans in Cambodia. He didn’t hesitate and contacted the Cambodian authorities quickly. They reach to him with information that changed his life.
Jerry immediately flew to Phnom Penh, Cambodia in June 2000. There was his future son Jordan who had been residing in an orphanage since the death of his birth parents. Malnutrition, scabies and serious illnesses afflicted the child. Jerry brought him back to Florida, looked after him, and adopted him as a son.
The new family immediately faced various obstacles
The new family confront many challenges once they returned to the United States. Jordan was tired and weak because of his health issues. He spoke to Jerry in sign language before learning English.
Jordan was only two years old then, but he weighed only 16 pounds. It was a question if he would live or die.
However, he promised that he would do everything in his power to make sure his new baby never suffer again. There was already so much love, that he had overcome all obstacles.
An extraordinary Olympic career began by accident
Jordan’s Olympic desires started when he was seven.
At the dive camp, he caught the attention of Tim O’Brien, the son of well-known dive trainer Ron O’Brien. Jordan then joined a specialized diving program and began to achieve his first triumphs.
It was also at that time that he met Greg Louganis, winner of Olympic gold. First at the age of 13 Jordan qualified for the men’s platform event. He qualified again when he was 16 years old.
“There was lots of media. We didn’t expect that. We didn’t know how well the Cambodians knew Jordan. But they knew him from the internet and he’s kind of a national hero in Cambodia,” added Jerry.
Jordan will represent the United States at the Olympics. But he carry Cambodia at heart. He wanted to prove that by making a tattoo of Cambodian flag. He put it on his arm so anyone can see it when he dives.
The father and the son have had the strongest bond over the years
In 2011, they co- authored a children’s book together to commemorate their trip. It’s a story of a rooster. Other animals told the rooster that he couldn’t be a father without a hen. “An Orphan No More: The True Story of a Boy” it’s the name of this book. One day he found an egg that is lonely and no one wants. The duckling hatches. But, despite their different appearances, the two prove that “where is love, there is family”.