High diving is the act of diving into water from relatively great heights. High diving can be performed as an adventure sport (as with cliff diving), as a performance stunt (as with many records attempts), or competitively during sporting events.

Synchronized high diving

It debuted at a FINA event at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona, after the sport was added to the federation's list of disciplines.[1][2] In the world championships, men jump from a 27-metre-high (89 ft) platform while women jump from a 20-metre-high (66 ft) platform. In other official competitions, men generally dive from a height of 22–27 metres (72–89 ft) while women dive from a height of 18–23 metres (59–75 ft).[3] The sport is unique in that athletes are often unable to practice in an authentic environment until the days leading up to a competition.[1] High divers have achieved speeds of descent of 96 kilometres per hour (60 mph).

History edit

R. M. Stigersand in the Men's High Diving competition, Olympic Games, London, 1948

Initially, diving as a sport began by jumping from "great heights". Then it was exclusively practiced by gymnasts as they found it exciting with a low probability of injury. It then evolved into "diving in the air" with water as the safety landing base. Efforts by Thomas Ralph to name the sport "springing" were not realized, as the term "diving" was by then firmly rooted. It soon became a sporting event pursued by many enthusiasts. In the early years of the sport, finding suitable places to jump was an issue, and people started jumping from any high place – in Europe and the United States they started jumping from bridges, then diving head first into the water. This evolved into "fancy diving" in Europe, and, particularly in Germany and Sweden, as a gymnastic act. The sport further improved with gymnastic acts being performed during the diving process, and was then given the names "springboard diving" and "high fancy diving", which were events in the Olympics of 1908 and 1912. The first diving event as a sport, however, was in 1889 in Scotland with a diving height of 6 feet (1.8 m).[4] Today, in Latin America, diving by professionals from heights of 100 feet (30 m) or more is a common occurrence.[5]

Cliff diving has been documented as far back as 1770 when Kahekili II, king of Maui, engaged in a practice called "lele kawa", which in English means jumping feet first into water from great heights without making a splash.[6] The king's warriors were forced to participate to prove that they were courageous and loyal to the king. The practice later developed into a competition under king Kamehameha I, and divers were judged on their style and amount of splash upon entering the water.

The first female world champion in this sport was Cesilie Carlton of the United States, who won the first gold medal at the 2013 World Aquatics Championships with a total score of 211.60.[7][8] The first male world champion was Orlando Duque of Colombia who received a score of 590.20.[9]

Overview edit

Pool diving edit

Until 2018, the only permanent regulation-size high diving platform in the world is located in Austria, but it is not used during the winter period. In 2018, Zhaoqing Yingxiong High Diving Training Center,[10] which contains the first year-round regulation-size high diving platform, opened at the Zhaoqing Sports Center in Zhaoqing, China.[11] The training practice is generally done on 10-metre-high (33 ft) platforms. The "competition dives" are collectively put in place in pieces, similar to the way a dress is made.[12] Dives such as five somersault dives can thrill, but some competitors prefer to perform simpler dives.[12]

Outdoor diving edit

Some outdoor diving involves launching from significant heights. One such diver noted, "There is adrenaline, excitement, danger – so many different energies go through your mind when you jump off. That goes away and then you hit the water come up and it's a massive elation, you feel such self achievement." A rescue team of scuba divers may be involved in some instances, and are required for any official competitions.

Cliff diving edit

Cliff diving in Switzerland

Cliff divers practice the different components of their dives in isolation and only execute the complete dive during championship competitions. Cliff dives are considered extremely difficult and dangerous,[13] a challenge to every competitor; in addition to the physical challenges, they can be mentally challenging to perform.

Events edit

Both men and women participate in the High Diving World Championships, but the diving height for women is limited to 20 metres (66 ft). The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is held annually and draws crowds of up to 70,000 people. Participants dive from a variety of locations including castles, cliffs, towers, bridges, and the Copenhagen Opera House.[14] Three well-known divers – Gary Hunt, Blake Aldridge and Tom Daley – the last who competed at the 2008 Olympic synchro, were set to dive on a 27-metre-high (89 ft) platform at the Moll de la Fusta, Barcelona's port; this dive was to be achieved in 3 seconds at a speed of 60 kilometres per hour (37 mph). Gary Hunt of the United Kingdom won the August 2015 FINA world championships. The average age of the participants in this event was 30. Efforts were being made by divers to make this sport an Olympic event for the 2024 Summer Olympics to be held in Paris, France.[12] However, the highest platform at the 2024 Summer Olympics will be the usual 10 metres (33 ft).[15]

World record high dives edit

There is considerable debate surrounding record claims for the highest dive, which largely revolves around criteria for what constitutes a valid dive.[16] ABC's Wide World of Sports produced world record high dives for its Emmy award-winning sports anthology show for more than a decade. They required contestants to dive or execute at least one somersault and exit the water without the assistance of others. In 1983 Wide World of Sports produced its last World Record High Dive at Sea World in San Diego. Five divers (Rick Charls, Rick Winters, Dana Kunze, Bruce Boccia, and Mike Foley) successfully executed dives from 52 metres (172 ft).[17] In 1985 Randy Dickison dove from 53.24 metres (174 ft 8 in) at Ocean Park in Hong Kong but sustained a broken femur and could not exit the water on his own.[18]

In 1987, Olivier Favre attempted a double back somersault from 54 metres (177 ft) but broke his back upon impact and had to be rescued.[19] Laso Schaller's 2015 jump from a 59 metres (193 ft) cliff in Switzerland may not be considered a dive based on ABC's criteria (one somersault needed);[20] however, he is the current record holder for Highest dive from a diving board according to the Guinness Book of Records,[21] simultaneously holding the Highest Cliff Jump record for the same jump.[22]

Men edit

Date High diver Place Height Video Notes
1982   Dave Lindsay SeaWorld Orlando 51.8 m (170 ft) ABC's Wide World of Sports - World Record High Dive Challenge
March 1983   Rick Winters SeaWorld San Diego 52.4 m (172 ft) [23] ABC's Wide World of Sports - World Record High Dive Challenge
  Rick Charls [24]
  Dana Kunze [25]
  Bruce Boccia [26]
  Mike Foley [27]
7 April 1985   Randy Dickison Ocean Park Hong Kong 53.2 m (174 ft 8 in)[28] [29] Failed attempt, multiple fractures of the left leg prevented diver from exiting the pool unassisted.[28]
30 August 1987   Olivier Favre Villers-le-Lac, France 53.9 m (177 ft) [30] Failed attempt. Broke his back upon impact with water and had to be rescued.[16]
27 September 1997   Rudolf Bok Žďákovský most, Czech republic 58.28 m (191 ft) [31] This was a jump, not a dive. Fracture of the thoracic vertebrae and other internal injuries, no surgery.[32]
4 August 2015   Laso Schaller Maggia, Switzerland 58.8 m (192 ft 10 in) [33] Highest dive from a high diving board and Highest Cliff Jump as per Guinness Book of World Records.[21][22] Internal Ligament Injury to the Knee as a result even though he wore some protection.[34]

Women edit

Date High diver Place Height Video Notes
1982   Debi Beachel Rome, Italy[28] 33.3 m (109 ft 4 in)
7 April 1985   Lucy Wardle Ocean Park Hong Kong 36.8 m (120 ft 9 in) [29]

Health implications edit

Some research suggests that the impact associated with high diving could have negative effects on the joints and muscles of athletes.[1] To avoid injury to their arms upon impact with the water, divers from significant heights may enter the water feet first.

Pop culture edit

The 2018 film Bumblebee featured a main character who was a former competitive high diver.[35][36]

In 2022, YouTube group The Try Guys tested out high diving in Mission Viejo, California.[37]

Image gallery edit

See also edit

Olympic events edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Napolitano, Salvatore; Di Tore, Pio Alfredo; Raiola, Gaetano (2013). "High Diving: Evaluation of Water Impact and Considerations on Training Methods" (PDF). Journal of Human Sport and Exercise. 8 (2): 283–289. doi:10.4100/jhse.2012.8.Proc2.30. Archived (PDF) from the original on 6 July 2017.
  2. ^ Adrega, Pedro; Chiarello, Sarah (29 July 2013). "High Diving, Day 1: Pure adrenalin in the port of Barcelona!". FINA. Archived from the original on 4 August 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  3. ^ "General Rules and Regulations for International Competitions" (PDF). World High Diving Federation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 February 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  4. ^ Dubey, H.C. (1 January 1999). Dph Sports Series-Diving. Discovery Publishing House. p. 2. ISBN 978-81-7141-478-9.
  5. ^ Crego, Robert (January 2003). Sports and Games of the 18th and 19th Centuries. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 136–. ISBN 978-0-313-31610-4.
  6. ^ "History: The real roots of cliff diving are found at Kaunolu, on the Hawaiian island of Lana´i" (PDF). World High Diving Federation. Retrieved 11 September 2015.[dead link]
  7. ^ "High Diving, Day 2: History was made: Cesilie Carlton (USA) is the first World champion!". FINA. 30 July 2013. Archived from the original on 23 August 2016. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  8. ^ Rogers, Iain (30 July 2013). "American Carlton takes inaugural high diving gold". Reuters. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  9. ^ Wilson, Joseph (31 July 2013). "Orlando Duque wins 1st high diving world title". The Big Story. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 16 August 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2015.
  10. ^ "Zhaoqing ready for the FINA High Diving World Cup 2019 - Xinhua | English.news.cn". www.xinhuanet.com. Archived from the original on 26 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  11. ^ "VIDEO: Zhao Qing High Diving Stadium Opens In China". Swimming World News. 8 December 2018. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  12. ^ a b c "High Diving, a Crowd-Pleasing Sport, Pursues an Olympic Platform". The New York Times. 5 August 2015.
  13. ^ Harris, Rob. "The Dangers of Jumping into Water From Heights". Livestrong. Retrieved 10 September 2015.
  14. ^ Hope, Nick (August 2013). "US great Greg Louganis wants high diving at Olympic Games". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Diving, Paris 2024". 2024 Summer Olympics. Retrieved 20 November 2022.
  16. ^ a b lolajones (7 April 2009). "Seriously extreme diving – the High Diving record, Dana Kunze, and the Deep Diving record, Nuno Gomes". xtremesport4u.
  17. ^ ABC's Wide World of Sports - World Record High Dive Challenge 1983 (172 ft) - YouTube
  18. ^ Randy Dickison's World Record High Dive from 172 feet 8 inches in Hong Kong 1986 - YouTube
  19. ^ Olivier Favre - World Record Highest Dive - 177ft - 54 m - YouTube
  20. ^ Laso Schaller's World-Record Jump Was Not a World-Record Dive
  21. ^ a b "Highest dive from a high diving board (Male)".
  22. ^ a b "New photos: Laso Schaller completes the highest cliff jump ever attempted". 3 December 2015.
  23. ^ ABC's Wide World of Sports - Rick Winters World Record High Dive. YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  24. ^ ABC's Wide World of Sports - Rick Charls World Record High Dive. YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  25. ^ ABC's Wide World of Sports - World Record High Dive Challenge 1983 (172 ft). YouTube. 20 February 2011.
  26. ^ ABC's Wide World of Sports - World Record High Dive Challenge 1983 (172 ft). YouTube. 20 February 2011.
  27. ^ ABC's Wide World of Sports - World Record High Dive Challenge 1983 (172 ft). YouTube. 20 February 2011.
  28. ^ a b c "High Divers Set Marks at Hong Kong Event". The New York Times. Associated Press. 7 April 1985. Retrieved 9 September 2015.
  29. ^ a b World Record Highest Dives (Randy Dickison 174'8" and Lucy Wardle (Streeter) 120'9"). YouTube. 26 November 2008. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  30. ^ Olivier Favre - World Record Highest Dive - 177ft - 54 m. YouTube. 21 August 2010.
  31. ^ VTS. YouTube. 21 March 2011. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  32. ^ Rudolf Bok (1999). Jsem kaskadér [I'm a Stuntman]. Olympia. ISBN 978-80-7033-591-8.
  33. ^ High Jump World Record with Laso Schaller 58.80 Meter / 192ft Cliff Diving. YouTube. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021.
  34. ^ "Wann ein Sprung ins Wasser für Menschen gefährlich wird" (in German). Der Standard. 7 August 2022.
  35. ^ Kenny, Glenn (18 December 2018). "'Bumblebee' Review: Finally, a 'Transformers' Movie That's Actually Good". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  36. ^ Terry, Josh (20 December 2018). "Movie review: If you hate what Michael Bay did to the 'Transformers' franchise, you'll love 'Bumblebee'". Deseret News. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  37. ^ The Try Guys (3 September 2022). "Try Guys Try High Diving". YouTube. Retrieved 25 November 2022.

Further reading edit

External links edit