Diving at the Olympics
There are several events as part of the Olympic diving program: 10m platform, 3m springboard individual and synchronized events (all for men and women).
The newest addition is synchronized diving for the springboard and platform, which were added to the program for 2000. In synchronized diving two divers complete a dive simultaneously in which the dives are perfectly timed for height and distance from the board or platform, speed of rotation, and angle of entry into the water.
Competitors choose from a list of dives that have been rated according to their degree of difficulty (or they can create their own). Points are awarded for approach, take-off, elevation, execution of movements and entry into the water.
- Diving was first introduced in 1904 and has been an Olympic sport since. In 1904 there were two events for men, platform diving event (called "fancy high diving" because of the somersaults and twists that were performed) and a plunge for distance event.
- At the 1908 Summer Olympics the men's springboard was added to the program.
- Women's events were added later. The platform event was added in 1912 and the springboard in 1920.
- A platform diving event for men, called "plain high diving", was included in 1912 in which no acrobatic moves were allowed, only a simple straight dive off the platform. This event was included until 1928, where it was merged with "fancy high diving" into one competition called "highboard diving".
- In 1952, divers complained about being distracted by a photographer who was dressed up in a frogman outfit and was taking photos of them from underwater.
- In 1988, Greg Louganis hit his head on the diving board but successfully defended his Olympic springboard title a few days later.
- In 1992, 13-year-old Fu Mingxia of China won the platform diving event, making her the second-youngest person to win an individual gold medal.
- In Sydney 2000, synchronized diving for the springboard and platform events was added to the program
- In Beijing 2008, British Synchronized Diver Tom Daley will be 14 years and 80 days old when the Games begin, beating the record for the youngest British male Olympian by over a year. The previous youngest was also a diver, Fred Hodges, who was 15 years and 94 days when he went to the 1936 Olympics.
- The best all-time performing diver at the Olympic Games is Chinese diver Guo Jingjing with six medals in total between 2000–2008. See more on the Greatest Divers at the Olympics.