In diving, athletes can compete alone or in synchronized pairs, where two divers can execute a move simultaneously. For both types of diving competitors choose from a list of dives ranging from easy to extremely hard. Upon completion of the dive, they are assessed by a panel of judges and given a score based on approach, take-off, elevation, execution of movements in-air and landing. Degree of difficulty is also taken into account, with divers being rewarded more points for successfully completing a challenging dive. Synchronized diving is scored a little differently than individual diving, with judges arriving at their scores based on how precise and unified the two divers are during their performance.
Diving was first introduced as a Summer Olympics event in 1904. Leading up to its Olympic debut, the sport had been gaining significant traction by becoming popular in Sweden and Germany in the late 19th century. The sport has evolved in many ways since its inception, with the most notable change being a dramatic increase in the height of the diving board. Today diving is one of only four water sports governed by the International Olympic Committee.
Diving boards have different heights. In diving, there are two main types of boards. Springboard diving is conducted from a board that stands three meters high. Springboards are extremely flexible and divers tend to jump up and down on the board before jumping. Conversely, platform diving takes place on a very rigid board that is ten meters high and requires the diver to jump straight off the platform rather than taking a few bounces beforehand.
Diving is a highly anticipated event at every Summer Olympics. Viewers at home and athletes competing in other sports are often awestruck by the degree of difficulty and feats of true athleticism divers put on display.