Diving is a competitive or recreational aquatic sport that involves jumping and falling into water from a platform or springboard. Typically, diving includes performing acrobatics mid-air that may be scored by judges. It can be both an individual sport or a synchronized performance by a team of two. Diving is a very popular sport worldwide and has been recognized as an Olympic sport since 1904. Diving is regulated internationally by FINA, or the Fédération Internationale de Natation.
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 competitions are pretty straightforward. Each team will submit their diver's list of dives before the start of the competition and each dive will be assigned a degree of difficulty. The divers then perform their dives one at a time and receive a score from the judges. This score will be multiplied by the degree of difficulty to give a total score. Divers will perform all of their listed dives and the team or individual with the highest total score will be crowned the winner!
Yes, diving has been an Olympic sport for over 100 years! The sport was introduced to the Olympics during the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis and remains an Olympic sport to this day. Women's diving events were first introduced at the 1912 Olympic Games.
Diving is still performed by both men and women in the Olympics. The events include the 3m springboard or 10m platform both individually or synchronized. Currently, the United States has the most gold medals for diving with 49, followed by China and Sweden.