Top 6 Best Women's Divers of All Time

Best Womens Divers of All Time

Diving is an art form that is competed throughout many levels. Since 1904, athletes have been diving at the Summer Olympics. The athlete jumps from a platform or springboard (typically 3m or 10m from the ground) while performing aerobic moves before they dive into the water.


Who are the best women’s divers of all time?

  1. Wu Minxia
  2. Guo Jingjing
  3. Chen Ruolin
  4. Fu Mingxia
  5. Shi Tingmao
  6. Pat McCormick

1. Wu Minxia

  • Seven-time Olympic medalist (5 gold, 1 silver, 1 bronze)
  • 14-time World Championship medalist (8 gold, 5 silver, 1 bronze)
  • Won a gold medal at her first-ever Olympics in Athens

Wu Minxia was born in 1985 in Shanghai, China. The first Olympics that she competed in was in Athens in 2004. She was awarded four gold medals on the synchronized springboard, one gold medal, one silver medal, and one bronze medal for the springboard. She also competed at the Beijing, London, and Rio Olympics. In 2011 and 2012, she was named the Diver of the Year by the International Swimming Federation. Minxia also holds the record for the most Olympic medals by a female diver and the most gold medals by any Olympic diver. She suffered countless injuries throughout the years but still was able to build a remarkable career.

2. Guo Jingjing

  • Six-time Olympic medalist (4 gold, 2 silver)
  • 11-time World Championship medalist (10 gold, 1 silver)
  • 11-time Diving World Series gold medalist

Guo Jingjing was born in 1981 and first competed in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics at 14 years old. In all of her competitions, she only competed in 3m board events. From 2001 to 2009, she won seven titles for her events. These include two Olympic medals and double gold medals at five FINA World Championships. In the summer of 2008, she won her final two Olympic gold medals and became one of the most decorated female divers. She had also won numerous medals at other championships, including 42 gold medals at the Diving Grand Prix.

3. Chen Ruolin

  • Five-time Olympic gold medalist
  • Was on the Forbes 30 under 30 list for her diving skills in 2017
  • Nine-time World Championship medalist (6 gold, 3 silver)

Chen Roulin was born in 1992 in Nantong, Jiangsu, China. She started diving for the national diving team at the young age of 11 and first went to the Olympics at the age of 15. She earned five gold medals in total for diving at three different Olympic games. Chen has also won 10 World Championship medals, 9 FINA Diving World Cup medals, and 54 Diving World Series medals. At the age of 23, she suffered a neck injury and decided to stop competing and retire.

4. Fu Mingxia

  • Five-time Olympic medalist (4 gold, 1 silver)
  • She won her first gold medal by almost over 50 points, with 461.43 points
  • In 1996, for the first time since the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, she entered two different diving events and won a gold medal in both
  • Two-time World Championship gold medalist

Fu Mingxia is a retired Chinese diver who was born in 1978 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. She started as a gymnast and was on the best diving teams in the 1990s. In 1991, she became the youngest world champion, and the next year she became the second-youngest person to win an Olympic gold medal at 13 years old. Mingxia won her first gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, and has five Olympic medals in total, including four gold medals and one silver medal. 

5. Shi Tingmao

  • Four-time Olympic gold medalist
  • Nine-time World Championship medalist (8 gold, 1 silver)
  • Six-time Diving World Cup gold medalist

Shi Tingmao did not start out as a diver but as a trained gymnast instead. She started gymnastics at age five and switched over to diving at age eight. She did not make it onto the national team until 2012 and was 21 when she finally joined the team. Meanwhile, many other athletes retire from the sport at this age. She has won four Olympic gold medals in total and many other medals from major competitions, including the World Championships, Asian Games, and the FINA Diving World Cup. Most of her medals came from 3m events, but she was also able to win a few events on the 1m board.

6. Pat McCormick

  • Four-time Olympic gold medalist (2 springboard, 2 platform)
  • Four-time Pan-American Games medalist (3 gold, 1 silver)
  • Qualified for the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne just five months after giving birth to her son

A pioneer of the sport, Pat McCormick is an American athlete who was born in 1930 in Seal Beach, California. She competed both on outdoor and indoor platforms. On two occasions, McCormick took home two gold medals in a single Olympic Games, doing so in 1952 and then repeating the feat in 1956. In addition to her Olympics dominance, she also won 27 national championships. In 1956, she won Press Female Athlete of the Year and the James E. Sullivan Amateur Athlete of the Year awards. After the Olympic Games in Melbourne, she decided to retire and opened a diving camp shortly after. She was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1999. Her daughter later followed in her footsteps and won a silver and bronze medal, each at different Olympic Games.

FAQ

Who is the best women’s diver of all time?

The best women's diver of all time is Wu Minxia. She won seven Olympic medals, including five gold medals, between 2004 and 2016. She has also received a World Championship medal an impressive 14 times. Chen Ruolin is a close second, who also has won five Olympic medals.

What women’s diver has won the most Olympic gold medals of all time?

Wu Minxia and Chen Ruolin are tied for the most Olympic gold medals of all time. Wu Minxia won five gold medals from 2004 to 2016 and Chen Ruolin from 2008 to 2016. Both of these women are from China. Minxia competed off of a 3m platform, while Ruolin competed off of a 10m platform.

What women’s diver has won the most World Aquatics Championships gold medals of all time?

Guo Jingjing has earned the most World Aquatics Championships gold medals of all time, with ten. From 1998 to 2009, Jingjing earned a total of ten gold medals and one silver medal. These medals were from multiple World Aquatics Championships over the 10+ years that she was a competitive diver. A close second is Wu Minxia, who has eight gold medals, five silver medals, and one bronze medal. This means that Jingjing has more gold medals, but Minxia has more in total.