Venue: Maria Lenk Aquatic Center
Dates: August 7 – August 19, 2016
Athletes in competition: 136
A combination of skill, courage, athletic training and ability, platform diving is almost as exciting for the spectators as it is for the divers.
One of the most popular TV and spectator events at the Summer Games, diving features all the spectacular thrills of watching a first-class Olympic gymnastics competition.
Diving was first introduced to the Summer Olympics at the 1904 St. Louis games, where the sport took on the nickname "fancy diving" for performances that included spectacular twists and somersaults.
Today, that same level of showmanship continues to wow the crowds at Olympic venues. Although there are a lot of technical aspects to the competition, suffice to say that a clean 'rip' - with no splash on entry - is a key component.
Olympic diving consists of dives from either a springboard or a fixed platform.
Judges award points ranging from 0 to a "perfect 10" depending on the difficulty and number of maneuvers attempted before final splashdown.
Synchronized diving -- introduced during the 2000 games -- is another aspect of the Olympic competition in which pairs of athletes dive in tandem with additional points scored for their level of synchronisation.
Olympic diving fun facts
• The Olympic diving debut in Saint Louis in 1904 took the form of distance diving – the diver who remained underwater for the longest distance before resurfacing was the winner!
Full speed ahead - at more than 30 mph.
• Modern Olympic diving has been dominated by two nations - USA and China.
• At the Seoul games in 1988, American Greg Louganis hit his head on the platform mid-dive during the qualification phase. He went on to take the gold medal.
• Along with straight dives, somersaults and twists, athletes compete through acrobatic performances in movements such as pikes (with a bend at the hips while the knees remain straight) and tucks (both hips and knees are flexed and the body resembles a ball).
• Diving off of the 10 meter diving board is equivalent to leaping off of a three story building.
• Olympic divers can hit the water at speeds of up to 34 mph.
More about Olympic diving around the Web:
Diving | Olympic Sport - The official site with a great overview of diving competition rules, event schedule and venue information, plus interesting background history and fun facts, news, photos.
International Olympic Committee - Diving - Good overview with a history of the Olympic diving event with rules & requirements, details on each competition, related
Olympic & world records, Flash presentations and photo gallery of Olympic divers.
USA Diving - Lots of info here including photos & bios of team USA divers with an archive of schedules and news headlines for each summer olympics diving event.
NBC Olympics - Diving - Official U.S. television coverage with the complete schedule, athletes to watch, the latest updates and feature stories, fan forum postings.