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Record-breaking high diving

Dives can be of many shapes or forms: they can be forwards, backwards, split, upside down, screwed, grouped, individual, single or synchronized. Few would argue that diving is one of the most spectacular sports disciplines to spectate.

Despite the existence of more ancient evidence, we can start classifying diving as a sport from the beginning of the nineteenth century, and more precisely in 1811 in Germany. Here, some swimmers from Halle, Saxony, began to put on a show diving from makeshift trampolines set on the banks of the Spree. It seems that the idea came from observing a group of salt workers from Halle, who threw themselves into puddles of fresh water to rinse off the accumulated salt at the end of their working day. In 1904, during the Olympic Games in St. Louis, diving became an Olympic sport.

1. The highest dive

On August 4, 2015 the Swiss diver of Brazilian descent, Lazaro "Laso" Schaller set the world record for diving from the platform, diving from 58.8m (higher than the Tower of Pisa, which measures "only" 56.71 m) and exceeding a speed of 120 km/h at his entry into the water. The feat was accomplished in Maggia, Switzerland, at the Cascata del Salto.
highest dive from a springboard

2. The fastest "dive"

Who said that dives are only those that land on water? In fact, when it comes to the fastest dive Felix Baumgartner and his free jump deserve the first place on the podium - by a wide margin. On October 14, 2012, the Austrian jumper dived into free fall from 38,696.4 m, breaking the speed of sound. After an ascent of two hours and 37 minutes, the 43-year-old Baumgartner took only 9 minutes (of which 4 minutes and 15 seconds free falling) to reach the ground, reaching a top speed of 1357.64 km/h.

Among others, Red Bull, the company sponsoring this event, broke the record of live streaming views on YouTube: more than 8 million viewers connected at the same time to watch this impressive feat.

3. The maximum score achieved with a dive

During the 2000 cliff-diving world championship in Kaunolu, Hawaii, the Colombian diver Orlando Duque performed a double backflip dive and 4 screw-downs from a height of 24.40 m, scoring a maximum of 10 from all 7 judges.
the most reckless cliff dive

4. The highest dive into shallow water

On September 9 2014, Darren Taylor (USA), also known as Professor Splash, set yet another record, by launching from a height of 11.56m into a pool that was just 30cm deep and 2x4 m large, reaching a top speed of 53km/h. Earlier that June, he set yet another record, diving from 8m in 25.4 cm of water in flames.

5. The highest dive with bungee jumping

On June 8 2015, Raymond Woodcock jumped from a crane at the National Diving & Activity Centre in Chepstow, England, from a height of 141.73m (more than the Pyramid of Cheops, 138.8m). With this record, Woodcock beat himself, overtaking the previous finish line by at least 26 metres.
A dive and back

6. The highest number of Olympic gold medals

The record of 5 gold medals won in the Olympic dives is due to the Chinese Wu Minxia and Chen Ruolin. Chen won the gold medal for the 10m platform in 2008 and 2012, and for the 10 m synchro platform in 2008, 2012 and 2016. Wu won it for the 3m synchro trampoline in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 and for the 3m trampoline in 2012.
The most elegant dive
Wu Minxia also holds the record for being the "oldest" diver to have won an Olympic medal. In August 2016, at the age of 30 years and 271 days, she participated in the final in Rio de Janeiro and won the gold for the 3 m synchro trampoline together with her partner Shi Tingmao.

7. The oldest work of art depicting a diver

The award goes to a fresco found in the so-called "Tomb of the Diver" in Paestum (an ancient town 30km from Salerno, Italy), dating back 480-470 BC. The tomb is composed of marble slabs entirely decorated with frescoes with convivial themes. The covering slab, measuring 220x110 cm, depicts a young naked man in the act of diving, a symbolic passage between life and death.

8. The highest dive from a waterfall

In October 2008, Chinese athlete Di Huanran set a record for the highest dive from a waterfall, launching himself from 12.19m from the Diaoshuilou Falls of Lake Jingbo in China.
The highest dive from a waterfall

9. Most victories in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is an international diving competition, born in 2009 and held in different locations around the world. Gary Hunt is the English diver who over the years has won the most editions - from 2010 to 2012, from 2014 to 2016 and in 2018, without ever arriving less than second in the others. He won the last title on 23 September 2018 in Italy, in the beautiful setting of Polignano a Mare.

10. The fastest "dive" into nature

The peregrine falcon (Falco Peregrinus, also known as duck hawk) is considered one of the fastest birds in the world. In 2005, the American Ken Franklin confirmed this fact, measuring the speed reached by his falcon Frightful as it dived for almost 5 km: an astonishing 389.46 km/h!
the wildest dive

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