Diving first became popular in Sweden and Germany back in the 19th century where it was inspired by gymnasts performing into water, in a celebration of acrobatics and style. Towards the end of the 19th century, Swedish divers travelled to Great Britain to perform demonstrations, which led to the Amateur Diving Association being set up in 1901.
Brief overview of the rules
At the Olympic Games, the sport is contested in two events – the 3-metre springboard and 10-metre high-dive. The 3 metre springboard enables divers to leap even higher into the air, while the high dive is performed from fixed platform positioned 10 metres above the water. The individual and synchronised competitions take place at both heights.
Dives are scored by taking into account a number of criteria, including how aesthetically pleasing a diver’s movements are, the complexity of the dive and how well the diver enters the water. Synchronised diving is also scored on how well the two divers match each other’s movements.
Diving was quick to integrate the Olympic sport programme, making its debut in the 1904 St. Louis Games. In 1912, women’s events were contested for the first time and the synchronised competition was added in 2000 at the Sydney Olympic Games.
Initially when diving became an Olympic sport in 1904, the USA dominated. Nowadays, China has overtaken the western powerhouse, winning seven of the eight golds at the 2008 Beijing Games.
International federation : Fédération internationale de Natation (FINA)
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