diving

Diving Is The Best Olympic Sport – Not Swimming

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I tolerated two hours of Olympic Trials Swimming last night just so when Olympic Diving came on I wouldn’t miss a minute of that action. It was then I had an epiphany like no other in my life: Diving is a better sport than swimming.

Hear me out. Don’t comment.

You get to watch not only divers spinning around in the air and flipping then pointing their toes towards the Sun as their heads puncture the water. You also get to see them, pre-dive, strut up a few steps like a baseball pitcher winding up, fly through the air from high distances, and climb the ladders to get to the elevated platforms sort of like climbing the stairs of the Empire State Building to, when at the top, gaze at Manhattan.

You don’t get all that extracurricular activity watching the swimmers. They don’t climb up a ladder. They don’t take wind-up steps. They don’t do flips and twists as they enter the water.

Plus when they do the combo events they have to synchronize their motions with their teammates. No swimmers have to worry about how the other swimmers dive in; the truth is they don’t care how they dive in. No drama.

Watching diving we worry about whether divers are in sync. Worrying means we care. None of us need too much worrying, but don’t worry diving doesn’t get to that level. Worrying about two swimmers being in sync is a non-issue in swimming. Less synchronicity less tension. More room for error captivates our attention. No worry no story.

I know members of this SwimSwam audience are mostly swimming fanatics and my pro-diving stance may not be well-received, but when I write about swimming it’s not well-received either so why shouldn’t I share how I really feel? I know you all think this is just a guy screaming for attention and saying anything to get clicks and stir debate. I know you don’t think I know anything about swimming or diving.

But you wouldn’t be accurate. When I was 14 I used to go to my local Mohican Hills Swimming pool with my frenemy Rudy. We were always competing and arguing so I would make up my mind to do dives I was sure Rudy was afraid to do because he was a big loudmouth who when it got down to it backed away. I did one-and-a-half flips, gainers, and backflips — all off the towering-above-the-world high dives. None were aesthetically pleasing to see.

Rudy was too scared to do any of these stunts.

I didn’t know what I was doing but I just did what I thought were gainers and backflips. The technique wasn’t as good as divers at the Olympic Trials but you could recognize that I was attempting to do gainers and backflips. Plus it wasn’t the Olympics, just two punks being punks, so it didn’t matter at all.

For those who aren’t divers, a gainer is when you jump off the board like you’re jumping in the pool but immediately flip back over your head and do a full inward flip – the opposite of a backflip or the inverse; one of those. Gainers are scary. If you’re too cavalier in your approach You can hit your head on the diving board like Greg Louganis did in the Olympics.

I would have to say the coolest thing I’ve ever done in my life is a gainer off the high dive not because I did it technically correctly but because I had the guts to do it and Rudy didn’t which made me one up him once again in a boyhood gushing with one-upping Rudy that continues now, deep into old age.

But don’t misconstrue any of this. I love Olympic swimming but watching the diving feels more immersive. It takes me back to my boyhood wildness days and who doesn’t like reliving that?

Who doesn’t like flying through the air, spinning around, and landing in a way that smacks the water and makes your skin turn red?

Sammy Sportface

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Sammy Sportface

Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here: Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page
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Author Profile

Sammy Sportface
Sammy Sportface
Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here:

Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out

Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page
Sammy Sportface

Sammy Sportface

Sammy Sportface, a sports blogger, galvanizes, inspires, and amuses The Baby Boomer Brotherhood. And you can learn about his vision and join this group's Facebook page here: Sammy Sportface Has a Vision -- Check It Out Sammy Sportface -- The Baby Boomer Brotherhood Blog -- Facebook Page

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