skip to content
Diving


Competitive diving, which developed from gymnastics, started in Sweden and Germany in the 18th century.

Gymnastics beginnings

Diving became popular in Sweden and Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries. The sport was primarily practised by gymnasts who started performing tumbling routines into the water.

Popularity spreads

In the late 19th century a group of Swedish divers visited Great Britain. They put on diving displays that proved hugely popular and led to the formation of the first diving organisation, the Amateur Diving Association, in 1901.

Olympic history

Diving was included in the Olympic Games for the first time at the 1904 Games in St Louis. The springboard and platform events have been included since the 1908 Olympic Games in London. Since the Stockholm Games in 1912, women have taken part in the diving events.

The first Olympic competitions differed from those which exist nowadays, notably with respect to the height of the platforms and springboards. The diving programme has been relatively stable since the 1928 Games in Amsterdam: men and women take part in 10-metre high-dive and 3-metre springboard events. In 2000, the Sydney Games witnessed the entrance of synchronised diving on both the springboard and the platform.

This discipline was firstly dominated by the USA. This domination started to waiver with the participation of China at the end of the 1980s. When the American Greg Louganis, who is considered as the greatest diver ever, was still in competition, the Chinese managed to achieve some victories. Since Louganis retired, China has dominated the men’s events. Lately, China’s women divers have proved themselves unbeatable.

One of four disciplines

Diving, along with swimming, synchronised swimming and water polo, is one of the four disciplines governed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA).

More


Gallery

Buenos Aires 2018 - Diving - Women’s 3m Springboard
Image Alt Text

Buenos Aires 2018 - Diving - Women’s 3m Springboard

Valeria Angelina Antolino Pacheco ESP competes in the Diving Women's 3m Springboard Preliminaries at the Natatorium, Youth Olympic Park. The Youth Olympic Games, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday 15th October 2018.
Diving Gabriel Heusi for OIS/IOC
Buenos Aires 2018 - Diving - Women’s 10m Platform
Image Alt Text

Buenos Aires 2018 - Diving - Women’s 10m Platform

Shan Lin of the People's Republic of China during the Diving Womens 10m Platform on Day 7 of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games at the Natatorium in Youth Olympic Park, on October 13, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
IOC/OIS
Buenos Aires 2018 - Diving - Women’s 10m Platform
Image Alt Text

Buenos Aires 2018 - Diving - Women’s 10m Platform

Gabriela Belem Agundes Garcia of Mexico during the Diving Womens 10m Platform on Day 7 of the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games at the Natatorium in Youth Olympic Park, on October 13, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
IOC/OIS
Buenos Aires 2018 - Diving
Image Alt Text

Buenos Aires 2018 - Diving

Liana Kliueva RUS in action during diving practice at the Natatorium, Youth Olympic Park. The Youth Olympic Games, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday 8th October 2018.
Chloe Knott for OIS/IOC
Diving - 10m Platform Men
Image Alt Text

Diving - 10m Platform Men

Aisen Chen of the People's Republic of China competes during the Men's Diving 10m Platform final on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
Diving - 10m Platform Men
Image Alt Text

Diving - 10m Platform Men

Aisen Chen of the People's Republic of China competes during the Men's Diving 10m Platform final on Day 15 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre on August 20, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Getty Images
More

back to top Fr