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Diving World Series

20 April 2011 by superlative

Last weekend we made the really rather long journey to Sheffield in order to watch the UK part of the FINA/Midea Diving World Series.

It was quite simply the hottest event I have ever attended in my life, and I’ve seen Adam Rickitt sing live and topless at Revenge.

It was hot in fact in both senses of the word, because the diver boys were extraordinarily fit, and it was also about 40,000 degrees Celsius in the venue. Was one worth the other? Well yes I think it was actually, because not only do divers have the gorgeous bodies exhibited by most aquatic athletes, but they also wear the skimpiest of outfits of any sport known to man. The speedos quite frankly could not get any smaller without invoking some sort of quantum physics.

I tried to take some photos, but unfortunately my little compact camera is not designed for long-distance totty spotting, and I quickly realised they were coming out too blurry. So instead I have taken about 30 videos of individual dives, and at some point when I’ve got a few hours I’m going to sit down and try to knit them together into a single file.

In the meantime, here are a couple of pictures where you can at least make out there are humans in them and not just flesh-coloured motion blurs.

This is Tom Daley atop his 10m diving platform:

And this is the British synchronised diving team next to the American one, looking generally loungy and hot:

The blond piece at the back was a particularly fine specimen, so I’m hoping my videos of him will have come out OK.

In terms of the actual sport, it was the first time we’ve been to see live diving, and it was in fact really enjoyable. It’s quite a quickfire sport because they just keep diving one after the other, so there is always something to look at, and it is quite accessible and easy to understand. Basically small splash equals good, big splash and/or hitting the water practically horizontal equals bad. And then the scores come up, you clap politely, and if it’s a British diver you wave your plastic Union Jack around a bit.

It was a bit frustrating that the Chinese competitors pretty much won everything on the day we were there, because obviously most people in the crowd wanted to see the Brits take home some medals. You couldn’t fault them though, because the Chinese were simply outstanding divers who made practically no mistakes. Even I, with my no knowledge, knew that they were producing some damn fine diving.

Now that we have been to see some live diving, we’re going to have a think about whether we’d want to go to the Olympics to see it. That was kind of the point, as we thought it would be silly to buy tickets for something that might not be fun to watch live. I think we probably will, but the Olympic tickets do seem rather expensive at £50+ for a two or three hour diving session. I only paid £10 for our Sheffield seats, and that was the whole day. But anyway, it is the Olympics, and it’ll be the only Olympics I ever go to, so maybe we shall.

And even if the British team don’t win anything, I at least know it will be an extremely stimulating experience.


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