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Updated: 2006-08-21 19:11
Diving Olympic Sport since 1924

Almost a century ago, "fancy diving" entered the Olympic Games as a new event. It was simply diving, as we know it today, and indeed, the 1996 programme did not change a blink from the 1924 programme.

Gold medallist Gleb Galperin of Russia competes in the final of the men's 10m Platform diving competition during the European Aquatic Championships in Budapest August 6, 2006. [Reuters]

Now here comes some truly fancy diving: synchronised diving, or diving in pairs, which was introduced in the Sydney 2000 Games, doubling the programme in more than one way.

The traditional men's and women's 10-metre platform and three-metre springboard diving events were repeated for the synchronised portion, with judges assessing both individual dives and synchronisation.

Diving developed in Europe in the 17th century, when gymnasts practised their acrobatics over water. Combining artistry and athleticism with undeniable courage - platform divers hit the water at about 55km/h - diving ranks among the Olympic Games' most exhilarating events.


Competitors perform a series of dives and are awarded points up to 10, depending upon their elegance and skill. The points are then adjusted for the degree of difficulty, based on the number and types of manoeuvres attempted, such as somersaults, pikes, tucks and twists. A reverse 1.5 somersault with 3.5 twists, for example, is among the most difficult.

A panel of seven judges traditionally scores a dive, judging such elements as approach, take-off, execution and entry into the water. Nine judges assess synchronised diving. Four judge the execution of individual dives, and five assess synchronisation - how the pairs mirror height, distance from the springboard or platform, speed of rotation and entry into the water.




10m platform 

3m springboard Men 

synchronized 10m platform 

synchronized 3m springboard

10m platform 

3m springboard 

synchronized 10m platform  

synchronized 3m springboard