At the 4th FINA High Diving World Cup in Abu Dhabi April 28-29, FINA executive director Cornel Marculescuannounced that the Federation has put in a request to the IOC to contain High Diving at the Summer Olympic 2020 Games. Olympic Diving Fans from all over the world can buy Olympic Diving tickets online.
“This is a thrilling Game and will surely bring an added value to the Olympic programmed,” Marculescu said. “Since the introduction of High Diving in the FINA programme, in 2013, the evolution has been amazing, and the moment has come to go further.”
Marculescu is mentioning to High Diving’s arrival at the 2013 FINA World Aquatics Championships in Barcelona. At the event, there were female contestants from the USA, Germany, Canada, and Ukraine. The men’s event contained athletes of the same countries in addition to Colombia, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Russia, Poland, and France. A total of 11 countries participated in either the normal women’s 20-meter event or men’s 27-meter competition.
This demographic is key in the IOC’s choice to include High Diving in Olympic 2020, as the Olympic Charter states: “Only sports widely practiced by men in at least 75 countries and on four continents, and by women in at least 40 countries and on three continents, may be comprised in the programmed of the Games of the Olympiad.” This will be the highest challenge for inclusion of the sport.
High Diving is also disputed at the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series. The 2017 circuit kicks off on June 25 in Inis Mor, Ireland. The event may offer an even more new insight into how many countries might contribute in this event after 17 were present in Abu Dhabi. The circuit has had athletes from extra countries such as Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Brazil, Belarus and Australia in previous years.
Mexico’s Jonathan Paredes, who finished second in the overall standings of the series in 2016 and third at the 2013 World Championships, spoke with FINA on the importance of the inclusion of High Diving in 2020:
“We must fight for it! If there is a possibility, we must go and take it! If this becomes official, a lot more countries will start having athletes in High Diving. Don’t forget that China (very strong in pool diving) is still not present in our discipline…”
The continuous reference of the event as a “discipline” and not an additional event is also important in this process. There is a much greater chance of High Diving being added to the Olympic program if it is a discipline and not an additional new sport. Still, the event needs to prove as globally widespread.
Regardless, high divers from around the world are thrilled with the potential for this new event. Gary Hunt of Great Britain, the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series General Champion in 2014, 2015 and 2016, values the care for the sport:
“This is a great opportunity for our sport. If we are successful, we will definitively have an exciting time in Tokyo 2020. Furthermore, it will give the vital visibility the sport needs.”
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