Diving is the sport of jumping or falling into water from a platform or springboard, usually while performing acrobatics. Diving is an internationally recognized sport that is part of the Olympic Games. In addition, unstructured and non-competitive diving is a recreational pastime.
Diving is one of the most popular Olympic sports with spectators. Competitors possess many of the same characteristics as gymnasts and dancers, including strength, flexibility, kinaesthetic judgment and air awareness. Some professional divers were originally gymnasts or dancers as both the sports have similar characteristics to diving.
Diving into a body of water had also been a method used by gymnasts in Germany and Sweden since the early 19th century. The soft landing allowed for more elaborate gymnastic feats in midair as the jump could be made at a greater distance. This tradition evolved into 'fancy diving', while diving as a preliminary to swimming became known as 'Plain diving'.
In England, the practice of high diving – diving from a great height – gained popularity; the first diving stages were erected at the Highgate Ponds at a height of 15 feet in 1893 and the first world championship event, the National Graceful Diving Competition, was held there by the Royal Life Saving Society in 1895. The event consisted of standing and running dives from either 15 or 30 feet.
Diving is also popular as a non-competitive activity. Such diving usually emphasizes the airborne experience, and the height of the dive, but does not emphasize what goes on once the diver enters the water. The ability to dive underwater can be a useful emergency skill, and is an important part of watersport and navy safety training. Entering water from a height is an enjoyable leisure activity, as is underwater swimming.
Such non-competitive diving can occur indoors and outdoors. Outdoor diving typically takes place from cliffs or other rock formations either into fresh or salt water. However, man-made diving platforms are sometimes constructed in popular swimming destinations. Outdoor diving requires knowledge of the water depth and currents as conditions can be dangerous.
Source: Diving from Wikipedia
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