Guide to Olympic Diving

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Welcome to our armchair guide to diving at the Olympics. You’ll find insights from top GB divers, a diving jargon buster, Olympic diving facts at a glance, an Olympic diving timeline, and a ones-to-watch calendar so you can plan your Olympic viewing.


Looking for an introduction to diving for the Olympics? Then let our athlete videos guide you.


  • The first event in St Louis in 1904 (see timeline right) comprised a platform dive and plunge for distance where competitors would aim to travel as far as possible without moving after a ground-level start.
  • By 1928 Games the Olympic diving competition had evolved into how we know it today: a high diving event (now known as the 10m Platform) and a fancy diving event (now known as the 3m Springboard).
  • Synchronised diving for 3m and 10m Platform events weren't added to the Olympics until the 2000 Sydney Games.
  • Diving has been dominated by two nations - USA and China. The Americans won 44 of the 60 Olympic diving golds available between 1924 and 1988 while the Chinese have won 26 of the 36 golds up for grabs at the last six Games.
  • In individual events dives are marked from one to 10 by seven judges. The highest and lowest marks are discounted before the sum of the remaining five is multiplied by the degree of difficulty then by 0.6.
  • In synchronised events, two judges mark the execution of the one diver, two judges the execution of the second diver while three mark the synchronicity. The total score is then calculated in the same way as for individual events.


Planning a little TV or internet time watching the Olympics? Then use our calendar to help you find the diving events that interest you.

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