Olympic diving official describes ‘enjoyable and rewarding experience’ in Tokyo blogAugust 10, 2021
When it comes to the Olympics, Lindsey Fraser has been an athlete, a coach and has now added judge to her impressive CV following the Tokyo 2020 Games.
The rearranged Tokyo Games marked Lindsey’s seventh Olympic appearance, but her first as a judge.
She coached Peter Waterfield to a silver medal in the 10m Synchro in Athens, but this time she was handing out the scores.
Explaining why she enjoys the judging role, and why others should get involved, Lindsey said: “It’s challenging, but it’s a very, very enjoyable and rewarding experience I think the best way of saying it.
“It’s easier if you’re a coach because you then already know the rules of diving and so on. If you’re moving into it as a parent there’s a lot of learning to be done.
“The nicest thing about diving is, it’s a sport for everyone.
“Within training, boys and girls train together. You don’t have to have a particular body type to be good. If you watch the Olympics you’ll be able to see that there’s a huge variety of different people that can all take part in the sport.
“It’s a very inclusive sport and it’s a very friendly sport. If you’re on poolside and someone does a good dive, everybody on the poolside claps.
“Everybody respects how complicated and how hard it was to achieve that and acknowledges it, and that’s beautiful.
“Everywhere around the world I go, I have the diving family. I could literally travel to any country and I’d have a house I could go and stay in with friends that I know would look after me, whether they be coaches, judges or divers.
“I’m very fortunate in that respect, but I think it is just a great family of people who are all passionate about the same thing.”
Life as an Olympic diving judge
During her time in Tokyo, Lindsey wrote a daily blog to provide an insight into life as an Olympic diving judge.
Day one – Friday 23 July
Greetings from Tokyo. I got to go into the British Airways lounge and had a lovely glass of champagne! I upgraded to business class!
The flight was smooth, about 11 hours. It then took two hours to get through at the airport, including another Covid test. I then headed to my room, where I have to isolate for the next three days, because I flew from the UK.
Day two – Saturday 24 July
Day one of isolation complete! I have a balcony, and a great view! I ordered a curry from Uber Eats last night, and the delivery guy arrived on his bicycle. I watched the opening ceremony last night!
Day three – Sunday 25 July
Day two of isolation is finished! I got my uniform! It was delivered to the hotel! The shoes are really cool! The judge from Mexico has made everyone an individual face mask. We can’t wear them when we are judging, but they’re great!
Day four – Monday 26 July
I was allowed to go to the pool to watch the synchro event, as it was part of my official duties! The GB team were cheering on our divers!
The pack of Covid LAMP tests that we must do every morning! Now my quarantine is over! 😀
Today is Men’s 10m Synchro with Tom Daley and Matty Lee. Good luck to them!
Day five – Tuesday 27 July
What a day! Tom Daley and Matty Lee took gold in the Men’s 10m Synchro. The atmosphere was amazing and they dived superbly!
The sport of diving is thrilled and their performance was incredible!
Day six – Wednesday 28 July
Delighted to have a photo with Matty Lee – newly crowned Olympic champion, and Jill Robinson who does all the announcing at the events. Matty flies back to the UK today – the athletes have to leave 48 hours after their event finished. Tom had headed to a holding camp to get away from the hype and will return for his individual 10m event.
Then, I headed back to the hotel and ordered a delicious Japanese curry, which I ate outside in the hotel gardens (and got three mosquito bites for that pleasure!)
Final synchro event today – Men’s 3m Synchro. Best of luck to our boys, Jack Laugher and Dan Goodfellow (Jack won gold in 2016 with Chris Mears and Dan took bronze last time with Tom on platform).
Day seven – Thursday 29 July
Today is a rest day and I should be judging tomorrow, but I got bitten by a mosquito last night, so my eye is really swollen. I’ve seen the doctor and taken antihistamine, so, fingers crossed I’m ok for tomorrow!
Day eight – Friday 30 July
Today is the first day of individual events, and I get to judge, at last! I will be judging the first three rounds of dives! My eye is still a little swollen, but way better! 😀
Day nine – Saturday 31 July
I can now proudly say I am officially an Olympic judge! My eye had got a lot better and I judged the Women’s 3m prelims! So proud to be part of this great group of people!
Day 10 – Sunday 1 August
I get to judge the Women’s 3m finals today – should be exciting!
Day 11 – Monday 2 August
What a great day! I got to judge the Women’s 3m final! Here’s a photo of me looking quite smart!
Day 12 – Tuesday 3 August
I judged the Men’s 3m semi-final this morning and both Jack Laugher and James Heatly made it through to the finals, so I get to watch that in just under two hours! Just off to our judges meeting!
Day 13 – Wednesday 4 August
Wow! What a day! Jack Laugher took bronze in the Men’s 3m Springboard. He has now won gold and silver in Rio, and bronze here – awesome diving!
Day 14 – Thursday 5 August
Early start for the Women’s 10m semi-final! 7:30 bus to the pool!
My diver, Tanya, who is Southampton born and bred, qualified for the semi-finals in her debut Olympic Games. So proud of her! Thanks so much to Damian Ball, the Irish coach, for looking after her so well! Best of luck for tomorrow.
Day 15 – Friday 6 August
An incredible day yesterday! This young Chinese girl, Quan Hongchen, aged 14, became Olympic champion! I was lucky enough to judge her in the semi-finals (I couldn’t judge the finals because GB had two divers in the finals) and gave her a perfect 10 for her forward 3.5 somersaults piked, and her inward 3.5 somersaults tucked.
An amazing feeling to award my first ever scores of 10 (the highest score a dive can get) at an Olympics. In the final she dived as close to perfection as is probably humanly possible, scoring an incredible ‘perfect dive’ three times out of five and at least one 10 on her other two dives, making 98 per cent of a ‘perfect’ performance. It was definitely a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to see that live! I am so lucky!
My diver, Tanya finished an extremely impressive 15th place, I am so pleased for her 😀
Today is the Men’s 10m prelims with Tom Daley and Noah Williams. I am not judging so get to enjoy watching some great diving!
Day 16 – Saturday 7 August
So, my Olympic Games experience as a judge has come to an end, and what better way than to see Tom R Daley win bronze in the Men’s 10m final – his fourth Olympic medal. Huge congratulations to his coach, Jane, too! What an outstanding ambassador for our sport! I fly home tomorrow!