If you’ve been tuning in to the Rio Olympics, you’ll have seen some amazing triumphs, and some incredible bloopers. Bad judgement, nerves or just sheer pressure can all result in even the most technically gifted sportsperson delivering huge fails in front of a global audience. This year, we’ve seen some crackers in the diving events - not that we could do better of course. Our belly flops are legendary in hotel swimming pools as far away as Tenerife and Fuerteventura.
But this isn’t about us. We’re celebrating those guys and gals who bring a lighter, less serious side to the Games. Let’s look at those diving moments that we shouldn’t really laugh at, but do.
Nadezdha Bazhina, RUS, Rio Olympics 2016
Poor Nadezhda Bazhina. Not only did her Olympic medal dreams disappear in an instant, but she also had to suffer the embarrassment of being granted a solid zero for her “dive”. And then of course, it all went viral - which probably isn’t the best press for a serious sportsperson. So Nadezhda, if you’re reading this, take comfort that you’re far from alone in the world of Olympic fails…
Stephen Feck, GER, London Olympics 2012
The appropriately-named Feck was promising great things in the run up to the men’s 3m springboard back in August 2012. However, his body had other ideas. Firstly, his foot slipped off on take-off and then he couldn’t grab his left leg in the spin. This resulted in a smack-down on the water. That must have stung.
Like Bazhina, his mid-air jig didn’t qualify as a dive so he ended up with nul points too. That must’ve stung too.
John Elmerson Fabriga and John David Pahoyo, PHI, Singapore SEA Games 2015
The Philipino men’s diving team are now household names, for all the wrong reasons. Their heroic display of diving fails at the South Eastern Asia Games was a sight to behold. But what made it better was their casual high fives afterwards which have amused YouTubers across the world. We admire their ability to dust themselves off so quickly after a duet of woeful dives.
The Rio Olympic Scorecard, Rio Olympics 2016
Television viewers have been left choking on their cornflakes at the sight of some pre- and post-diving scenes. Cameras who follow the divers to the shower have been televising what, to the untrained eye, may look like X-rated footage.
Luckily, the divers’ brief briefs are fully on, just completely obscured by the carefully placed television graphics.
Rebecca Soni, USA, London Olympics 2016
Not strictly diving, but this has been one of our personal faves this summer. It looked as though one of the USA swimming team had implemented an underwater thrusting device during the 200m breaststroke. However, a closer look revealed it was just the expulsion of natural bodily gases. Suni benefitted from this trump card by bagging a gold, and it doesn’t break any Olympic rules. Good for her.
Of course, we take our hats off to every single Olympian who takes part in the Games. But we also thank those who lower the tone every so often. We will remember them always with a mixture of fondness and cringe.