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This is probably the last post about a specific Olympic sport that we saw in London. We have so far written about badminton, 100m sprint, and track cycling.

The Aquatic Center was designed by Zaha Hadid who described the concept at her site:

A concept inspired by the fluid geometry of water in motion, creating spaces and a surrounding environment in sympathy with the river landscape of the Olympic Park. An undulating roof sweeps up from the ground as a wave, enclosing the pools of the Centre with its unifying gesture.

She has a lot of pictures of the building on her site – look it up.

Warming up for the event. Had I paused for a few seconds, I could have taken a picture with all the divers in the air !

Because of the arrangement of the swimming and diving pools, the spectators’ seats are placed on the longer side of the main hall. And it was steep as we sat quite high up – definitely not for people with vertigo. For those seated high up on the side, the downwardly sweeping roof could block the view directly across although it does not affect the view on the pools.

The event we saw was the 3 meter springboard women’s final.

Diving is one of those sports that happens in a second and it is all over. Because all the twists and turns happen so fast, the only objective way I (Chris) can judge the competitor’s skill is by the splash that is created.

In the end, two Chinese and one Mexican shared the podium. The gold medalist led from the start and won by a comfortable margin.

After the victory ceremony, we had a chance to see the winners. Wu Minxia (吴敏霞) won the gold medal. According to Wikipedia, after this event, it was revealed that her parents withheld information that her grandmother died a year before, and that her mother had cancer. Her father said he misled her to keep her focused on training.

He Zi (何姿) won the silver medal.

He Zi and Wu minxia both won a gold medal as a team in synchronized diving later in the week.

Laura Sánchez won the bronze medal. Apparently, the president of Mexico telephoned her while she was being interviewed by the press.

It was exciting to see the medalists being interviewed. But towards the end of the week, many of the athletes have competed in their events and started showing up as spectators to cheer their countryman/woman, and mingling with the crowds. The US women gymnastics team were seated several rows from us. Gabby Douglas !

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One Comment

  1. Very cool!


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