Greg Louganis' Guide to Watching Diving | Summer Olympics | Smithsonian
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Greg Louganis' Guide to Watching Diving

The gold medalist offers a cheat sheet on his sport’s rules, maneuvers and slang

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Introducing the Expert

Name: Greg Louganis
@greglouganis
Location: Malibu, California
Games and Medals: Montreal 1976 (Silver, 10m Platform), Los Angeles 1984 (Gold, 3m Springboard and 10m Platform), Seoul 1988 (3m Springboard and 10m Platform)
Key Quote: “Diving was my escape during my childhood. I was bullied as a child and dealt with issues of depression. Amidst all the perceived chaos in my life, diving was my outlet.”
Favorite Olympic Moment: “My first Olympics in 1976, I hung out with the team from the then Soviet Union, they were closer to my age (16). We had fun running around the village exploring and water balloon fights.”

Equipment

Pool - must be a minimum of 5 meters deep

Springboard - provides a flexible surface from which to launch upward into the air

Platform -provides a firm base from which to handstand or takeoff down toward the water

Maneuvers
Slang

1. Balk - a false start to a dive in which the diver attempts to takeoff but does not leave the board or platform

2. Rip or rip entry - entering the water with little or no splash; named for the ripping sound made upon entry

3. Cowboy - when the diver splits the ankles and knees apart on a rotating dive from the tuck or pike position

4. Puffed, Smoked, Powdered or Houdini - among the many terms used to describe a good entry

100 Front Group - forward rotation facing the pool; each half rotation has a numerical value of 1 (E.g. a somersault = the number 102, a “front 1.5” = 103)

200 Back Group - standing backwards on the board or platform and rotating backwards toward the water. Same as above, half rotation gets a number value.

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