Greg Louganis' Guide to Watching Diving

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

(PMG Sports)
Introducing the Expert

Name: Greg Louganis
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.”


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


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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