Sports

Extreme Diving Stunt From Roof of Boston Art Museum

Boston Harbor was the site of a most unusual occurrence this past month when fourteen divers from all over the world competing in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series used the overhanging roof of an art museum as its most recent launching pad.

Thousands of spectators were drawn to the scene of the jump from the most unusual diving board that was the roof of the Institute of Contemporary Art. They watched from behind a glass wall on the museum’s fourth floor gallery and from grandstands set up for this special occasion.

The dive, which took three breathtaking seconds of twists and somersaults, was more than formidable from eight stories high into water that was 23 feet deep. Participants entered the water feet first at speeds of 60 miles per hour to guard against the force of impact. They landed with a loud smack.

The divers were understandably nervous before the death-defying stunt. In the words of U.S. competitor, Steven LoBue, who admitted that he was “absolutely terrified” in the moments before the dive: “When you’re up on top of the platform, it’s important to trust your body.”

Although LoBue made the final round of the Boston competition, the winner of the day was British athlete, Gary Hunt, who had been the 2010 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series champion. With the points he earned in Boston, it is a sure bet that he will win the title again when the competition finalizes next month in the Ukraine.

Extreme diving is a sport involving tremendous skill and precision. It is thrilling to behold, but in its own special way, it is like watching a horror movie.

 

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