“I don’t flip. I don’t even dive into a pool – straight cannonball for me”*…
These pretty diagrams of types of high dives performed in the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm are from the official report summarizing the events of the games, published in 1913. (The book has been digitized by the University of Toronto and is available in full on the Internet Archive.)
At the time of this Olympics, diving was a young sport. Its history was rooted in 19th-century Sweden and Germany, where gymnasts experimented with tumbling routines that ended in the water. Swedish divers traveled to Great Britain in the late 1890s and made exhibition dives, which prompted British enthusiasts to found an Amateur Diving Association in 1901. In 1912, which was the first year that women’s diving was included in the Games, Swedish athletes won gold in men’s and women’s 10-meter platform diving, as well as men’s plain high diving.
The handbook summarizes the degree of difficulty for the dives depicted here, with the hardest being the flying somersault forwards and Isander’s dive. (The Isander and Mollberg dives were both named after the Swedish divers who invented them.)
More in the remarkable Rebecca Onion‘s “Graceful Minimalist Diagrams of Early-20th-Century Olympic High Dives.”
* Rob Lowe
As we tuck and roll, we might send mellifluous baritone birthday greetings to Christopher Eugene “Chris” Schenkel; he was born on this date in 1923. A career sportscaster perhaps best remembered as the voice (for almost 40 years) of professional bowling, he was a regular announcer on ABC’s Olympics broadcasts. Indeed, contrary to current popular belief, Schenkel, not Jim McKay, anchored ABC’s prime time coverage of the ill-fated 1972 Summer Olympics: when the terrorist attacks (otherwise known as the Munich Massacre) occurred, Schenkel was asleep after hosting the previous night’s coverage live from Munich from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. local time. McKay, who was on his way to the Stadium for track and field coverage, was told to return to the ABC studio to report on the situation unfolding at the Olympic Village. Schenkel returned to anchor Olympic coverage after the Games resumed.