High time for cliff diving to make Olympic splash, says Louganis

MANILA, Philippines – One of the greatest divers in history believes it's high time for cliff diving – or high diving – to make a splash in the Olympics. 

Cliff diving has grown into a competitive sport behind the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series and four-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis said it's ready to make the big jump to the world's grandest sporting stage.

"I think that the public is ready, they love it," said Louganis, who serves as sports director for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. "I think we are. There's so many athletes." 

"I'm not sure if we'll get into 2024 (Paris Olympics), but Los Angeles (2028 Olympics), we could have potential possibility."

Compared to diving, which has a standard platform height of 10 meters for major competitions, cliff diving has participants jumping off a platform as high as 27 meters. 

In the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, it's 27 meters for men and 22 meters for women. (READ: Strong start for champs in PH leg of Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series)

Due to the massive height difference, cliff diving is a far more dangerous sport with participants achieving descent speed as fast as 83 kilometers per hour and an impact 9 times harder than regular diving. 

While the sport is slowly rising to popularity throughout the globe, Louganis acknowledged that it needs to be more accessible, especially to women. 

"A huge issue is we need more women in the sport of cliff diving. We also need more countries to participate and we also need more facilities for the athletes to train," he said. 

But Louganis remains optimistic that it's not a far-fetched idea to see cliff diving in the Olympics. (READ: 'Learn who you are' in cliff diving, says world champion)

"We do have our challenges but I think it's definitely possible." – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.