History of Diving in the Olympics
The USA dominated diving from as far back as the St Louis 1904 Games, but China began to emerge as a powerhouse during the Los Angeles 1984 Games for women and the Barcelona 1992 Games for men. At Beijing 2008, the country dominated seven out of the eight medal events. In an era when dives with two-and-a-half to three-and-a-half rotations had become the standard, Chinese divers pushed the level of difficulty to four-and-a-half rotations with almost no splash on entry.
The Tokyo 2020 Diving competition promises to be highly competitive as the USA has been regaining some of its former strength, along with Italy, Great Britain and Australia. To illustrate the level of competition across the world, Great Britain, the USA and China captured the gold, silver and bronze medals respectively in the men’s three-metre synchronised diving competition at Rio 2016.
Meet some of the female coaches…
Valentina Reshetnyak (ROC)
Valentina Reshetnyak is a Russian Diving Coach to many divers in the Russian Diving Squad. During Tokyo 2020, she is coach to the Russian 3m Synchronised Swimming pair Evgeny Kuznetsov and Shleikher.
Jane Figueiredo (Great Britain)
Jane Figueiredo is the coach to Tom Daley, one of Britains most celebrated athletes.
Jane was Head Diving Coach at University of Houston (USA) for 24-years which included 12 consecutive conference Diving Coach of the year honors, and four NCAA Diving Coach of the Year awards (2001, 2003, 2009, and 2010). Her divers won multiple NCAA championships at Houston, including Anastasia Pozdniakova who won the 1-meter title in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010. In total, her divers won 8 NCAA titles and 51 All-American honors in 24 seasons.
Jane and Tom now has three Olympic medals having won bronze in the 10m platform at London 2012 before adding another in the 10m synchro alongside Dan Goodfellow at Rio 2016 before claiming gold at Tokyo in the 10m synchro with Matty Lee.
Chen Lin (China /GB)
Chen Lin is a former female Chinese diver specializing in 10 metre platform event. She was the gold medalist at 1986 World Championships in Madrid, Spain, and became the first Chinese world champion in diving. Since retiring from a diver in 1990s, she has been working as a coach. In Beijing, she trained divers such as Li Na. She is currently a coach of Crystal Palace Diving in London. At Tokyo, she is coaching Eden Cheng of GB.
Tamara Tokmachova (Ukraine)
Tamara Tokmachova is the Head Coach of the Ukrainian Diving Federation.
During Tokyo 2020, she is coaching Sofiia Lyskun.
Mary Carroll (Canada)
Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Mary Carroll began her coaching career there while she was still a diver herself. She coached in Thunder Bay from 1990 to 1998. She then went on to coach in St. John’s, Newfoundland (1998-2008) before settling in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where she has been coaching since 2008. She has been called upon to coach the national team at the PanAm Junior Championships, Junior and Senior World Championships and Commonwealth Games. She was named National Junior Coach of the year in 2017.
Carroll quit gymnastics and began diving in her home town of Thunder Bay after they built a pool to host the 1981 Canada Summer Games. As an athlete, chez won 14 senior national titles from 1988 to 1994 and took part in every major multisport Games. Notably, she won gold at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand and bronze at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, British-Colombia. She finished 8th at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
She was also a diving analyst for CBC from 2000 to 2006 – working at many World Championships and at two Olympics alongside broadcaster Steve Armitage.