Saturday, 3 March 2012

FINA Diving World Cup at the Aquatics Centre

The Olympics Aquatics Centre The Olympics Aquatics Centre

No list of “things to do in London this summer” will be complete this year without mentioning a trip to the Olympics.  Now I know most people are playing it cool, as they were a year ago with the Royal Wedding, but mark my words: London is about to go Olympics crazy.

Last week I was extremely fortunate to visit the Olympic Park when Thomas Cook invited a group of bloggers to experience the excitement of an Olympic test event.

Anish Kapoor's ArcelorMittal Orbit and the athletic stadium Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Orbit and the the Olympic Stadium

From Stratford underground station, we walked through the new Westfield Stratford shopping centre to arrive at the park.  Once we’d cleared the airport-style security, we took a moment to appreciate Anish Kapoor’s ArcelorMittal Orbit and the main Olympic Stadium where the Athletics and Paralympic Athletics events will take place.  The Orbit is actually an observation tower and is 115 metres high.  According to Wikipedia, the “steel sculpture is Britain's largest piece of public art, and is a permanent, lasting legacy of London's hosting of the 2012 Summer Olympics”.

Score board FINA Diving World Cup 2012

Well, as interesting as the park is, we were there to see the Women’s 10m Platform Final in the 18th FINA Diving World Cup.  Twelve women took part in the final and they came from China, Russia, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Japan, Italy, DPR Korea and Great Britain.  I’m sure you can guess who the crowd was cheering for!

In Motion FINA Diving World Cup 2012

I have to say that I felt really fortunate to have the chance to watch the top 12 women 10m divers in the world battle it out for the title of world champion.  I am just glad that I am not one of the judges.  All of the divers looked incredible to me and I was only able to detect slight differences in quality when watching the slow motion replays. 

In Motion 2 FINA Diving World Cup 2012

I did pick up that they are meant to hit the water at a perpendicular angle with the least splash.  The problem is that it looks so much more impressive when they hit the water with a big splash!!

Hand stand to dive FINA Diving World Cup

We were quite close to the scoreboard so I know that it is a case of spot-the-diver in the photos above! You can click on the photos to enlarge them.  I did like it when they began their dives from a handstand position, as in the photo above.  Some of them got into their handstand from a standing position and some did a small cartwheel from the side.

My favourite dive was when they start with their back facing the crowd, jump straight up and then fold their bodies over without twisting.  It always looks as if they narrowly miss hitting the board with the back of their heads and is certainly the most breath-taking dive!

Swimming Lanes Olympic Aquatics Centre

My favourite Olympic sport is actually the swimming and as Stephen works for one of the Olympics sponsors, he has applied for tickets for the swimming and field hockey test events.  I would love to see the crawl but any kind of swimming would be good.

Dive FINA Diving World Cup 2012

It was a really thrilling, fast paced event and was over after 90 minutes.  Yadan Hu from China dominated the first half of the event (there are five rounds in the final) but Ruolin Chen, also from China, was more consistent and she eventually gained the upper hand in the final two dives to win the event.  Both were outstanding divers.

Close up diving platforms Olympic Aquatics Centre

By the way, if you do go to an Olympic event, you need to know that you cannot use flash photography. I was not aware of that but apparently it can be quite dangerous for the athletes, especially for divers.

After the event, I went down to take some close up photos of the podium and the diving pool.  If I do go to more test events, I hope I get to sit closer to the action!

Diving Pool Olympic Aquatics Centre

There is a black and white photo set of the event over at the Emm in London Facebook page.  Do “like” the page if you prefer to receive your blog updates through Facebook.

By the way, what do you think of Blogger’s light box function (where you can click on a photo in a post and it will bring up the full set for you to peruse)?  Should I activate it on this blog?

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22 comments

  1. it's a bit like our madness about Euro 2012:)
    Life and travelling
    Cooking

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  2. Tag, you’re it! http://girlroamingaroundtheworld.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/wanderlust-has-been-tagged/

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  3. You will have fun hosting the summer Olympics! I remember well the summer Olympics 1996 in Atlanta. (Has it been that long already?) We all had an Olympics fever. Our company drove us in a bus downtown to see the concerts in Olympics Park. Another day my daughter and I went there very early and were in the first row listening to Ray Charles singing. I hope you get some tickets – you will have a great time.

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  4. Wow...how fun. The aquatic center looks beautiful.

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  5. I'm intrigued to see the orbit Emm. Maybe if I go back to London closer to the event date, I could feel the Olympics fever heated up more.

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  6. Wow it's looking great. Just found your comment in my spam list. Not sure if you've left any others that accidently went there. I don't generally go throught them However I will over the next wee while as I'm having strange problems with comments now too. The number showing and the number actually in the list are different. I wonder if this is part of googles new updates.

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  7. I was reading through all of your blogs . your comment still went into my spam folder. how strange !
    great report, I am especially impressed by the lenses on the cameras of the photographers on the front row !

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  8. the Aquatics center looks fabulous and the tower is truly one of a kind. diving is one of my fave Olympics sport and it must have been a real treat to see the event up close.

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  9. How cool! I can't *wait* to see the Olympics and all the shots of wonderful London that I know will be interspersed in the TV coverage.

    Re: watching diving, ever since I saw Greg Louganis hit his head doing a backward position dive (can't remember the year, but you probably weren't even born, Emm) I cringe when they do those. The venue is beautiful, though, looks like things are just about ready!

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  10. Super cool...fabulous shots!!

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  11. So so cool! I am beyond excited for the Olympics!

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  12. Awesome! Once in a life time opportunity for sure. We have Arcelor Mittal here, too. They just announced 150 new jobs today. Yay! The economy is back on the roll here :)

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  13. How exciting! You got a preview to the Olympics. I am wondering how Londoners feel about all these tourists & athletes invading their town in a few months.

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  14. London seems to be the place to be later this year. But you won't get me to try that dive :-)

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  15. Great photos!

    They've even tiled 'Visa' into the bottom of the diving pool - now that's what you called serious sponsorship!

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  16. I sort of suspect you are right. I have been tremendously blase about the Olympics, but I'm just starting to feel rather glad that we didn't succumb to the temptation of letting our house for a fortune during the Olympics.
    Not that we really would, I bet. But what a lot of stunning buildings are going up!

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  17. Interesting photos, Emm! Looking forward to the Olympics!

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  18. How exciting to get a preview!

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  19. It looks stunning! I was hoping to go before the Olympics but the tickets seem to have all gone for the test events..

    I'm really looking forward to the real thing!

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  20. Wow, everything is spanking new!
    I wonder what would happen to all these facilities after the games...

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  21. London will be buzzing for the Olympics. I will maybe try and watch sports which interest me on a big screen in a park (and there aint many)along with the millions of other Londoners who didn't get tickets. Unless I can blag myself some tickets...which is always a possiblity!

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