Tokyo 2020 Olympic viewers may have seen the diving fail from the favourite of the 3m diving final Pamela Ware last week, and it made us reminisce of unfortunate diving errors of Games gone by.
The most notable being at the London 2012 Olympic Games when Stephan Feck stepped forward representing Germany, ready to attempt a forward 3½ somersault with a difficulty rating of 3.1.
The German leapt forward confidently, and as doing so, his foot appeared to slip off the side of the diving board.
The somersaults were looking reasonably successful, that was before his hind leg started to trail from the tuck and it seemed as though he couldn’t release his hands quick enough, leading him to land flat on his back in the pool with arms and legs flailing all over.
Feck received an unsurprising zero points for his effort and consequently dropped out of the competition after his next dive.
Luckily, he didn’t let the failure knock him too much, as he competed four years later at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
When Pamela Ware made a similar mistake in the last of her springboard semi-final dive, she took to Instagram to say: “What we do in the competition is just a tiny factor of what we actually do to get where we are. I was so ready for this competition, and I made a mistake. It could have happened to anybody, but it happened to me at the wrong time.”
It’s clear that the intense pressure of wanting to succeed, as well as the whole world watching, can take its toll on the athletes.
Everything leads up to that final moment and one small mistake, even a misstep, can change the course of their competition – and even career.