Montreal woman dives from such heights she needs a special platform
Published Monday, March 18, 2019 10:00PM EDT
A Canadian diver is plunging from such stomach-churning heights that a special platform was built for her in Montreal’s Olympic pool.
To reach the platform, Lysanne Richard uses stairs, ladders and then takes a terrifying stroll along a catwalk built into the facility’s roof.
At 17 metres, it’s nearly twice the height of the highest platforms in the Olympic Summer Games and the only one of its kind in North America.
“I'm scared every time but at one point I learned how to be scared and to not let it make me change the way I dive,” she told CTV News.
Richard, a mother of three and former Cirque du Soleil performer, competes annually in the Federation Intenationale de Natation (FINA) World Aquatics Championship. She won the title of Best Female High Diver in 2016 and will compete again in July.
Richard makes extreme high-diving look easy, falling into the water feet-first at 80 kilometres per hour while performing elegant moves for the judges.
“They look for a good aerial position and aesthetic of the dive and they want a totally vertical entrance without splash,” she explained.
Stephane Lapointe says high platform divers are often seen as crazy. “They are a little bit,” he added. “It’s risking your life for every single dive you’re doing.”
That’s why practice is so essential, and why the platform built for Richard is attracting elite competitors from far and wide.
“All the high divers in the world want to come here to train,” she said.