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16th FINA World Championships

July 24 - August 9, 2015
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Artem Silchenko: I personally am more afraid to cross the road at a red light that to do high dives

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R-Sport / MIA Rossiya Segodnya
04.08.2015, 14:00 Sport
High diving is one of the most extreme sports, and the athletes in this discipline are really courageous and fearless. Russian high diver Artem Silchenko shared his fears and expectations for the finals, relationship with other athletes and more with a reporter of the Press Office of the 16th FINA World Championships.

– What dives have you prepared for the final?

– In the final, I am going to do the dives that I trained to do, and that’s it, in fact.

– Who do you think are your main competitors?

– This season’s results imply that the main competitor is Gary Hunt, and 10 more athletes who had already won major tournaments and world championships. So, I could say that all 10 competitors are world champion; we are all very strong.

– In the preliminary round, you were a good deal behind Gary Hunt, but what do you expect in the final?

– It's not that much in our sport, so the game is still on.

– Orlando Duque became the first world champion in this sport at Barcelona 2013, and he remains one of the strongest high divers. He came 11th in the preliminary round. How could you explain that?

– This is sport. People are not unbeatable. But I agree with you, Orlando is one of the leaders in this discipline, and I am sure we will see better attempts from him in the final.

– This year the quota was extended and there two more Russian athletes at the tournament. You've got competition now. What do you think about it?

– I found out about it two days ago, and I am glad that more friends of mine will take part in it. I wish they had added 10 more athletes from other countries and it would be so much more interesting.

– What was the highest platform you dived from in your career?

– I dived from 31 metres, which is not such a great height for athletes, but I did it at a competition. And it was accidental, because the lake became shallower and the diving height became a little bit higher than expected.

– It is true that dives from more than 20-metre platforms are more difficult and you feel every single metre?

– After 20-22 metres you really feel every single metre, and the landing becomes rougher and rougher. So, it is true.

– If estimated in adrenaline volumes, how would you rate one high dive?

– That’s a tough question; it’s always individual. Someone’s car driving behaviour will boost twice as much adrenaline as high diving.

– There must be strong wind up there on the platform. Does it disturb you while diving?

– The wind is so strong that you cannot hear anything. But you can stand on the platform. And I see no point in focusing on that, as you will have to climb and dive anyway, regardless of the weather. It does not matter much to me. The question is whether I'm ready to cope with it or not.

– For an ordinary person, there is probably nothing worse than jumping from such a height. What are you afraid of?

– I personally am more afraid to cross the road at a red light that to do high dives.

– After each jump, you support other athletes, your competitors. Do you have good relations with each other?

–- We're almost like a family – we’ve known each other for many years, and we know each other’s families and visit each other. We're risking our lives together. Or our health, at least. For this reason, we are all on good terms.

– Is there such a thing like age limit in this discipline, and at what age do you plan to retire?

– I start every other year like my last one, and any dive can be a final one in my career, so I avoid planning. I prefer living in the here and now.

– If it's so dangerous, is it worth it?

– Of course! It gives you incredible feelings. These 2-3 seconds of diving, when you are alone and free. Nobody will decide anything for you, nor do anything for you. It's just you and only you, and you're the master of the situation.

– Does fear disappear with every new dive?

– No, the adrenaline is always there. And before each dive, it’s always the same excitement and fear. We expect it to disappear, but it doesn’t.

– What about your family, are they supportive?

– My wife used to do synchronised swimming, and now she is a young mother, and we have a son who will be 7 months old very soon. They are fully supportive, because they know that I would never run unnecessy risks. I'm no kamikaze, and before I do something, I think it over. Of course, they always support me. They watch me performing on TV, and phone me immediately once the competition is over.

– And how did your parents react to your choice?

– My mother was in the Soviet Union national gymnastics team, so she couldn't but accept it.

– Do you remember your first dive?

– It was in China in 2004, very shocking and scary. But once I’d climbed, I had to jump. And since then, I have been in high diving.

Press Office of Organising Committee for 16th FINA World Championships