China began competing in Olympic diving in 1984 in Los Angeles. China won three diving medals at those Games. Chinese divers have expanded their dominance since then and are now recognized as the unquestioned world leaders in the sport.
China has captured 49 Olympic medals in diving, with an impressive haul of 27 golds. At the 2008 Beijing Games, China put on a remarkable display of diving dominance by taking 11 medals, including 7 golds.
Beginning with the 2000 Sydney Games, a total of eight diving events are on the Olympic schedule. In addition to the 3-meter springboard and 10-meter platform for both the men and women, there are pair diving events for the individual ones.
Chinese divers served notice to their competitors of their intentions to take as many golds as possible in 2012 in London by sweeping the 10 gold medals available at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships in Shanghai. If China takes all eight diving golds in London, it will undoubtedly be one of the top stories from the Games.
Obviously there are many Chinese divers deserving special recognition leading up to London. But I think there are two women that all Olympic sports fans should become more familiar with before this summer.
Wu Minxia is a great diver in the women's 3-meter springboard individual and synchronized events. She already has four Olympic medals to her credit-including a pair of golds. Also, her list of accomplishments at World Championships is tremendous, with 12 medal-podium finishes. She captured two golds at last year's World Championships in her native country, and should be the prohibitive favorite to repeat in the same events in London.
Another super-talented Chinese diver is Chen Ruolin. At only 19 years of age, she has a pair of Olympic golds from 2008 and six World Championships medals already on her career resume. Look for her to take gold in both women's 10-meter diving events this summer in London.
Patrick Hattman is a huge sports fan who looks forward to watching the world's best compete this summer at the London Games.
- Olympic medals