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Elite French diver laughs off slip-up during pre-Paris Olympics event

An elite French diver made an embarrassing faux pas this week at the opening ceremony for a prized Olympic venue in Paris ahead of the Summer Games.

With a price tag of more than $160 million, the Olympic Aquatics Center is the only permanent sports facility built for the games. It will host swimming, water polo and diving during the 2024 Paris Summer Games in front of roughly 5,000 fans from around the world.

Its grand opening ceremony did make a big splash, but not exactly how organizers — or diver Alexis Jandard — had intended.

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Jandard, along with other Olympic divers, took part in the event to showcase why they'd been chosen to represent France at the upcoming games. They took turns showing perfect precision as they plunged from the 10-meter diving board, which towers nearly 33 feet over the pool surface, in front of French President Emmanuel Macron and other VIPs.

French diver Alexis Jandard, right, bounces off the 3-meter board after slipping during his jump as two fellow divers complete their moves during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Aquatics Center, ahead of the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics, on April 4, 2024.  / Credit: Reuters/METROPOLE DU GRAND PARIS
French diver Alexis Jandard, right, bounces off the 3-meter board after slipping during his jump as two fellow divers complete their moves during the opening ceremony of the Olympic Aquatics Center, ahead of the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics, on April 4, 2024. / Credit: Reuters/METROPOLE DU GRAND PARIS

But when Jandard stepped onto a lower board and took the first bounce for his dive, he lost his footing and took a tumble, hitting the board with his back and then his bottom before bouncing into the pool.

The 26-year-old handled the flop swimmingly, mocking his own misfortune on social media and sharing a photo of the scrapes on his back along with messages of thanks for all the support he'd received.

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"For your information, my back is fine, but my ego..." he joked.

Jandard has also made the rounds on French television, saying he's glad his stroke of bad luck was giving people a good laugh.

He's set to return to the 3-meter board during the Summer Games — looking to turn a tarnished start into a gold medal finish.

The Olympics kick off in the French capital on July 26 and run through August 11.

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