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Diving at the 1920 Antwerpen Summer Games

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Sports:

Host City: Antwerpen, Belgium
Date Started: August 22, 1920
Date Finished: August 29, 1920
Events: 5

Participants: 53 (35 men and 18 women) from 14 countries
Youngest Participant: SWE Nils Skoglund (14 years, 8 days)
Oldest Participant: USA Frank Mullen (33 years, 13 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): USA Bud Pinkston (2 medals)
Most Medals (Country): USA United States (8 medals)

Overview

The story of the 1920 diving events was the pool in which they were contested and the youth of the top competitors. The “pool” was a moat in the city of Antwerp, around which boardwalks had been constructed to mark the ends of the pool. For the diving events a platform was constructed which floated in the center of the pool and on which the diving boards were set. Bleachers were placed around the pool that allowed seating of 10,000 spectators. The event was held outdoors, and cloudy, rainy weather hindered the divers.

One contestant described the water as “black, dark, dark, black.” She also noted that the water was the coldest any diver had ever encountered. Towels, bathrobes, woolen stockings and socks, and ear mufflers were in each diver’s bag, to allow them to warm up after each dive. The locker rooms had no hot showers. After diving, because of the darkness of the water, the divers often became disoriented and were unable to see the surface, which kept them in the water longer, and added to the discomfort.

Medalists