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Diving at the 1906 Athina Summer Games

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Sports:

Host City: Athina, Greece
Date Started: April 27, 1906
Date Finished: April 28, 1906
Events: 1

Participants: 24 (24 men and 0 women) from 7 countries
Youngest Participant: GER Albert Zürner (16 years, 94 days)
Oldest Participant: SWE Otto Hagborg (51 years, 239 days)
Most Medals (Athlete): 3 athletes with 1 medal
Most Medals (Country): GER Germany (2 medals)

Overview

Diving had been held at the 1904 Olympics and was again contested with a single event at the 1906 Games. The event was held in the [Neo Phaliron Bay] at Peiraias and high winds prevented the start of the competition on 26 April [13 April] and due to the continuing bad weather it was eventually spread over two days, 27-28 April [14-15 April]. For the second consecutive Olympics the diving events were shrouded in controversy, again involving the Germans, but one of them [Georg Hoffmann] won a second silver medal in 1906.

Competition took place off three platforms at 4, 8 and 12 meters in height above the water. Each diver took nine dives, three from each height. The rules decreed that the dives would be judged on two factors: difficulty and execution. There were five judges, with each diver’s final score being figured by averaging the marks of the five judges. Scoring was 10 points for difficulty, and 10 points for execution, making 20 points possible for each dive. Thus, the highest possible total score was 180 points.

The event appears to have been a platform competition, as it was labelled "Highboard Diving", but there has been some controversy about that. Diving historian [Bob Clotworthy] (1956 Olympic springboard gold medalist) has noted, "It seems that it was some sort of a combination event, but it does not mention whether springboard was part of the combination ... I think we can surmise that the higher elevations were platform." But [Diem] noted (in translation), "[German] swimmers were hampered because of the unusual springboard, fixed at the top of the swim tower... showed off the 12 m-board a daring somersault." It is not absolutely certain that the 4-metre dives were from a springboard, or as Diem noted, a "Sprungbrett". And photographs of the diving in the Official Report show that it was definitely contested off platform-like towers. There is no evidence of a springboard.

A recent article in the Austrian newspaper Allgemeine Sport-Zeitung issued on 20 May 1906 indicates that the diving tower with three platforms was constructed on a large boat in the bay and it would appear that the diving platforms were springboards converted into rigid platforms for the purpose of the competition.

Medalists

Event Gold Silver Bronze
Men's Platform GER Gottlob Walz GER Georg Hoffmann AUT Otto Satzinger