Gary Hunt

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Gary Hunt
Born (1984-06-11) 11 June 1984 (age 30)
Gary Hunt
Medal record
Men's High diving
Competitor for  United Kingdom
World Championships
Silver 2013 Barcelona Men

Gary Hunt (sometimes listed as Roger Gary Hunt, born 11 June 1984) is a former Olympic hopeful and Commonwealth diver who has a number of medals at Great Britain National Diving championships[1] and placed 3rd in the 10m Synchro event at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.[2] He chose to focus his diving career in the niche area of Cliff Diving, and has enjoyed an extremely rapid rise to the top of the sport. In 2010 he won the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, the premier championship within the sport, showing complete domination throughout the series and is thus considered to be the current reigning World Champion.[3][4][5][6] He has a reputation for being a daredevil, pushing the sport to new extremes and inventing spectacular new moves to stay ahead of his competition.

Cliff diving career[edit]

2009 season[edit]

2009 marked the beginning of Gary's professional career in the sport after several years of training and competing in high diving events to build up his confidence and technique. He was quick to impress and finished 3rd, 3rd, 2nd and 2nd in the first 4 events of the series in France (La Rochelle), Netherlands (Rotterdam), Croatia (Dubrovnik) and Italy (Polignano A Mare).[7][8][9][10]

His impressive start to the season meant he was in 2nd place in the overall championship at the halfway stage, 18 points behind 9-time World Champion Orlando Duque who had been dominating the 2009 season once again.

At the 5th event of the series in Turkey (Antalya), Gary introduced his first new dive – a previously unattemped back piked 3 somersaults with 4 twists.[11] The dive has a difficulty rating of 6.2 and is the most difficult dive to be performed in any form of competitive diving. Although he was only able to finished 3rd at this event,[12] the new dive got a huge amount of attention, opened the eyes of the cliff diving community and began to cement Gary's reputation as a fearless daredevil who was going to push the sport to new levels.[13]

At the 6th event in Germany (Hamburg), Gary achieved his first win, again using the triple quad. With Orlando Duque suffering from minor injuries and finishing 4th, Gary closed the gap in the overall championship to 12 points.[14]

At the 7th event in Switzerland (Sisikon), Gary came 2nd by the narrowest of margins but was again able to stay ahead of Orlando Duque who finished 3rd. Gary closed the gap in the championship to 9 points and was the only diver that could potentially beat Orlando going into the final event.[15]

At the 8th and final event in Greece (Athens), Gary introduced his 2nd new dive, another very technical dive with a very high difficulty rating – a forward piked 4 somersaults with 1.5 twists. With his second win of the series, and with Orlando finishing 4th, Gary tied Orlando on points in the overall championship. However, Orlando was awarded the overall championship due to the fact that he had won more individual events over the year.[16]

2010 season[edit]

After finishing joint 1st in 2009, Gary immediately resumed his rise to the top in 2010. Now confident with his 2 extreme dives,[17] Gary dominated the first event of the year in France (La Rochelle) and won comfortably, achieving scores of 10,10,10,9,9 for his final dive.[18][19]

At the second event of the year in Mexico (Ik Kil), Gary extended his lead on the series with another win. Once again his extreme dives with their high degree of difficulty were credited as the reason for his success.[20][21]

With a good lead in the overall championship, Gary began to think about how he could do something new and daring once again. He planned to introduce another first in the world of cliff diving – a running take off, hoping that the extra momentum would allow him to change his front piked 4 somersaults 1.5 twists into 4 somersaults 2.5 twists.[22]

At the third event of the year in Norway (Kragerø) Gary made it three wins out of three events.[23][24]

Gary felt that the fourth event in Italy (Polignano A Mare) was the right time to unveil his new move – the running take off into front piked 4 somersaults 2.5 twists.[25] As a requirement of the series, any diver wishing to use a new or unconventional dive must demonstrate the dive to the judges in practice sessions prior to the main competition in order to prove that they are capable of executing the dive. The judges have the power to stop an athlete using a particular dive in competition if they feel it is likely to be dangerous, and there was a lot of talk of this nature surrounding Gary's new dive. Gary was able to execute the dive during this practice session, finishing a little short but doing enough to convince the judges and once again made history in the sport with the first ever running take off.[26] Unfortunately during the main competition Gary performed the dive during the 3rd round of dives and received the most serious injury of the 2010 world series, when his entry point into the water coincided with the crest of a wave, meaning that he finished very short and took a large impact to his chest and head. He was taken to hospital with minor concussion but released later the same day with no further injuries or symptoms.[27] Despite this, he was still able to finish 3rd at the event, due to a near-perfect triple quad during the 2nd round of dives.[28]

Following the accident in Italy, Gary chose to shelve the running take off dive for the time being, and returned to winning ways at the fifth event of the year in Switzerland (Sisikon) with another dominating performance, and another first for the series – Gary achieved a points total of 417.50, the highest ever and the only score above 400 of the series.[29][30]

At the sixth and final event in Hawaii (Hilo), Gary finished second to Orlando Duque but only needed one point from the event to win the series, and was crowned World Champion on 12 September 2010.[31]

2011 Season[edit]

Gary will defend his title during the 2011 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, which begins on 12 March 2011 in Rapa Nui, Chile (Easter Island). On Saturday 18 June, he won the second etap of Cliff Diving in La Rochelle thanks to an impressionant jump! The jury gave him 10/10!

References[edit]

  1. ^ "British Universities & Colleges Sport press release, 18th July 2007"
  2. ^ "BBC Sport 2006 Commonwealth Games results – Diving"
  3. ^ "Daily Mail Newspaper – Making a splash: British man wins cliff diving world series..."
  4. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – World Series Winner"
  5. ^ "BBC News – CBBC – British Daredevil Gary Hunt wins cliff diving world cup"
  6. ^ "The Sun – Daredevil Brit wins Dive Crown"
  7. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Icy Experience"
  8. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Crane Lifts Orlando Duque to Victory"
  9. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Duquebrovnik"
  10. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Duque Rides the Storm"
  11. ^ "Youtube – Gary Hunt – Quad twisting triple"
  12. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Silky Czar Unsettles the Duke"
  13. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – NR.134 (Story Clip about the Triple Quad)"
  14. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – The Hunt is on"
  15. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Photo Finish"
  16. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – The Hunt is Over"
  17. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – The Fear Factor"
  18. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – The Hunter is now the Hunted"
  19. ^ "Youtube – Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2010 – France Highlights"
  20. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Hunt out in Front"
  21. ^ "Youtube – Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2010 – Mexico Highlights"
  22. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Hunts Dive for Perfection"
  23. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Three Wins out of Three for Hunt"
  24. ^ "Youtube – Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2010 – Norway Highlights"
  25. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Prepare for Take Off"
  26. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Star Hunt's Spectacular New Dive"
  27. ^ "ITV News – Divers Dice with Death"
  28. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Third Time Lucky for Silchenko"
  29. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Hunt on Verge of Triumph"
  30. ^ "Youtube – Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2010 – Switzerland Hihglights"
  31. ^ "Red Bull Cliff Diving – Orlando Blooms as Hunt is Crowned Champion"