Mexicana Adriana Jimenez Wins Gold at FINA High Diving World Cup in Abu Dhabi
Adriana Jimenez, who won gold at the FINA high Diving world Cup in Abu Dhabi last week, was so hyperactive as a kid, her mom knew she needed to find a solution – although most parents wouldn’t consider throwing their child off a 20m platform into the freezing water below to be a good one.
The sport of high diving debuted professionally at the 2013 world Aquatics Championships in Barcelona and Jimenez has become one of the sport’s biggest names. She now hurls herself into the water from 20m and hopes to go to the 2020 Olympic Games [Currently, high diving is not an Olympic sport, but FINA has petitioned the Olympic committee to include it in the 2020 Games].
Sports360: What kind of training regime do you undertake for diving?
Adriana: It’s hard work and we have to prepare well, with strength work in the gym. Also on dry land too, like running, and of course practicing diving, for sure. We don’t have facilities of higher than 10m in Mexico so we divide the dive into three parts. The take off, the middle of the dive, so the execution, and then the entry into the water. We train them separately and at different heights. It’s also a mental game too so there’s lots of mental preparation. I have as part of my team nutritionists, a psychologist and my coach, as well as my family. They’re part of my crew. It’s a job we do altogether and it’s working very well.
How did you get involved in such a crazy and risky sport?
Well you have to be a little bit crazy to compete, for sure. In my case I was a 10m diver before, but could not get one of my country’s three Olympic Games places for Athens in 2004. I was so close to going in 2004. Ten years later I became a high diver and did shows in Belgium and Colombia. I [discovered that I was good at this!] ...so I made the decision to become a high diver. And the federation (FINA) opened up the doors for me.
Why did you decide to get into diving in the first place?
My mom wanted to find an activity for me because I was hyperactive when I was little. She had this idea for me to go swimming, [and then she took me to try diving, just to see]. We never thought about a professional career, but little by little my level increased and I started to compete.
When you’re 20m above the water, how do you put the fear out of your mind?
I visualize the [many times I have been there before], and that helps me a lot. In that moment you can feel your heart beating so hard, but you have to be focused and have love for what you’re doing. Not too many people are here doing it and we are lucky. I have to be focused and do what I do with love.