With the growing popularity of high diving and cliff diving, FINA (International Swimming Federation) or the sports body covering all aquatic sports has decided to recognise both athletics as an internationally accepted sporting event. The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series have ensured the furthering of the particular sports as an internationally watched event. Cliff diving is understandably a high adrenaline sport, wherein the diver jumps of the cliff onto a water body, which can be a river, sea or even a lake. However, unlike high diving in cliff diving there are no artificial equipment like a spring board or a swimming pool.
According to Gary Hunt the reigning cliff diving champion, the beauty of the sport lies in the unpredictability of the event. Hunt mentions that like other extreme sports cliff diving to require the sports person to be fit and well trained, in order to perform the feat with élan. Along with that hunt believes that primarily a cliff diver needs to be an ace swimmer. It is essential to evaluate the thrust that the diver will be able to tolerate on hitting water.
Some of the unusual feats performed by Hunt and other significant features of cliff diving are as follows:
- In the year 2010 Hunt had attempted a hitherto unseen feat by doing 2 extreme dives in a single championship. Each jump comprised 4 somersaults and 2.5 twists. Hunt was also introduced the running jump for cliff diving. The running jump helped Hunt build up the momentum required to perform the aerial acrobatics.
- The Red Bull Cliff diving Championship had introduced cliff diving from a height of 25 to 27 meters. Hunt was one of the first to consider jumping from a height of 27 meters. While performing a jump in Kazan Russia, hunt had hit the crest of a wave. However, in spite of suffering minor injury, Hunt went on to complete the dives and become the champion.
- According to the world cliff diving series organizers, the judges decided to shift the focus of the marking scheme from difficulty level to technique. In other words, instead of granting higher scores to athletes performing dangerous jumps, the point of focus shifted to the techniques introduced while performing the aerial acrobatics or the smooth landing.
Thus, since the launching of the world cliff diving series the sports itself has undergone a sea change.
According to Gary Hunt the sports itself has become more organised. Additionally, there is a marked increase in the popularity of the sport itself. Hunt has been promoting the sport extensively and has been requesting FINA to consider introducing it in the Olympic Games. Hunt continues to represent Britain in many high diving and all cliff diving events held globally. Hunt being the reigning champion of cliff diving is one of the most recognized faces in the world aquatic sports. In spite of being only thirty two years of age, Gary Hunt has achieved popularity not only for himself, but for cliff diving as a sport.