• Lara Tarvit and Melissa Wu compete in the Women's 10m Platform Synchronised Final in Kazan, Russia, 2015 (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Here are the athletes who make tossing and tumbling into water look easy
Sophie Verass, Presented by

1 Aug 2016 - 11:25 AM  UPDATED 1 Aug 2016 - 2:06 PM

Olympic diving made it's first debut in the 1904, St Louis Olympics, USA and has remained an staple in The Games ever since. 

While cliff diving had been an activity since ancient times, the diving that we see actually originates from gymnastics. In the 1800s, gymnasts would practice their routines over water at the beach, which is why so many acrobatics are a component of the sport. 

The aim of diving is for the competitor to land in the water, with as little disturbance as possible and are simultaneously judged by the level of difficulty of the series of movements while they descend. 

Judges will give divers a score, using a 10 point system, with 0-2 being 'unsatisfactory' to 8.5 - 10 being 'very good'.

Here are the Australian athletes springing from the platform in Rio:


Maddison Keeney

The Rio Games is Keeny's first Olympics, after a strong performance at trials in May this year. She is competing as a 3-meter springboard performer and took home silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games for the 1-meter springboard.

The 20-year-old recently made headlines at the World Aquatics Championships in Russia when she 'let the nerves get the better of her' and flopped into the water, receiving a zero from the judging panel. Her poor performance became a viral hit on YouTube

The New Zealand born diver lives in Brisbane and is currently studying a Bachelor of Science at University of Queensland. 



Brittany O'Brien

Just added to the team, another Olympic first timer, Brittany O'Brien was told about her upcoming debut when she received a call from Dad at the 11th hour.

"I was still half asleep, so it took a few minutes to process," O'Brien told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"But once I realised what was happening I was obviously so excited and overwhelmed."

The 18-year-old Sydneysider was called in to replace injured Brittany Broben on the Olympic team.

Starting her sporting career as a gymnast, O'Brien moved on to diving eight years ago. She loves "jumping and flipping" and will be making her debut in the 10m platform in Rio, putting a hold on her year 12 exams. 


Esther Quin

Quin claimed a breakout gold medal at the 2014 Commonweath Games in 3-meter springboard, the same event that she'll be performing in Rio. 

Born in Guangxi, China, Quin's family moved to Australia in 2009. She is based in Sydney and trains at the NSW Institute of Sport.

When she's not wearing green and gold, she's in something trendy, with her Instagram showing a mix of her sport and her style. 


Anabelle Smith

One of Australia's best known divers, Anabelle Smith from Melbourne made her Olympic debut at the 2012 London Games. She's commemorated her achievement with a tattoo of the Olympic Rings on her wrist, with '2012' inscribed.  

Five things only divers understand
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Last year Smith had a concerning rib injury as she headed into the World Championships, but is confident that she will make (no) waves in Rio, as she competes in the 3-meter springboard synchro event. 

Smith says she finds diving "unique and challenging" and says the sports performance which inspired her the most, was Cathy Freeman's 2000 Sydney 400m gold. 


Melissa Wu

At only a mere 153 cm and 46 kgs, small framed Melissa Wu landed herself silver at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, after beginning her career at just 13 years old at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.

Now at 24, Wu will take the 10-meter platform in Rio.

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Coming from an high achieving family, Wu's brother is an Australian National weightlifting champion and she is the cousin of Australian Rugby 7s player, James Stannard and the second cousin of Australian hurdler, Jana Pittman-Rawlinson.

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