Diving has been an Olympic sport since 1904 but it became popular in Sweden and Germany in the 18th and 19th centuries thanks to gymnasts practising their tumbling into water.
There haven't been too many changes in the competitions over the years with regard to the height of the boards (10m for the diving platform and 3m for the springboard) but 2004 saw the introduction of synchronised diving into the games.
The divers manage to make it look easy and streamlined but some of the slow motion pictures reveal how hard this sport is.
For more images go here.
This is one sport where technological advances haven't had much impact but as in most events divers strive to carry out ever more complicated and daring dives. The scoring process seems quite complicated and in major competitions like the Olympics they have to submit details of the dives they will be undertaking in advance.
Despite how scary some of the dives look the safety record is good with most accidents due to inappropriate diving. Not a great sport to try if you don't like heights though or, like me, don't like swimming out of your depth.
As for other D sports well there is:
Drifting - this is a driving technique where the driver intentionally oversteers, with loss of traction in the rear wheels or all tires, while maintaining control and driving the car through the entirety of a corner. How can you be in control if there's no traction on your rear wheels? I like to be fully in control of all 4 wheels and the steering wheel when driving. I enjoy driving and I think I'm pretty good but I've never had any desire to race a car. This seems to me to also be a great example of taking an established sport, i.e. motor racing, and expanding it to include more events to increase the money that can be made. Yes I can be cynical at times.
Darts - one I can actually play! I'm not very good at it but I'm quite good at working out the scores as Maths was my best subject at school. Of course it's a sport that should come with a Government Health Warning, not only for the risk of being struck by a stray dart, but also the risk of liver damage due to most darts players playing in pubs. Even when you watch the big televised competitions there usually seems to be plenty of alcohol around.
Dodgeball - in theory, considering I usually miss every catch when playing sports involving a ball, I should be good at this. Not true!
Dressage - I must admit to enjoying watching the dressage events. I think it's amazing the way the riders manage to get their horses to perform so precisely. I'm not sure how I feel about sports involving animals generally though. But that could be a whole other topic for another time. (You wouldn't get me on a horse anyway.)
Hmm I was just thinking there weren't many weird and obscure D sports to write about (although I did bypass Dumog which is a Filipino martial art) when I came across Disc Dog. This involves dogs and Frisbees but as Frisbee is trademarked it's had to be Disc. Again I guess if no animal is harmed in preparing and taking part in these events it's ok. At least the dogs don't have to suffer under the weight of a rider.
What's your opinion of sports involving animals? Keep it civil please.
Me? I'm off for a game of dominoes!