Born in Harrogate, diver Jack Laugher has established himself as one of Great Britain’s leading 3m individual and synchro divers. The country’s first ever World Junior Champion following double gold in Arizona in 2010, Jack competes at the highest level on a regular basis, including on home soil at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He enjoyed a highly successful 2015 season, winning world individual and synchro bronze as well as taking home the individual World Series title.
In his latest blog, Jack discusses officially making the team for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, contending with diving outside in Brazil and what he and synchro partner Chris Mears hope will be their secret weapon.
Click here to find out more about Jack on his Homegrown Heroes profile
It feels really good to have my place on the plane to Rio confirmed and to be going to my second Olympic Games.
Four years ago when I competed at London 2012 I’d only been competing internationally for one year which is a bit weird.
But I’ve done so many internationals now, I’ve competed against these guys before in high-pressure events and low-pressure events.
I’m a completely different person this time around and a totally different athlete.
The judges now realise I am a good diver. Obviously I keep my feet firmly planted on the ground, I don’t want to get ahead of myself thinking about Olympic medals and stuff.
I have a process and six dives to do and I have to make sure every dive is as good as it can be.
I have to focus on those key points and if I do that, then the outcome will come. I feel like if I just focus on those medals I’m going to get distracted.
But the confidence that I’ve gained from winning the Commonwealth Games in 2014, becoming World Series overall champion last year, beating the Chinese several times and getting World Championship medals as well, is fantastic. It really puts me in a good place and I can’t wait to get started.
We’ve been to Rio twice now, both times in January which is their summer time. It was beautiful and lovely weather, hopefully it can be the same again for the Olympics.
I don’t mind it being an outdoor pool. It is going to be different though as it’s going to be their winter now. I’m sure the competition will still go on if it’s spitting and raining.
There are of course differences from diving inside and diving outside. When you’re spinning around and then kick out, you generally spot for something and you can roughly gauge where you are in the air.
But when it’s all blue sky it’s very hard to judge perfectly where you are. So it’s about getting used to that and the feel of diving rather than the spotting side of things.
On forward come outs, you would see the water. For reverse and back because you generally kick up, you see the board or the towers. But outside, you have a different perspective with the sky.
So it’s important to train outdoors and get used to everything. We’ve got a two-week training camp outdoors before the Games, it’s going to be really hot and clear blue skies.
It’s almost going to be a harder one and then hopefully we will be used to it for Rio. It’s about getting used to those differences.
My synchro partner Chris Mears and I have a particular dive which we hope will really impress people.
We used it for the first time in competition in Rio earlier this year. It’s a forward two and half somersault with three twists which no one else in the world really does in synchro.
It’s been pretty consistently good throughout the year and then at the European Championships we both nailed it, and I thought it was under-marked personally.
It should have gone over 100 points. The judges in their judging meeting said they had never really seen it before. They didn’t really know how to go with it. It was fantastic.
If we can do that in Rio, then I’m pretty sure we’re going to get a massive amount of points.
It’s considered such a hard dive because of the tariff and people have this thought of how hard it is. But realistically if you’re good at twisting and all the stuff Chris and I are naturally very gifted at, it’s not too difficult.
We feel really good about doing it. It’s very natural and it looks brilliant in the air as well so we’re really hoping it will pay off.