China’s Yuan Cao and Yanquan Zhang, who were the favourites for the gold medal, emerged as the final winners. Mexico finished second and the USA took the bronze. The Voice of Russia’s Tim Walklate spoke to legendary Olympic diver and four-time Olympic gold medallist Greg Louganis and first asked him whether he thought China was the dominant force in diving.
There is a team to be in all of the diving events. What diving is right now globally – is entire World’s Champion China, they’ve got incredible program. And it is a communist country, so a lot of what their athletes do is all ideal.
Can you see anyone coming close to beating them?
There are so many athletes out there that are challenging enough. To put it together David Boudia, Thomas Daley, Matthew Mitcham.
I mean obviously you competed in 1984 in LA. Can you put yourself in Tom Daley’s speedos and empathize with the pressure that he has to kind of enjoy from the British media. He is obviously one of the pinup boys for the Olympics.
Yes. I think Thomas is in a much better position than I was when I started. My first Olympics was in 1976, I was sixteen. I was kind of trusted on a world’s date. But I think Thomas is a bit more prepared. He’s been able to have a World Championship where he got world FINA Cup. He has a bit more experience as far as performing on the world’s stage. Being in your hometown, in your backyard, that has its own challenges. One thing that I had in Los Angeles when I was competing in 1984 Olympic Games, everybody was well intended but people said the stupidest things. And I just had to remind myself that a lot of those things were talking me out of what I should be thinking about, what I should be focusing on, I had to remember that it was well intended, you know, they mean well.
And obviously the Mexicans pulled off a fairly impressive dive in the fourth round. Is diving just more complex now?
Of course, I mean any sport and any activity, it doesn’t stand still, it is always a progression. It is always another stimulus step, another twist. It is always moving forward and always progressing.
And what do you make of the aquatic center in the Olympic Park? Are you impressed and how does it compare with other venues?
You know, it is pretty impressive, the venue here. Of course it is the first Olympics that I have been to since Atlanta. I was reporting there for Good Morning America with Donna de Varona and was introduced at the opening ceremony. So, this is the first one since then, since 1996 that I’ve been to. So, it is exciting just to be here. The atmosphere is just incredible.
And is there anything else that you are going to be seeing whilst you are in London? Is there anything else you are really looking forward to watching?
Yes, I’m going to go to the Harry Potter studios.
Ok. Any Olympic events?
I’m hoping to get tickets but I can see some other events. I’d love to see beach volleyball, I’d love to see gymnastics but like everybody else I’m kind of scrounging for tickets here.