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Athletes

Gary
Hunt
Great BritainGreat Britain, GBR
High diving

Biography

Further Personal Information

Date of birth
11 June 1984
Height
175 cm
Residence
Paris, FRA
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English, French
Higher education
Criminology, Mathematics - Southampton Solent University: England

Sport Specific Information

When and where did you begin this sport?
He began diving at age nine in Leeds, England. He took up high diving in 2006.
Why this sport?
He decided to try high diving after realising that there was a lot of talent coming through in indoor diving in Great Britain. "I would have loved to have stayed on 10m dives, but a young Tom Daley was coming through. I remember he beat me in a competition when he was only 12 and that's when I realised it would be difficult to keep up if he was already at this high level at such a young age. High diving seemed like an open book at the time, and I could see there was room for improvement. It felt like a natural step, and as soon as I started doing the higher stuff, I found my confidence."
Name of coach
Sabine Ravinet [personal]
Training Regime
He trains at the National Institute of Sport in Paris, France, off no more than a 5m platform. He combines diving with weight and gym training.

General Interest

Nicknames
The Brilliant Brit (redbullcliffdiving.com, 17 Feb 2016)
Hobbies
Table tennis, juggling, playing the piano and guitar, DIY, woodwork, mixed martial arts. (redbull.com, 15 Apr 2019; Facebook page, 10 Nov 2018)
Hero / Idol
Russian diver Dmitri Sautin. (menshealth.co.uk, 02 Jul 2010)
Injuries
He had chicken pox during the 2012 season, which forced him to spend two weeks in isolation. (redbull.co.uk, 27 Sep 2012)

He broke his leg skiing in 2000. He was in a cast for eight months and began training again six weeks after having the cast taken off, which led to him re-breaking the same leg in the same place. He missed a further eight months of training and required a period of rehabilitation. (menshealth.co.uk, 02 Jul 2010)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"Our sport is a real test of your nerve. You have to be mentally strong or you won't even get on the end of the platform. And you know you have to be 100% focused on your dive or you can end up in hospital." (redbull.com, 02 Jun 2016)
Awards and honours
He was presented with the International Swimming Federation [FINA] Male High Diver of the Year award in 2015, 2016 and 2018. (swimmingworldmagazine.com, 16 Dec 2018; bbc.co.uk, 05 Dec 2016)
Other sports
He has competed in regular diving, winning a bronze medal while representing England in the 10m platform synchro at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, VIC, Australia. (SportsDeskOnline, 11 Aug 2017; bbc.co.uk, 24 Mar 2006)
Other information
GOOD IMAGINATION
He trains indoors in Paris, France. "Cliff diving is one of the rare sports where you can't train all year round, because you don't normally have the luxury of a 27m high platform. You have to rely on imagination instead. I run through the dive in my head a lot before I do it, so it feels like I've done it much more than I actually have. Last year [2018], they opened a training facility in China with the world's first permanent 27m high diving platform. I'll be going there for a training camp. In previous years we haven't had that opportunity, so this is a big step for the sport." (redbull.com, 15 Apr 2019)

LOSS OF CONFIDENCE
He was leading the high diving competition going into the last round of the 2017 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, but eventually finished in fifth place after over-rotating on his final dive. The mistake stayed with him and affected his performances over several months. "I had a difficult end of the year, a kind of mental block. I questioned myself a lot and I started 2018 in a very slow way, performing a limited set of dives. Over the months, I recovered my confidence, and using my experience, I managed to perform well at the 2018 World Cup in Abu Dhabi [United Arab Emirates]. I think the situation is now okay, and I face 2019 with a lot of optimism. (fina.org, 16 Dec 2018)

FEAR OF HEIGHTS
He admits to having a fear of heights. "Normally, I am a little bit scared of heights when there's not water underneath. Because I'm so used to judging height and seeing how many somersaults and twists I can do from that height, I can't help but imagine how it would feel to somersault and jump off. So where there's no water underneath, it scares the life out of me." (redbull.com, 02 Jun 2016)