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The Fascinating Reason Why Olympic Divers Take A Shower After Every Single Dive

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The Fascinating Reason Why Olympic Divers Take A Shower After Every Single Dive

There are many aspects of Olympic sports that are nothing short of totally baffling to us mere mortals, who struggle to even go for a 10-minute jog once in a while.

One thing you may have noticed is that divers tend to get straight out of the pool and immediately head over to the showers after each dive.

Yep, while we'd probably emerge from the pool and want to instantly be met with a fluffy, warm towel - maybe a cup of tea or a hot chocolate, too - divers are always sure to go and rinse off in warm water first.

It turns out the reason behind this ritual is all down to the diver's muscles, which need to be in prime condition for every stage of the competition.

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USA's Krysta Palmer competing in the Tokyo Olympics. Credit: PA
USA's Krysta Palmer competing in the Tokyo Olympics. Credit: PA

With long waits between each dive, it's crucial to keep muscles warm and limber before athletes have to return to the diving board.

It's not ideal for anyone to have to launch themselves into a pool and step out into a cold arena, only to cool down and have to do it all again, so taking a shower immediately helps keep muscles loose.

It also works to reduce the risk of any pulls or strains, which would obviously have devastating consequences for Olympic divers.

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Speaking to the New York Times back in 2008, Canadian diver Arturo Miranda said: "The showers are very hot, and it keeps your body warm.

"You want to be able to keep your body temperature very high, so your muscles are ready to go."

Kristin Wingfield, a former competitive diver from Canada who went on to work as a sports medicine doctor in San Francisco, added: "It becomes a habit.

"You run into the shower to keep your muscles warm."

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Tom Daley at the 2012 Olympics. Credit: PA
Tom Daley at the 2012 Olympics. Credit: PA

Bengt Saltin, a professor of human physiology at Copenhagen University who is a leading expert on how muscles work, said: "Passive heating is one way of having warm muscles when you start your performance."

Between dives, athletes are also often seen chilling out in a Jacuzzi in the arena as they await their next heat.

Speaking to Aqua Magazine in 2012, athletic trainer Ralph Reiff said it's simply an easy way to warm up.

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He said: "It's no different from track and field events where the athletes put sweats on and take a jog around the track.

"It keeps their muscles limber, and it's certainly part of their mental routine."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: olympics, News, Tokyo Olympics

Jess Hardiman
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