Let's 55 Virtual Experience - Diving with YASUDA Mai

lets55-yasuda-kv

When Olympians and Paralympians showcase their incredible skill, what does it look like from their point of view? Many people probably wonder as they watch in awe as their favourite athletes compete for the biggest prizes. Tokyo 2020 introduces the ‘Let’s 55 Virtual Experience’, a project that provides an innovative experience of what it actually looks like to compete as a top-level athlete, covering all 55 sports on the Tokyo 2020 Games programme.

Diving

What do the surroundings look like from the eyes of 17-year-old YASUDA Mai, who is aiming to compete in the women’s 10m platform at the Tokyo 2020? Let’s try the virtual experience together! Yasuda tells us how she started diving and the attractions of the sport.

The competition starts from the moment the diver stands on the platform

"Diving is a competition that is judged on beauty. All the diver’s movements count, from the moment the diver stands on the platform to the aerial performance and entry into the water. Perhaps the most pleasant moment for the spectators is the splash as the diver enters the water. A good entry into the water means almost no splash at all, and it looks amazing to the spectators and feels just as good to the diver. So please pay attention to how divers try not to make a big splash!"

"I started going to the pool when I was in second grade because my father was a coach. That’s how I got started. I couldn’t swim at first so I tied a rope around my waist and had someone pull the rope as I tried to swim. I couldn’t even dive head first into the water. That’s how much I remember. Before I knew it, I was twisting and turning and diving into the water. But I think I was the biggest coward of all!

"Outside of the pool I train on the trampoline, and I also practise somersaults using a platform placed on a mat. Practising my jump is important and my posture is too, so I’ve been doing a lot of handstands since I was little. Handstands really help.

"Because of the coronavirus outbreak, all the athletes are finding it difficult to train, not only Japanese athletes but athletes all over the world too. If we can all overcome this challenge and welcome the Olympic Games next year, Tokyo 2020 will be even more meaningful and exciting because the whole world will share the same emotions."