Red Bull Cliff Diving Submission Success

Get to Know Michal Navratil

Michal Navratil Mexico Ray Demski/Red Bull Cliff Diving

He's one of Red Bull Cliff Diving's most improved performers with three successive top-six finishes and a qualification tournament win in Australia thrown in for good measure. Ahead of the next competition in Mexico this Sunday, we find out a bit more about the World Series 'Superman'...

Name: Michal Navratil
Age: 25
Nationality: Czech

When did you start cliff diving?
I started competing when I was 18 at the European Championships in Switzerland in 2004 and then in 2008 I was invited to the first Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.

Describe yourself in three words?
Happy, ambitious and a little crazy!

What qualities do you need to be a successful cliff diver?
You should have a solid background in platform diving, plus a couple of years of high diving experience, where you can feel the height and the fear that you are forced to learn to control. You must be fearless.

What is the toughest element of cliff diving?
Standing on the platform just before you dive.

Where does your inspiration come from?
When I was 16 years old, I started in a Czech Republic competition called High Jump where we performed from a 10m platform and 5m flying trapeze. I won the 5m event. That gave me motivation the next year to return to the pool and start training my dives again. Also, my best friend and I watched Red Bull Cliff Diving on TV and I told him that one day I would like to be there and compete with the best cliff divers in the world.

What does the 5m flying trapeze involve?
You swing from a trapeze bar (holding it with your hands), then dismount on the end of the swing, throwing your body into flips and twists. You let go 5m above the water.

What is your favourite country to compete in?
There are three – Chile, Italy and Croatia.

Who is the sport's toughest competitor?
For me, it's (current champion) Gary Hunt with his back quad twist with three somersaults.

What is your career highlight so far?
3rd place in Hamburg for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series event in 2009 and finishing first two times at the High Diving World Cup in Slovenia, with a second place overall in 2010.

Do you have a signature move or unique ability?
Performing the 'superman' dive with the cape!

What does your training regime involve?
I train from 10m and 17m three to four times a week, but only get to train from 27m a couple of days before the event at the competition site. I also do a weights workout three times a week as well as some running.

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