“I can win and I must win” – Artem Silchenko is never satisfied with second place so in 2012 he practiced a new dive – adding an extra twist to his back armstand to pack in two somersaults and two and a half twists – adding to his repertoire an awesome execution with a DD of 6.1.
After an inconsistent start to the new 2012 season that saw the Russian take a number of hits while attempting to judge the entry – the armstand dive has a blind entry, a rarely-executed manoeuvre where the diver sees the water for the final time at least half a somersault before his entry and so lines up “blind” – he executed it brilliantly in the Azores and Ireland to secure back-to-back World Series wins for the first time in his career.
Is it true that Russians are afraid of nothing? Legends say that they kill bears with their bare hands and put hungry wolves to flight, but who knows... a little bit more traceable is Artem Silchenko’s story. Born in Russia’s southwest, the 29-year-old moved to China seven years ago to start his high diving career. He didn’t only fall in love with the feeling of flying – “one or two seconds before I dive, my body is still on the platform but my brain it is already flying” – but also with one of the “aqua belles” in the diving show. The synchro swimmer is now his wife and mother to his baby daughter.
It was his mum who first encouraged him – “my mum liked it and she knew my first coach” – and now Artem Silchenko is one of the leading contenders for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. The Russian's dedication saw him end season II in Hawaii with his first ever ‘10’ in a World Series competition and third place overall. After four second-placed finishes in 2011, Artem once again saved his best for last, securing a massive 518.30 points in the final competition in Ukraine to register the highest score ever in a Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series competition, and finished fourth overall in 2012 with the promise of more to come in 2013...
"In Ireland when I did my back armstand... Underwater there was one second when I felt it and it was amazing. It was a new dive then and I was still learning it but next year I want to come back with this dive and I know now what I need to do."