75-Foot Dive into the Waters of Statue of Liberty

Orlando Duque prepares for Boston cliff-diving competition by plunging into the New York harbor.

Cliff Diver Orlando Duque dives near the Statue of Liberty in New York
© Brian Nevins/Red Bull Content Pool

It’s not every day that you get to see someone jumping out of an airborne aircraft in front of one of America’s most recognizable skylines dressed in nothing but a pair of Speedos. Then again, Orlando Duque is no ordinary athlete, and the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series is no ordinary competition.

Today, in a move to generate publicity for the upcoming Boston round of Red Bull’s global cliff diving competition, Duque leapt from a helicopter hovering 75 feet high, knifing beautifully into the famous waters of New York Harbor at over 50 mph. The Statue of Liberty, one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States, served as a backdrop for the daring jump.

Cliff Diver Orlando Duque dives near the Statue of Liberty in New York
Orlando Duque in form for the Statue of Liberty © Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool

“It’s really exciting to get such a warm welcome back to the US,” said Red Bull Cliff Diver and ten-time World Champion Orlando Duque. “It doesn’t get any better than diving in front of something as iconic as the Statue of Liberty. It’s beyond what I ever could have imagined.”

Duque, a talented Colombian diver who already has a pair of Red Bull Cliff Diving titles and is in the Guinness Book of World Records for earning a perfect 10 at the 2000 World Championships, plans to follow up the bold feat by chasing his first win of the 2013 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series this Sunday when the second half of the season kicks off at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Massachusetts, which is the only American, and urban, round of the series.

He’ll be joined by a host of other world-class divers (including American competitors Andy Jones, Kent DuMond, Steven LoBue, Kyle Mitrione and David Colturi, who is fresh off his first win at round four in Italy) who travel the world participating in a sport so dangerous that divers, who repeatedly experience two to three G’s during competition after falling from a height of 27 meters (roughly 90 feet), must enter the water feet first in order to avoid serious injuries like concussions and spinal cord damage. Greg Louganis, the former Olympian diver, will be a judge in Boston.

Cliff Diver Orlando Duque dives near the Statue of Liberty in New York
Orlando Duque diving 75 feet from a Helicopter© Brian Nevins/Red Bull Content Pool

The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series combines the thrill and danger of world-class cliff diving with the beauty and allure of creative and unconventional locations, such as the Scaliger Castle in Malcesine, Italy, Icarai Beach in Rio de Janeiro, the Copenhagen Opera House in Denmark and more.

For more information about the upcoming Boston round of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, check out www.redbull.com/cliffdivingBOS. To learn more about the exhilarating sport, visit www.redbullcliffdiving.com.