In a sport where height usually provides the ‘wow’ factor, for the first time ever it will be length that catches the eye during the Red Bull Cliff Diving Exhibition in Oslo over the next few days. Stretching its way 30m out from the impressive Opera House roof, this is the longest platform ever constructed in the sport’s history.
With years of experience under their belts, these divers are well-prepared for the jaw-dropping 27m vertical drop that awaits them at every competition, but never before has their walk-up measured more than their leap.
“This is not a platform, it’s a runway. It’s incredible, you can see it from a mile away,” said France’s Gary Hunt during the first training session in Norway’s capital on Thursday.
Over the years we’ve seen a number of uniquely challenging constructions, including a see-through platform in Boston, USA a mini ledge for the women in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a shaky wooden tower in Easter Island, Chile. But despite the record-breaking length in Oslo, the divers don’t foresee any difficulties.
“The long platform doesn’t make a huge difference,” said Romania’s Catalin Preda. “It just provides more time to focus and get in the zone.”
That sentiment was echoed by Preda’s fellow countryman, Constantin Popovici, who revealed, “I like the long platforms rather than the short ones. They give me room to loosen up my body.”
The Oslo platform joins an exclusive list of unique take-off spots for the world’s best cliff divers. In the gallery below we take a look back at some of the most memorable ones over the last 12 years.
The current travel restrictions in Norway meant that only a limited number of athletes were able to make their way to Oslo for what was supposed to be the second stop of the 2021 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, resulting in the decision being taken to stage it as an exhibition.
There may not be any ranking points on offer, but the nine competitors can’t wait to strut their stuff on this cliff diving catwalk.