In recent years China has dominated diving the way it usually dominates table tennis.
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, China won gold in 7 of the 8 diving events and took 11 of 24 total diving medals. In Athens, the Chinese won gold in 6 of the 8 diving events and took 9 overall medals. China won 5 gold and 10 overall medals in diving in 2000.
China’s emergence as a diving superpower has coincided with an American diving slump.
Prior to the London games the United States had not won a diving medal of any sort since Laura Wilkinson won gold in the women’s 10 meter platform in 2000 in Sydney. Wilkinson’s gold was the USA’s only diving medal in Sydney.
USA Diving had been plotting an American diving resurgence for the London games, focusing on the synchronized events. The strategy paid off. The United States won medals in three of the four synchro events—the country’s first ever synchronized diving medals and first medals of any kind in 12 years.
But Team USA’s greatest moment came in an...