Norwegian Death Diving Championships Is Everyone's New Favourite Sport
Have you ever planned your entire day around a football match that ends in a woeful nil-nil draw? Perhaps you've wasted a whole week watching a test match? Well worry not, you can now leave those days behind you and plunge belly first into the endlessly entertaining world of 'death diving'.
The sport involves fearless competitors hurling themselves from a 10-metre high diving board, before striking a range of poses in mid-air and crashing into the water - often belly or head first. But while it makes for hilarious viewing, the sport is no laughing matter for those involved.
'Dødsing', as it's known in its native Norway, is a serious pursuit for competitors, who battle it out on an annual basis at the World Championships in Oslo.
Unsurprisingly, in the age of the Internet, videos from the championships have attracted millions of views and catapulted the sport into a global spotlight. What is less obvious is how exactly this sport came to exist in the first place.
According to Visit Norway, death diving was first pioneered at Frognerbadet public swimming
facility in Majorstua, Oslo, where there is a 10m-high diving board which dates back to the 1950s. The sport apparently started to take off 30 years later before fading away, only to find its popularity resurrected in the 21st century.
The tenth annual world championships took place last month, with Emil Lybekk coming out on top courtesy of a sort of sideways sausage roll jump, involving several elegant feet flicks and a loud, scrunched up landing.
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You can see what victory meant to Emil in the video below, and the crowd's reaction tells you he is a worthy winner.
Yet, it is hard not to feel as though fellow competitor Truls Torp was short-changed with his runner-up finish, having managed to retain his hat during a hands-on-hips leap - unlike rival competitor Ravn Kampf Jord, who was rendered hatless during his fifth place plunge. Hats off to all of the competitors, though, for providing us with such unique entertainment.
No doubt former champ Torp will be back for more, despite the high risk of horrid pain. Speaking to Visit Norway, he said: "What motivates me is the whole scene and how we get along in our death diving districts.
"We travel around Norway and do death diving at festivals and events, and you feel like you
belong to a big group of mates. You're one of the guys, so to speak."
There you go then, if you've never quite been able to execute a proper dive and have always pined for a bunch of fun-loving Norwegian mates, then get yourself a ticket to Oslo and get practising for the 2019 championships.
But make sure you heed Torp's advise before you do, who advises beginners to take it slow because "the worst thing is when the water surface hits you right in the scrotum." Now there's a claim that doesn't need to be fact-checked.
Featured Image Credit: ViralHog