Paris prepares for 'cliff diving' event on banks of Seine

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Paris prepares for 'cliff diving' event on banks of Seine
Eleanor Smart of the US competes during the 2022 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Paris. (Photo by JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP)

Paris will host the Cliff Diving World Series event in June, it has been confirmed (despite not possessing any cliffs).


The Paris event - in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower on June 18th - will be the second-leg of the 2023 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, after Boston, on June 3rd, and before Polignano, Italy, on July 2nd.

In the men's competition, 12 athletes will dive diving into the Seine from a board 27 metres (88 feet) above the river surface in one of the biggest sporting events on the banks of the river before the 2024 Olympic Games. The board in the women's competition - also featuring 12 athletes - is 21 metres above the river.

During the event, divers jump from a platform at a height ranging from 26m to 28m - compared to 10m for the Olympic high diving competitions. As with regular diving, marks are given based on the degree of difficulty for the dive.


Winners are decided on the total results from a maximum of four dives - during which they will achieve falling speeds of more than 55mph. The bottom four after three rounds miss out on the chance of a final dive.

Cliff diving is considered to be one of the most dangerous extreme sports. Even in locations that host professional cliff diving events, authorities tend not to highlight it as an activity for visitors. 

Although, as the name suggests, the sport began on cliffs there are other non-cliff locations that host events - including the southern French city of La Rochelle, where competitors dive off the historic harbour walls.


Among the athletes involved in Paris next month, British-born French national Gary Hunt, 39, will be out to win an 11th men’s world series crown and continue his dominance of a global competition that started in 2009, and go one better than last year in his home town, when he finished second behind Romania’s Catalin Preda. 

Australia’s Rhiannan Iffland will defend the women’s title she has won since 2016, two years after the women's competition began, and will be particularly wary of Canadian Molly Carlson, who finished second in 2022.

Here are some of the highlights from the Paris 2022 event.



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