An Olympic diver has revealed the chilling reason why she buckles her wrists before every competition — and why athletes never go to the pool without a pad.
In a video uploaded to TikTok, silver medalist Melissa Wu said divers hit the water at a speed of 60 kilometers per hour when diving from the 10-meter platform, leading many to wrap tape around their joints to prevent injury from the impact.
The 29-year-old from Penrith, NSW, said “literally every diver” wears a chamois — a small microfiber towel — to dry themselves off to ensure they can grab their legs to perform positions like pikes and tucks. feed.
“When you’re wet, your hands slide off your legs into the air very easily,” explains Ms. Wu.
Scroll down for video
Melissa Wu (pictured) dives to Australia during the Tokyo Olympics – her fourth Olympics
Ms Wu said “literally every diver” carries a chamois — a small microfiber cloth — to dry themselves so they can grab onto their legs to perform positions like pikes and tucks. (Pictured: China’s Shi Tingmao (left) and Team Great Britain’s Grace Reid (right) wiping their faces with a chamois)
Why Olympic divers always carry a chamois
1. To dry their hands and legs to prevent their grip from slipping during movements such as peaks and folds.
2. To dry their hair and swimwear to avoid splashing water and dazzling them while diving.
3. To keep warm and avoid bringing 50 regular towels to the pool that get wetter faster.
4. To mop up the water that drips over the seat they sit on between dives.
Hailed as ‘safety blankets’ and the ‘lifeblood of the diving world’, chamois are made from synthetic rayon or polyvinyl that can hold up to 10 times their weight in water and dry quickly after being wrung out.
They are affordable, with prices ranging from $20 to $50 (AUD) on most swimming websites.
Ms Wu said divers use the specialized towels to dry their hair and swimsuits to avoid splashing and dazzling water as they spin in the air, and to keep warm between dives.
“It can get quite cold, but if you use your towel it gets wet pretty quickly, so if you use a chamois pad to dry off you don’t need to bring 50 towels to the pool,” she added.
Along with the chamois, Ms. Wu never goes to a competition without a roll of heavy body tape.
She said she uses this to strap and support her wrists that have been causing her chronic pain for the past 10 years.
Ms. Wu said the most common diving injuries are to the neck, wrists, knees and back, all related to repetitive trauma from diving into the water over and over — sometimes up to 50 times per training session.
“I wonder how many dives I’ve made in the 19 years I’ve been in the sport,” she added.
Julia Vincent from South Africa wears support bands on her wrists, designed to prevent injury when divers hit the water at 60 km/h
Ms Wu (pictured at the 2021 Australian Open Championships in Sydney) said divers dry themselves with chamois pads to help themselves better grip their legs during pikes and tucks
The revelations, which provide insight into the high-pressure world of competitive diving, have been viewed nearly a million times since the first video was uploaded on Sunday.
“I didn’t know about this, thanks for sharing!” a viewer wrote.
A second added, “Always wondered about those towels.”
A third spoke to the wristband and said, “You literally hold yourself together with tape!”
When she’s not splashing her head in the water at the Tokyo Aquatics Center, Ms. Wu is busy promoting her sport on social media.
When she’s not splashing her head in the water at the Tokyo Aquatics Center, Ms. Wu (pictured) is busy promoting her sport on social media.
Earlier this week, she shared a look inside Team Australia’s expansive HQ during the Summer Games.
In a video uploaded to TikTok, the little diver shows fans around the Australian Olympic Village meticulously designed by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) for the 472 athletes competing this year.
Ms. Wu describes it as her “home away from home,” turning the camera through rooms decorated with kangaroo statues, cozy hangouts lit by neon lights, and a “grocery store” stocked with classic Aussie snacks.
Childhood favorites, including Milo and Vegemite, line the shelves alongside healthy cereals, fruit juice and Australian eggs.
In a video uploaded to TikTok, Ms Wu shows fans around the Australian Olympic Village (left and right) said to have been meticulously designed by the Australian Olympic Committee
The footage also features a chamber filled with inflatable two-person cryotherapy ice baths from iCoolSport, each costing $1,765 (AUD).
Hailed as the world’s toughest, most durable portable ice bath, the lightweight tank-like devices promise to speed recovery after exercise by reducing temperature, blood flow and inflammation in muscle tissue.
Not featured in Ms. Wu’s video was the coffee cart carefully installed by the AOC to ensure athletes could enjoy a taste of home in Tokyo.
The organizers even managed to arrange for a barista from Melbourne – the de facto coffee capital of the world – to serve cups of Joe during the games.
The footage also features a chamber filled with inflatable two-person cryotherapy ice baths from iCoolSport (pictured), each costing $1,765 (AUD)
The video shows cozy hangouts lit by neon lights (left) and Covid-safe signs instructing athletes to ‘keep at least one adult kangaroo apart’ (right)
Elliot Johnson, who worked at Breakfast Thieves in Fitzroy and Little Rogue in Melbourne’s CBD before moving to Japan in 2016, has been making 600 coffees a day since the events kicked off on July 23, the Guardian reported.
Olympic fanatics were quick to rave about the elaborate setup featured in Ms. Wu’s video, which has been viewed 171,000 times since its July 31 posting.
“I absolutely love the setup for our great athletes. Kudos to the committee that has thought of EVERYTHING they need, more than that,” wrote one person.
Another added: ‘They offer Aussie snacks, that’s so cool!’