"You have to concentrate 100 percent on every dive, because even a slight lapse in concentration can lead to a serious injury," said Gary Hunt, who today is prepping for the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series set for this weekend.
For the last two years, Hunt, a world renowned diver from the United Kingdom, has snagged first place in the Red Bull cliff diving competition.
"Even the simple dives give you a big adrenaline rush, but you do gt used to the height, so it is not so overwhelming," he said today while taking a break from practice.
Hunt will join ten other athletes from across the globe in dives from the roof of the ICA's iconic glass building, an urban "cliff" that overlooks over Boston Harbor.
The diving "world series" kicked off on the Mediterranean French Island of Corsica on June 22, makes stops in Norway, Ireland, South Wales and the volcanic shores of the Portuguese Azores islands.
But this Saturday, it will be Beantown all the way.
"Every place has its own unique challenges," said U.S. diver Steven LoBue. "You just have to adjust to a different scenery, and convince your mind that it is the exact same thing. But it does make for a great view."
The ICA, famous for its glistening building and cutting-edge contemporary art, offers what organizers of the event clal "a dramatic backdrop" for divers to showcase their own take on “performance art”: spiraling, tumbling, and flipping mid-air for spectators.
"There will be some simple dives, then more exciting somersaults and twists," said Hunt, who will be defending his Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series title.
The competition will include two required and two optional dives. The five international judges, including four-time Olympic gold medalist Greg Louganis, will award them scores from zero to 10 based on the various aspects of the dive, the adherence to predetermined diving requirements, and the "splashless" finish.
Other divers include 23-year-old U.S. rookie David Colturi and former Olympian Blake Aldridge.
The Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series stop will be free and open to the public rain or shine on from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and will feature a live emcee, jumbo screens for viewing, and vendors.
Public areas will be stationed along Fan Pier, and the ICA will extend its hours, remaining open to the public until 9 p.m. that evening.