Are you into sports where the whole point is showing off? Dødsing, aka “Death Diving” or simply “Deathing” originated in the 1960s at the Frognerbadet public bath in Oslo, where kids would sneak into the pool complex after hours and practice spectacular stunts from the 10m (32 ft) diving tower.
50 years later, the pasttime has developed into an annual World Championship held at the same pool complex, hosted by Det Internasjonale Dødseforbundet (The International Death Diving Federation). It is now a (somewhat) organised spectator sport where brave men (and a few women) throw themselves off the tower in a death-defying manner (hence the name), striking poses for as long as they can before smashing into the water below, either bent like a shrimp or curled into a ball. This is NOT to be confused with belly-flop contests.
The “athletes” compete in either Classic or Freestyle classes, and points are awarded for
- running speed off the tower
- height and strength of the leap
- acrobatics and difficulty (freestyle only)
- style (a death dive should be controlled and easy on the eye)
- keeping the pose for as long as possible before touchdown
- touchdown style
- height of splash
This year’s World Championship is held on the 15th of August, and registration is still open. The Federation is expecting a record-breaking attendance this year.
Arguably, the Frognerbadet championship isn’t even the most spectacular event. The Sup & Stup (Drink & Dive) water festival in Lillesand hosts the IDF Grand Prix every summer, and draws a huge crowd as contestants throw themselves off a cliff into the ocean: