Testing the Olympic Waters

Previewing Zaha Hadid’s New Aquatics Center at the FINA Diving World Cup

Photographer Andrew Woffinden captures the charged rehearsals for FINA’s Diving World Cup at architect Zaha Hadid’s sweeping modernist vision, the new London Aquatics Center. A regular contributor to GQ, Elle and TANK Magazine, Woffinden turned his lens on the 250 divers from 40 different countries perfecting their somersaults and twists from the 10m-high boards. “The space is absolutely gorgeous,” says Woffinder of the Pritzker Prize-winning architect’s epic 17,500-capacity creation. “It beautifully sweeps up like Manta Ray wings.” By the time the championships climax on Sunday with the platform dive-off, there will already have been seven days of pool time, with heats in synchronized and single diving featuring some of the most exciting athletes in the sport today, such as Australia’s 2008 Olympic 10m platform gold medalist Matthew Mitcham and Britain’s high-profile Tom Daley. But it was Team China who dominated the competition’s early stages with partners Qin Kai and Luo Yutong taking gold at the men’s synchronized 3m springboard, and Chen Ruolin winning the Women’s 10m platform. Diving at the Summer Olympics is scheduled to take place from July 29 through August 11.

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