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Latino Daily News

Thursday July 26, 2012

OLYMPICS: Mexican Diver Thrives on Fear and Risk

OLYMPICS: Mexican Diver Thrives on Fear and Risk

Photo: Ivan Garcia (Rodrigo V. Medero)

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Mexico’s Pan-American diving champion, Ivan Garcia, said Wednesday that if one day he loses his fear of diving from the 10-meter platform he will retire.

“When I stop being afraid, diving will be over for me. What I enjoy is the risk and feeling that adrenaline in my belly, that sensation of flying so similar to when you fall in love,” said the 18-year-old competitor who represents one of Mexico’s best chances to take home a medal from the London Olympic Games.

Garcia became known on the international diving circuit when he won a bronze medal at the Youth Olympics in Singapore in 2010 and last year he emerged as the champion at the Pan American Games in platform diving, both in the individual and the pairs competition.

In London, his partner will be German Sanchez, with whom he will try to win a medal on June 30 competing against the top teams from China, Britain, Ukraine and Germany.

“We’re very well prepared. We’ve raised the grade of difficulty of our dives a lot and if everything goes well for us, we can even defeat the Chinese favorites,” said Garcia, who is from the western city of Guadalajara.

That is not just an idle statement either, because the Mexican duo’s routine is one of the most complex among the teams and if they come out of the qualification round well, they could give champions Qiu Bo and Huo Liang and the others a run for their money.

Mexico hopes to win more than just one medal in diving with a team headed by Paola Espinosa, who won a bronze medal in the 10m Synchronized Platform with her partner Tatiana Ortiz at the 2008 Games in Beijing, the gold medal in the 10m platform at the 2009 World Aquatics Championships in Rome and several golds at the 2011 Pan American Games.