Do you know what it means to jump into the water from 27 meters, 10 stories above the ground? Meet Choi Byung-hwa, Korea’s first and only ‘high diver,’ who went on to compete in the world championships.
Kim Hyung-yeol is a reporter.
‘High diving’ is derived from the extreme sport of ‘cliff diving’, where women jump into the water from a height of 20 meters and men from a height of 27 meters, which is equivalent to the 10th floor of an apartment building.
The risk of injury is high and there are no specialized facilities, making it a barren sport in Korea, but Choi Byung-hwa was the first to take up the challenge.
In 2016, at the age of 25, Choi Byung-hwa, who was not even a diver, fell in love with the sport and became the only Korean diver to take up the sport.
[Choi Byung-hwa/Hydiver: The height itself is intimidating, but when I remind myself that this is the space where I’m supposed to perform, and that I and my body remember what I’m supposed to do, that 27 meters doesn’t seem like 27 meters].
I went abroad at my own expense to learn techniques, and during the pandemic, when I couldn’t go abroad, I traveled the country looking for places to dive. 메이저놀이터
Once I jumped off the cliffs I found, I had to climb them again, but I didn’t get tired and jumped again, and I didn’t give up on my dream even though I couldn’t become a national team member because there was no domestic competition.
[Choi Byung-hwa/Hybrid: I came to this point by blowing up my savings account, blowing up my house, blowing up my car, and organizing my possessions one by one].
After dramatically qualifying for the World Championships in Fukuoka in his first World Cup appearance in May, Choi is preparing to make a historic first jump on May 25, the first ever by a South Korean athlete.