Originally created 12/30/98

Synchro diving set for Olympic splash



LONDON -- Grab the hair gel and watch out below -- synchronized diving is heading for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Swimming's governing body says the sport probably will be accepted by the International Olympic Committee, which will decide in March.

Synchronized diving, in which divers plunge side-by-side into the pool, has been recognized since 1995 and is part of most major international diving competitions, including the world championships. The sport is a close cousin to synchronized swimming, which joined the Olympics in 1984.

Synchronized swimming, whose roots date to the water acrobatics in early movie musicals, is physically demanding but often derided for its theatrics, makeup and, of course, hair gel.

In the diving version, divers jump from either the 10-meter platform or from parallel 3-meter springboards. They are judged on individual technical skills and the ability to coordinate their movements and enter the water together.