The sport of diving did not develop from swimming but rather gymnastics - when gymnasts in Europe practiced their landings in water rather than on hard floors. The earliest recorded diving competition took place in 1871 off the London Bridge. Diving has been an Olympic event for men since 1904 and for women since 1912. The first concrete diving tower was built at Swimming Stadium Tourelles for the 1924 Paris Olympics.
There are three major components to diving. The first is the starting position, approach, and take off. The judges look for this to be smooth and well-balanced, with a high jump off the board and a minimal distance from the board. The second is execution in the air where judges look for speed of rotation and proper positioning. Finally, the entry in to the water is judged on the angle of entry (should be vertical), distance from the board, body, head and arm alignment, and the amount of splash. A panel of judges for an individual contest consists of seven judges, while a synchronized event is assessed by nine judges. The best dives can be distinguished based on four characteristics: strength and power, economy of movement, tight positions and good body line, and precision.
Diving includes a variety of events, the 1 m and 3 m springboard and the 10 m platform. There are also synchronized events where two divers execute the same dive simultaneously, either from the 3 m springboard or the 10 m platform.