Diving: Q&A with Peter Waterfield ahead of this afternoon's final with Tom Daley

 

The other half of Britain's most famous diving partnership, Pete Waterfield could get his first taste of victory with Tom Daley at this afternoon's final. However, he will have to be more careful with any medals he wins after losing his silver from Athens while on the M25. 

How brutal is diving on the body?

We hit the water at 40mph and I’ve been doing that for more than 20 years so it begins to take its toll. I've had four painkilling injections this year: two in my neck, one in my wrist and one in my shoulder. The injections seem to have kept any problems at bay.

What’s it like competing with Daley and all the attention he gets?

He’s sort of been made into a little pop star and I guess that’s just off the back of his success from such a young age. He handles it really well and it’s great to see a diver get that sort of recognition. I like to think I helped raise the profile of the sport but Tom’s taken it so much further, which is fantastic. Thankfully because of Tom I think a lot more kids are taking up diving. I’ve always said it would be nice to get the sort of attention and the sponsorship deals he receives. But I’m very lucky to do something that I love and I’ve been able to do it for 20 years. That’s good enough for me.

How did the partnership come about and was it something that clicked right away?

Looking at us it shouldn’t work as he’s a lot bigger than me but so was my former partner Leon Taylor. But come to think of it, most people in life are bigger than me! Because of that, his shape is obviously bigger than mine so we turn at slightly different speeds. When he was younger he wasn’t strong enough next to me and didn’t jump as high. But after Beijing he started growing and we were ready to try out as a pairing.

Are you guys friends?

Tom and I are totally different people but we get on well. My previous partner, Leon, was my very best friend so the change takes some getting used to but I really like working with Tom and we both have the same goal . . . to win.

You won an Olympic silver in Athens alongside Taylor. How was that experience?

Very few people get to an Olympics and even fewer get to stand on the podium. It was a dream come true, and it’s something I’ll never forget. We made history as it was the first British diving medal for 60 years.

Your medal met with an unhappy ending though, didn’t it?

I was heading to a school presentation event in London. I was going on the M25, which I knew would be a nightmare in the morning so I went on my motorbike which I had at the time. I had my medal in a rucksack, the zip opened and the medal came out. It was the only thing to fall out — I still had things in there like my pants. I got a replacement but it’s not the same.

When you’re at the top of the board, do you ever feel scared?

I’m more scared now than I’ve ever been. Our sport is dangerous and, when you’re up there, you know if you make a mistake you’re going to get hurt. So the fear is there and that’s a good thing. If I didn’t have the fear then I’d be taking the sport for granted. It’s good to have the fear, I like the fear — that’s what kind of excites.

If you’re scared doing it then what do your family make of it watching you?

My mum’s the worst. She says she can’t look when I do some of the dives.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee