Marc Faber: RIO 2016 Diving Official

ATC’s own Marc Faber, program director for ATC Aerospace, is in Rio for the 2016 Olympic games serving as one of 22 official diving judges. We are honored to support his participation and will be sharing his experiences here as we receive them. Check here for the full televised diving schedule. You might also be interested in more about Olympic diving from the official RIO 2016 website.

Rio de Janeiro, August 18, 2016—Yesterday [August 15] we had the men’s 3-meter individual preliminaries. What a competition this turned out to be!

I judged the prelim’s yesterday (Panel A), and issues like storms and more green pools led to even more unexpected events: Divers balked and failed many of their dives, and both the reigning world champion from China and one of the best European divers today failed to make it to the semi finals.

It was tough for everybody.

Today [August 16] were the semi finals. And though we had near perfect conditions, everyone continued to struggle, including the reigning Olympic champion from Russia who finished 18th—in other words: last.

Competing in the Olympics is tough! Tonight I am judging the finals, which start at 5pm ET, and we’re all hoping for a smoother and less dramatic competition. (More on that later!)

On another note, I was privileged to see Michael Phelps add all the gold medals to his already impressive arsenal over the weekend. What an amazing athlete.

Rio de Janeiro, August 16, 2016—Today, I wanted to provide clarity on how the judging works for diving competitions.

Synchro Judging and Scoring:
In synchro events, there are 11 judges. Six of them judge the execution of the dive (three for each diver) and five judge the synchronization. The lowest and highest mark for each execution panel is scratched, leaving two marks; and the lowest and highest mark of the synchro panel is scratched, leaving three marks. The final five marks are summed and multiplied by 3/5. The remaining sum is multiplied by the degree of difficulty of the dive, which gives the total score for the dive.

In individual events, there are seven judges. The two highest and two lowest marks are scratched and the sum of the three remaining marks is multiplied with the dive’s degree of difficulty to give the total score.

What a Judge Looks for:
Execution judges look at the approach, take-off, flight, and landing of the dive. Each flaw results in deduction in scores. The scores are from 0 to 10 in increments of 0.5 points.

Synchro judges look for synchronization in the approach and take-off, synchronicity of the flight and the distance, timing and angle of the entry into the water, and overall impression.

Diving Scoring:
10 = Excellent
8.5–9.5 = Very Good
7–8 = Good
5–6.5 = Satisfactory
2.5–4.5 = Deficient 
0.5–2 = Unsatisfactory
0 = Failed Dive

I hope this will give you an idea of how it works!

Links of Interest:
» FINA Rules & Regulations
» FINA Officials List

ATC Aerospace program director Marc Faber and his fellow judges on a rainy day in Rio.

Rio de Janeiro, August 11, 2016—Wednesday, August 10 was my first day of judging action: the men’s 3-meter synchro final. And boy, what a final this was.

As judges, we all agreed this was one of the most difficult events we’ve ever judged! The pool was green, which was a big concern, but according to the organizing committee not a health risk! During the competition it was raining, a lot of wind, so the divers had to overcome a lot of obstacles, while performing very difficult dives under these harsh conditions. And as expected, this turned out to be quite the challenge.

Many dives had mistakes, such as lights in the pool that went on and off, which is distracting to the divers. The competitors from Mexico were hindered at one point and asked for a re-dive, which was initially granted by the referees but than denied by the jury of appeal. The Chinese, who have dominated the events so far with three gold medals and being the favorites to get their fourth, missed their last dive ending up in third place. Great Britain claimed gold, just four points ahead of the United States who claimed their second silver medal, a huge success!

Diving judge and ATC Aerospace program director Marc Faber reports on the mysterious green swimming pool at the Maria Lenk Aquatics Centre.

Rio de Janeiro, August 10, 2016—My name is Marc Faber. I’m one of 22 judges who will be judging the diving at the Rio Olympics. Each judge is from a different country and all continents are represented. We’re judging on behalf of Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), the world aquatics organization.

I have been a diver and coach myself for many years and after my active diving career I started to judge, first during national competitions, and international competitions shortly after.

I’ve been judging for about 25 years internationally with many Diving Grands Prix, European Championships, World Cups, World Championships, Diving World Series, and the 2012 London Olympics.

At the 2016 Rio Olympics we will be judging eight events in total, each will have a preliminary, semi-final, and final round [see TV schedule here]:

  • 10-Meter Platform – Men
  • 3-Meter Springboard – Men
  • Synchronized Diving 10-Meter Platform – Men
  • Synchronized Diving 3-Meter Springboard – Men
  • 10-Meter Platform – Women
  • 3-Meter Springboard – Women
  • Synchronized Diving 10-Meter Platform – Women
  • Synchronized Diving 3-Meter Springboard - Women

On August 10 [today], I will be judging the men’s 3-meter synchro final, which will have a U.S. team competing for the medals.

Each day we will hear whether were assigned for the next day. But whether I'm judging or not, Im sure tomorrow will be another Olympic adventure.

Links of Interest:
» Team USA Diving Team

ATC Aerospace program director and Olympics judge Marc Faber shares the view from his room in Olympic Village, and the full diving judge team.Top: The RIO 2016 Diving Officials representing 22 countries.
Bottom: The view from Marc's hotel room in Olympic Village.

Rio de Janeiro, August 4, 2016—This is the first of many blogs that I will use to share my experience as a judge for the diving competitions at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I am privileged that ATC (my employer since 2013) is supporting my participation in the Olympic Games. This will be my second experience in the Olympics, I also had the opportunity to judge at the London 2012 Olympics.

Yesterday [August 3] was a travel day. We departed from the Newark Liberty International Airport. After nearly 20 hours of travel, I arrived in Rio de Janeiro today, the 4th. Transportation from the airport to the Olympic Village has been neatly arranged. As in London, special lanes were created to allow for smooth traffic flows. So getting to the hotel was not too difficult.

I will join 22 judges, each representing a different country, to judge the diving events. Tomorrow, August 5, all of us will go to the clothing distribution center where we will receive our official Olympics clothing. This is a huge operation—there will be nearly 10,000 officials receiving packages.

“It is truly a supply chain management detail, and at ATC, we all know what kind of operation this involves!”

I’m looking forward to tomorrow night: the opening ceremony. I will be able to watch it in the Olympic Stadium, which is going to be amazing!