Discover Masters World: Giorgio Levi Della Vida (ITA)
Rome-based Giorgio Levi Della Vida is a fresh face of Masters diving. He turned 25 on July 29, 2010, consequently eligible to compete for the first time at the FINA Masters World Championships, taking place in Gothenburg, Sweden, from July 27 to August 7.
His diving venture began when he was 16. He always wanted to practice the sport but his parents thought it was too “dangerous”. As a result, when he reached 16, he started looking for a club but for a rookie of his age, possibilities were limited: “There wasn’t any course for boys of my age because I was too old to get into a group and too young for Masters.”
Happily, his diving career kicks off and for the next six years, he trains hard: “I was quite good at it, but then I had to stop one year because of a knee injury.” Additionally, his university studies (he graduated from chemical engineering last April) and working life keep him busy. Yet, his passion for the sport is left unimpaired: “I worked hard and I couldn’t go to the swimming pool; it was bad because I love diving.”
Giorgio is diving again and took part in a Masters championship early in July in Italy. In 2006, he captures gold in the 3m springboard, and is silver-medallist in platform and 1m springboard at Italy’s Diving National Championships. In 2007, he takes bronze in the platform and 3m springboard.
Reflecting on his results in the platform events, Giorgio is quite satisfied with his first Masters World performance. He was second until the fourth dive, then third at the fifth dive and unfortunately scored fewer points in his last two dives, which placed him in sixth position in the overall ranking for his age group (25-29). Even though the competition spirit is present, he says the primary reason for coming is the nice atmosphere, buoyed by friendship and a true sense of community, being part of the Masters movement family.
His pet event is 3m springboard. But this is essentially due to the fact that in Rome, his hometown, divers can only train on springboards during winter time, since platforms, which are situated outside the swimming facility, are closed. He thus never really trained platform that much (last time he competed in platform events was in 2006!) and was actually happy that his dives on 3m springboard also work on the 5m platform!
The Italian diving team - credit: Sarah Chiarello
Giorgio trains two to three times weekly, but in competition season, his training schedule can include up to six sessions a week. For the time being, despite Giorgio’s busy life, diving remains a top priority: “I am not scared about time because in the past five years, I managed a lot of things.” Aside from his Master studies, Giorgio works, sings at concerts and still finds time for a social life, going out with friends. He also is a private teacher for young and university students.
Diving is a great competition at Masters, even though it is still overshadowed by Masters swimming and its huge amount of participants. So if there were to be potential Masters divers, Giorgio’s message to the young ones would be this: “Diving makes you fly!” Who hasn’t ever dreamt of flying? “You are free to do whatever you want and if you feel water is your element, diving is a sport for you.”
And to the older ones, the message is no less positive: “It would be a good opportunity to start diving because you can learn many things, you can still improve and set goals; there is a man in my club, ASD Carlo Dibiasi [named after the father of famous Olympic and World champion, Klaus Dibiasi], who just started diving and he is...92 years old!”