The tallest diving platform in the western hemisphere soon will stand in Fort Lauderdale. Experienced divers will be able to plunge the equivalent of nearly eight stories from the 27-meter tower at the Fort Lauderdale Aquatic Complex. The rest of us will be able to climb to the top and contemplate it — without jumping.
The diving tower will be the first permanent structure of its kind in the western hemisphere and the second in the world, Laura Voet, manager of the aquatic center said. The other is in Zhaoqing, China.
It is designed to survive 146 mph winds, comparable to a Category 4 hurricane, she said.
“There’s a lot of excitement in the diving community,” Voet said. “They just think it’s awesome.”
Though the 27-meter platform will be available only to more experienced divers, community members will have the opportunity to dive off the shorter platforms and climb the tower’s 162 steps to the top, Voet said.
“You’ll be able to see what it’s like to walk up those steps and then contemplate what a diver’s thinking when they’re going up there,” she said.
Voet anticipates the diving tower will bring more swimming events to the area. People have already called to plan annual events at the center, which has been closed for renovation since April 2019 and plans to reopen next fall.
The platform, coincidentally, was set in place on the birthday of Fort Lauderdale High Diving World Champion Steven LoBue, Voet said.
LoBue was the first American to win a gold medal in the men’s 27-meter dive.
“It’s exciting for Fort Lauderdale,” Voet said. “It’s another first.”
This was originally published by Alex DeLuca in the Sun Sentinel and can be found here.