28-year-old Laura Marino, world champion in the 2017 10m team diving, reached the heights while competing in the Rio Olympics. But now she dives off the rocks, as she decided to change the pools to natural ones. After a burnout in 2019, cliff jumping allows her to lift her head above the water and experiment with a new lifestyle. Want to learn more about this extreme sport? Conquer the highest cliffs with Laura!
Rock jumping, what is it?
Outdoor height diving is a discipline consisting of spectacular jumps into pools, the sea or the ocean. It’s very exciting, but also very dangerous. In addition to the technical aspect of diving that has fascinated her for many years, Laura associates this extreme activity with travel, exploration, communication and meeting. Indeed, this is a great opportunity to explore the world and discover new exceptional natural sites.
But what is the difference between cliff jumping and cliff diving? Laura explains: The former has a looser connotation, while the latter is associated with a more academic, more formal practice. And I’m right in the middle! »
A very fake extreme sport
There are no prerequisites for practice. You just have to” I want to share values, be passionate and in love with nature! We always try to convey values related to respect for the environment. “, – defends the athlete. Even if this sport is accessible to everyone, it is practiced in the middle of nature, so there is danger. Therefore, it is wise to start with small jumps, gradually increase the height and be accompanied by constant movements. ” You should never jump alone. Safety on and under water must be checked. Provide momentum because when you jump off a cliff, the ground can be unstable and crumble. Lastly, you have to be sure that you can come back after the jump (laughs). During her first visit to Réunion in October 2020, she found that island jumpers learned the technique on the job, in the middle of nature. It’s different for her, she needs to change her way of diving. After all, throughout his career, the rules required entering the water with the upper body, and in outdoor diving it is the other way around.
Will Laura ever compete in cliff diving competitions (the most famous of them is Red Bull Cliff Diving)? Maybe she will experience it per day, but it requires a lot of preparation and great demands. ” The height is approved at 20 m, so it is very risky and cruel. He prepares seriously, because the blow is really dangerous. This is the highest level of extreme sports!! »
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Cliff jumping is also a community that shares a philosophy of life, a lifestyle similar to what we know from surfers and riders. It was on arrival at Reunion that the diver discovered all these people: ” it is as if you opened the door, and behind it everything was ready to welcome you. And not only did I find out that everything already exists in Réunion, but also in mainland France. »
Around the world there are different groups of cliff jumpers called ” crews “. And the members of these collectives are constantly portrayed as caring and open. ” I have always been greeted with great hospitality. And with Mahaweli in Reunion and with my first team in mainland France when I was the only girl”Laura recalls. This is, of course, an individual sport, but the group spirit is very strong there, because you need to be confident in your partners who provide security. Sharing is also an important value within different groups,” passion is one thing, but if you don’t have anyone to share it with, it doesn’t have the same meaning. »recognized as a cliff jumper.
Revival through outdoor diving
New way of life
If Laura fell in love with this discipline, then this is no accident. She confesses: I’m addicted to the adrenaline of jumping.At the end of her career in 2019, despite the difficult period she was going through, she immediately felt the desire to travel and continue diving in a different way. However, she does not want to go back to her mistakes, because the jump took her very high, but also very low. So at first she tries a more ordinary life in her Paris apartment as a physiotherapist (she received her diploma in parallel with her sports career), but her attempt was in vain. ” I had everything to be happy, but I wasn’t. »
It was after jumping from the Corsican cliffs in September 2020 that she vibrated again. She doesn’t want it to end. Then one of her friends advises her to go to an intense island if she likes it. No sooner said than done. Laura takes a one-way ticket with her medical status on the cover. But four months later, she realizes that no replacements were made for her. She jumps all day and feels alive. Then she starts thinking about a real professional project that fits her new lifestyle. In order to think over, structure and build her project, she decides to return to France. As soon as he arrives, the jumper buys a van to conquer unusual places.
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Life project around his passion
Sport has always been his balance, his catalyst for emotions and life. ” This is the school of life. A place to meet and chat. And sharing is the essence of my projects. “Even if her “diver” label follows her, she is trying to create a new identity, one that will take her to the core. Obviously, the size of the jump is still present, but now it is associated with photography and video. ” I want people to follow me because of my values and my work. Not only because I dive. She also enjoys other activities such as skiing, cycling, hiking, etc.” While I’m on the street, I can do anything, this is the most important thing for me! And most importantly, no more restrictions. To be able to say “no” if, after all, she no longer wants to jump on this day, at this very hour. If she wants to perform now, it is only for her to enjoy, progress and excel in what she undertakes.
women in high diving
Today, even if women have easier access to sports, access to extreme sports is something else entirely. ” I would like more women to prosper like me through this sport. This is my way of being an activist Laura says. Some enter competitions, a great way to promote women’s practice. She knows about it, but doesn’t want it to be the only reason she goes for it. ” It’s a dangerous, extreme sport, you have to be ready, and I’m not ready yet. Some cliff jumpers also organize trips with each other. In particular, there are several American ones, because this activity is very popular there. Laura hopes to be able to join soon.
Meanwhile, in November 2021 in Réunion, she organized an initiation course for young girls. The event, organized in collaboration with another cliff jumper, was a success. 30 girls participated. ” It was one of the most memorable days of my stay in Reunion. At that time I was very tired, but the boost of energy that day gave me incredible! »
Very curious, you will understand, Laura Marino loves to live with new experiences. Her professional cliff jumping project also requires a lot of time and energy because she builds over time. ” I have so many ideas that I tell myself that life is too short! “, she said. So withIf you want to discover her new world, don’t wait any longer, follow her on social media!
Interview with Dafa Redak
Photo Credit: Cheyenne Summer Media.