Laura Marino, 28, world champion in 10m team diving in 2017, reached heights by participating in the Rio Olympics. But now it’s from the rocks he dives into, as he has decided to replace his swimming pools with natural ones. After a burnout in 2019, cliff jumping allows her to raise her head above the water and try a new lifestyle. Want to learn more about this extreme sport? Let’s conquer the highest cliffs with Laura!
Cliff jumping, what is it?
Outdoor diving is a discipline that consists of making spectacular jumps in pools, sea or ocean. It is very exciting but also very dangerous. Beyond the technical side of diving that has plagued her for years, Laura associates this extreme activity with travel, exploration, sharing and encounters. Indeed, it is an excellent opportunity to explore the world and discover new extraordinary natural areas.
But what is the difference between cliff jumping and cliff diving? Laura explains: The former has a freer connotation, while the latter is associated with a more academic, more formal practice. And I’m in! »
A multi-frame extreme sport
There are no prerequisites required for the application. Just ” I want to share values, be passionate and fall in love with nature! We always try to convey values within the framework of respect for the environment. “, defends the athlete. Although this sport is open to everyone, it is dangerous because it is done in the middle of nature. Therefore, it is wise to start with small jumps, gradually increasing the height and accompanying regularly. ” You should never jump alone. Safety in and under water should be checked. Provide the momentum because when you jump off a boulder the ground can become unstable and crumble. And finally, you have to make sure you can come back after the jump (laughs). During his first visit to Réunion in October 2020, he discovered that the island’s jumpers had learned this technique at work, in the middle of nature. The situation is different for him, he needs to readjust his diving style. Indeed, throughout his career, the rules have required upper-body watering, while in open-air diving it’s the opposite.
Will Laura one day participate in cliff diving competitions (most notably Red Bull Cliff Diving)? Maybe those experiences one day but requires a lot of preparation and a great requirement. ” The altitude is certified as 20 m so it is very risky and severe. It is being prepared seriously, as the effect is really dangerous. This is the ultimate in extreme sport!! »
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Cliff jumping is also a community that shares a philosophy of life, a lifestyle as we know it from surfers and riders. The diver discovered all these people when he arrived at Reunion: ” It’s like you’re opening a door and it’s ready to welcome you behind everything. And not only did I learn that everything already existed in Reunion, but that was also the case in mainland France. »
There are different groups of cliff jumpers called “” around the world. teams “. And members of these collectives are consistently portrayed as engaged and open-minded.” I was always greeted with great kindness. On my first team in mainland France, both with Mahavéli in Reunion and when I was a single girl »remembers Laura. It’s an individual sport of course, but the group spirit is very strong there because you have to trust your partners to provide security. Sharing within different groups is also an important value, “ passion is one thing but it’s not the same if you don’t have anyone to share it with »accepts cliff jumper.
Rebirth through open air diving
a new way of life
If Laura fell in love with this discipline, it’s no accident. Agrees: I’m addicted to the adrenaline of jumping.At the end of his career in 2019, he immediately felt the urge to travel and continue diving in a different way, despite the difficult period he had been through. But he doesn’t want to go back to his mistakes, because the dive made him too high but also too low. Therefore, she first tries a more traditional life as a physiotherapist in her Paris flat (a diploma she received in parallel with her sports career), but her attempt is in vain. ” I had everything to be happy but I wasn’t. »
It vibrates again, jumping off the Corsican cliffs in September 2020. He doesn’t want it to end. One of his friends then advises him to go to the busy island if he likes it. No sooner said than done. Laura buys a one-way ticket with physics on the cover. But after four months, he realizes that he hasn’t made any changes. He spends his days jumping and feeling alive. He then starts to think of a real professional project that fits his new lifestyle. He decides to return to France to think, configure and build his project. Barely arrived, the jumper bought a van to conquer unusual places.
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A life project around his passion
Sport has always been his balance, the catalyst for emotions and life. ” It is the school of life. A place to meet and share. And sharing fully is the essence of my projects. Even if the “dive” tag follows him, he tries to build a new identity that encourages him. Obviously, the size of the splash still exists, but now associates it with photography and video. ” I want people to follow me for my values and my work. Not just for diving. He also enjoys other activities: skiing, cycling, hiking, etc. ” I can do anything as long as I’m outside, that’s the most important thing to me! And best of all, no more restrictions. Finally being able to say no if he doesn’t want to jump that day, at that exact hour. If she wants to perform now, it’s just for her, to have fun, move forward and be successful in what she’s undertaking.
women high diving
Although it is easier for women to access sports today, access to extreme sports is something completely different. ” Thanks to this sport, I want to see more women develop like me. This is my way of being an activist “Some participate in competitions, which is an excellent way to promote women’s practice. She’s aware of that, but she 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 among themselves. There are few Americans in particular because the activity is very popular there. Laura hopes to join soon.
Meanwhile, he organized an initiation course for young girls in Reunion in November 2021. Organized in partnership with another cliff jumper, the event was a success. 30 young girls participated. ” It was one of the most memorable days of my stay in Reunion. I was so tired back then but the energy that day gave me was incredible! »
She’s very inquisitive, you’ll understand, Laura Marino loves to have new experiences. His professional project on cliff jumping also takes a lot of time and energy as it has been shaped over time. ” I have so many ideas that I tell myself life is too short! “, says. So, pIf you want to discover his new world, don’t wait any longer, follow him on his social networks!
Daf Rédac’s interview
Photo credit: Cheyenne Summer Media