Jack Laugher has made history several times in the last couple of years: he became the first British diver to win two medals at the same World Championships in 2015, and did the same at the 2016 Olympics, where he and diving partner Chris Mears won Great Britain's first Olympic gold medal in diving. It is no wonder that the no.36 bus that runs from Ripon to Harrogate in England has been renamed in his honour…
There are traditional diving nations like China, the United States or Russia, but the United Kingdom had not been among them until the last couple of years. At the end of the 2000’s some talented young British divers turned up in the pool, like Tom Daley, Chris Mears and Jack Laugher.
Laugher became interested in diving when he was seven during a family visit to Harrogate Hydro Swimming Pool and a lifeguard told him to go for diving lessons. He liked it very much and he proved to be very talented.
In 2009, at age 14 he required surgery after breaking his arm during trampoline training, and had a metal plate inserted to hold his humerus bone together. Despite that he had a very successful season in 2010, when he won gold in the 1m and 3m springboard events both at the European Junior Championships and the World Junior Championships. He represented England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Greg Louganis was reported as being impressed with Laugher's diving.
He became one of the best divers in the world, but he was really unlucky at the 2012 London Olympics, where he competed with ankle and elbow injuries and failed to make it past the preliminary stage.
Laugher first teamed up with Chris Mears in the 3m synchro in 2013, and they have been very successful together. Laugher continued to shine in the individual events, but at the 2014 Commonwealth Games he also claimed the gold medal in the 3m synchro with his new partner.
At the 2015 FINA World Championships he finished third in the 3m springboard and in the 3m synchro as well, making him the first Briton to win two medals in a World Championships.
2016 proved to be a fantastic year for Laugher, since he won a gold and a silver medal in front of a home crowd at the 2012 European Championships, and he achieved the same result at the 2016 Olympics. He made history again, because he and Mears won Great Britain's first Olympic gold medal in diving when they claimed victory in the 3m synchronised springboard event. He also became the first British diver to win two medals at a single Olympic Games.
To mark his double medal-winning performance at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, the no.36 bus that runs from Ripon to Harrogate in England has been renamed in his honour.
"It is a nice touch because it is kind of my life story in a way because I started out in Ripon, then went to Harrogate for diving and ended up in Leeds which is where I live now." (theguardian.com, 17 Aug 2016; telegraph.co.uk, 11 Aug 2016)
The final of the 3m synchro will be held on 15 July, the final of the 3m springboard on 20 July in the new Danube Arena at the 2017 FINA World Championships.
Born: Harrogate (UK), 30 January, 1995
Olympic champion (2016 Rio de Janeiro, 3m synchro); silver medallist (2016 Rio de Janeiro, 3m springboard)
World bronze medallist (2015 Kazan, 3 m synchro and 3m springboard)
European champion (2016 London, 3m synchro); silver medallist (2016 London, 3m springboard)
FINA Diving World Series champion (2015, 3m springboard)
Commonwealth Games winner (2014 Glasgow, 1m springboard and 3m synchro); silver medallist (3m springboard)