You may think extreme sports are a recent phenomenon. Not so. A painting in a burial vault in Naples, Italy dating back to 480 B.C. depicts a young man diving from a high platform. Many trace cliff diving back to 1770 when King Kahekili, the last king of Maui, dove from a 63’ high cliff in Kaunolu.
The 1960s and 1970s were a golden age for cliff diving when ABC’s Wide World of Sports would regularly feature the sport on Saturday afternoon broadcasts. Today the fascination with leaping into bodies of water from very high places continues with the annual Seven Stage Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.
One of the champion cliff divers from the ‘60s was, surprisingly, Brooklyn-born Rick White. Take a look at this vintage clip of two of Rick’s dives. And here’s a look at today’s participants: