Name: David Colturi
Title: Red Bull Cliff Diver
David Colturi, who is representing the US in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series on Inis Mór on Saturday, started the extreme sport in quite a conservative way
David’s three older siblings were members of the swimming and diving team at their local country club and David followed suit by joining the team.
“I just did it for fun, along with several other sports, from when I was five to eight-years-old.” At the age of nine, David began committing to diving all year round and has never looked back.
Now 23, he joined a club based over an hour away from his home in Michigan that had better facilities, where he fell in love with board diving. “I just trained really hard on that,” he says.
“As my diving career was coming to an end I just fell short of making the Olympics team in 2008 and I really didn’t want to be done with diving,” he says, explaining his decision to turn to the more extreme side of the sport.
“I found out through a friend about an amusement park that had a high diving show in it. Straight after the first dive I fell in love with it.”
Shortly afterward, David heard about the Red Bull World Series and took part in a qualification competition in Australia, where he performed and won his first jump.
Although cliff diving is incredibly intimidating to most people, David doesn’t fear it. “I think all of us divers are a little bit of adrenaline junkies, we’re all a little bit crazy just doing what we do but we’re all here because we absolutely love it and it’s just the most enjoyable thing for us to do.”
There is always the possibility of serious injury but luckily David hasn’t had to deal with any in his diving career to date. “I haven’t had anything too bad happen to me. I’ve taken a couple of shots, like being short and I’ll be sore for a day or two, I’ve had some minor ankle injuries also but nothing huge so I’m still loving every day of it.”
Unsure of his future in cliff diving, David says it is something he is going to have to re-assess at the end of the season. “I’ve just graduated from university at the end of last year, after studying medicine, and was really looking forward to going to medical school next year so it’s just one of those things I have to think about.”
However, David’s heart could rule his head as his love for the sport is taking priority at the minute. His love for diving and the opportunities that come with it, such as the travelling with the Red Bull Cliff Diving Series, are too great to pass up.
“It’s something that’s not going to come around again, so I think I’m going to keep doing this for as long as I can and then try to go back and then try to go back to the medical world later on in life.”
As part of the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series, David will be diving along with the 13 other divers at the Serpent’s Lair on Inis Mór this Saturday, 4 August, from a height of 28 metres.
“I think the Ireland stop is going to be crazy, every spot has their unique aspects and I can’t wait to see Galway’s!” says David. “I am really looking forward to Ireland; although it might be cold so that’s something we’ll all have to deal with!”
This is also the first event that David’s parents and sister will be attending, making Galway extra special for him. For more information on Saturday’s event, visit www.redbull.ie.