Random dialogue in a cab: Driver: So, what you do for a living? Guest: I work in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. Driver: Ah, that's the tour in which this Colombian with the black ponytail competes, right? Works. Anywhere in this world. Orlando Duque is a legend, the iconic figure of the sport. He is cliff diving and cliff diving is his life. "The sport chose me. I went around doing other things; I didn't like any of them. When I ended up diving, I was like 'this is it!'". With 13 world titles and two Guinness world records to his name in a sport the he calls "the more natural form of diving", his tremendous ability from 27 metres does not need any more proof.
For almost 20 years, the sport's main ambassador has developed and established this raw and extreme discipline, has won literally everything – the inaugural World Series in 2009 as well as the first FINA High Diving World Championship title in 2013, amongst others – and there's still no stopping this man at the age of 42.
Besides eight first-place finishes, Orlando still holds the record for the most second places in the history of the World Series (15) and finished the tour five times in the top three. And while 2016 was the first season ever without a podium, the World Series' most experienced athlete knows well how to come back stronger. After a season-ending injury in 2011, Colombia's 'Dancing with the Stars' participant opened his 2012 account with victory and ended that year as runner-up to champion Gary Hunt.