Getting to Know: Jonathan Paredes

Jonathan Paredes
The Mexican reveals all in this quickfire interview on his 31st birthday

Cliff diving fans know Jonathan Paredes for his stylish form, perfect entries and infectious smile. Today, as the Mexican celebrates his 31st birthday, we're diving deeper into his soul with a series of fun and revealing questions. Read on for the full interview below.

What scares a cliff diver? It's not heights for sure...
On my personal point view, I see it more as a respect for our sport, we've been doing this for many years and we know all the risks, get lost in the air I think is our first and principal fear.

What's your parents' attitude towards your dangerous passion?
My parents are super happy with what I do, they always wanted to see me on top of a sport's podium and now they had the chance to see me a couple times.

The Mexican scored his first ever World Series victory 5 years ago this weekend in Mostar. Photo: Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool.

Fill in the following phrase: A cliff diver automatically is also a...
... good person :)

Have you lost the ability to jump in the water like a 'normal' person?
Haha, you can't obviously jump in a pool in a normal way, for sure we all do at least one somersault or a belly dive, jaja!

Could you do mental math during a dive?
Somehow, it's what we do, we count the twists and somersaults we are going to do in the air, and we visualise everything before our dive.

What impresses more: somebody who is able to perform one twist more, or someone who performs two somersaults less than you but in perfect execution?
Well, I think that I'm the second category, but in general terms and in my personal opinion both options are just as relevant; I really enjoy seeing Gary doing lots of somersaults and twists in the air, but I also enjoy seeing Artem doing a flying inward, which is only one somersault!

The 'stylemaster' at work. Photo: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool.

How high does a cliff have to be for you to say no?
More than 30m and I will say: Thank you very much.

How high was the highest cliff you ever jumped from?
30 meters, from the Victoria Falls in Africa.

At what age would you allow your children to jump off 27/21 metres?
Well, I think it's too early to say that, but if my children want to do it, I'd say whenever they feel ready.

If you weren't a cliff diver, what would you have become instead?
My dream always was to be an American Football player.

He can rip a dive better than most, but can he catch a touchdown? Photo: Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool.

Who looks better doing a dive, the girls, or is it the boys?
You can see beauty and elegance in boys and girls.

What would you say is true luxury?
To have a loving family, a great sport and being able to live the life I do as the person I am.

Is there a sport you really suck at?
I'm pretty bad at playing tennis, which I never realized until I played it – OMG, I'm pretty bad...

If you had to pick a song that represents your current style the best, which one would it be?
Una Vaina Loca, Fuego.
Don't ask me why, but I feel super happy when I hear this song!

Who/what you want to be for a day? Why?
Interesting question... I think that I would like to be a millionaire and pay all my bills for the rest of my life jajajaja!

Your personal dream location

Have you ever used your talent to impress girls at the swimming pool? How did it work?
No, never; but I don't know why my wife fell in love with me watching me in a diving show!

Describe yourself in 3 words:
Charismatic, happy and a dreamer.

Always happy, always smiling. Photo: Dean Treml/Red Bull Content Pool.

Your biggest weakness:

What headline would you want to read about yourself?
Jonathan Paredes, The World Champion.

Something you always wanted to do but never dared to so far (does not have to be dive-related)?
I have always dreamed of diving at the highest level possible, next to the best divers in the world and pushing limits and barriers, so I think I'm living what I always wanted to do.

What advice would you give your 10-year-old self?
Push your limits till the end.

Please, finish this sentence: If I could tell you just one thing...
... it would be: dream big.

If you were the sports director what would be your first official act?
Equal competitions for females and male athletes and make fair decisions for the benefit of the sport.

What's the most important asset in cliff diving?
Respect for what you're doing.

Looking at the pool of cliff divers, build the perfect athlete.
Rhi's entries, Gary's mind, Orlando's experience, Miguel's take off, and Gary's body control (Gary again) and Jonathan's barani ;).

Why cliff diving and not ballet?
Cliff diving was there waiting for me in somehow, ballet it's something that helps, and I will continue doing it of course.

Who would you want to meet once in your life? Why?
I think I met most of the people I wished to meet, but if I have to choose one it would be someone like Will Smith, because I like his movies and his social media.

What sport/profession/activity... would you want to try out once in your life? Why?
Photography it's something that I'm getting a little bit obsessed with, and of course I would love to try and learn it.

What are the 3 main things on your bucket list for the next year?
Be happy, be healthy and be the world champion again. And when I mean happy, I make reference to everything in my life.

Paredes would love to get his hands on the King Kahekili Trophy again soon. Photo: Romina Amato/Red Bull Content Pool.