Cliff diving legend, Orlando Duque, used the break in the 2016 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he appeared as a special guest at the diving competition on the Pliva waterfall in the town of Jajce and announced his imminent return to Bosnia: on September 24, the Old Bridge in Mostar will be the venue of the 6th stop of the 2016 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.
The legendary Colombian, with 13 world titles and two Guinness world records under his belt, uses every opportunity to visit Bosnia, where he enjoys the support of a large number of fans. This time the destination was Jajce – a picturesque town hidden in a tight valley among Bosnian hills, and the good reason to make the trip was the 3rd International diving competition on the beautiful Pliva waterfall, held on Saturday, August 6.
The waterfall on the Pliva River is a gem in the heart of Jajce, uniquely located in the very centre of the town. Twenty meters high, it makes for a great venue for high diving – attractive and unusual at the same time. The waterfall has been a diving spot for ages, and now an international diving competition is being held there for the third consecutive year.
Orlando Duque arrived in Jajce a day earlier to take a tour of the city, check the diving location and perform a few test dives. After sightseeing, he was delighted by the beauty of the town and the waterfall: "When I first saw the waterfall, it just looked so beautiful. It's one of those pictures taken out from the travel book. Immediately I started looking for where I can dive from." He performed as a special guest, thrilling the audience with his dives – a breath-taking combination of complex acrobatics and immaculate elegance in the air.
The 41-year-old will be back in Bosnia next month already, but with a much larger crew: on September 24, 14 of the world's best male cliff divers will return to the Old Bridge in Mostar, for the 6th stop of the 2016 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series. After a great success last year, the city on Neretva River will host the most prestigious cliff diving competition in the world for a second time.
This year brings a new feature to Mostar: the Old Bridge will also see the competition of the Women's World Series, and the crowd in Mostar will have the opportunity to enjoy the performances of the world's best female cliff divers leaping from a height of 20 meters.
"I'm glad that Mostar is on the World Series calendar again. Last year it was really great here, so it's great that Mostar will be the host of another spectacle. I have a lot of supporters here, so it is going to be really good for me also," says Orlando, crowd favourite in Mostar.
High diving has a long tradition in many parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the sport is gaining a new momentum recently. "The great thing about Bosnia is that cliff diving is just spreading around the country, with so many places to dive from. It's nice to see that the sport is growing," says the Colombian before he flies back home to Hawaii for a few relaxing days before the next stop of the World Series in Polignano a Mare, Italy on August 28.