Stevenage diver on ‘awe inspiring’ Olympic experiences

A DIVER who took part in two Olympic Games representing Great Britain has described his experience as ‘awe inspiring’.

Martyn Brown, 59, from Stevenage, who took part in the 1976 Montreal Olympics aged 23 and the Moscow Olympics four years later found his love of water and diving at the Bedwell Secondary School in Stevenage – now Marriotts School.

Mr Brown said: “I started swimming as a schoolboy and then got involved in the local diving club.

“I found swimming up and down a pool boring and so I tried diving.

“It was an adrenaline rush and dangerous and as a young boy I loved it.”

Mr Brown joined the diving club’s schools division at Stevenage Swimming Pool, where he was coached by Derek Beaumont.

Wanting to take his passion further he competed in the 1975 World Aquatics Championships in Cali, Columbia where he came 15th in diving.

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He also took part in the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton and in the 1978 World Aquatics Championships in Berlin.

Speaking of his experiences of competing in Montreal Mr Brown said: “The Olympics is a different experience. It’s the pinnacle of any sporting man or woman’s career.

“Although I competed in two world championships, Montreal was awe inspiring – the most amazing thing ever. The atmosphere and the crowds were just immense. I remember the crowds looking at me when I was on the high board.”

Mr Brown stopped diving after competing in Moscow.

He said: “I came back from Moscow and I needed to get into a paid job. In those times athletes weren’t paid so I stopped competing and went into working in sales.”

In 2005, the six times national aquatics champion was appointed to work with the 2012 GB diving team to iron out any imperfections in routines.

His main role is to ensure competitors have perfected their dives before the event.

“I use a high speed video camera which takes 120 frames a second when the divers take a dive into the pool.

“By doing this I capture the dive and then sit with the coach and look back at the dive in slow motion to see if it can be improved.”

He added: “When I first started to train as a diver there wasn’t a lot of funding available and so training was not as intense as it is now.

“Nowadays a lot of training for diving is actually done on dry land and in gyms.”

Mr Brown said he will be sat at home watching the games on TV. He has predicted that the team has the capabilities of winning two medals but said: “With the crowd behind them we could even win a third.”