Oliver Dingley bumping into Boris Becker in Rio wasn't the great moment he hoped it would be

Irish diver chats to Off The Ball about his Olympic experience

Oliver Dingley,

Ireland's Oliver Dingley and his coach Damian Bell ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

He was the first diver to represent Ireland at an Olympic Games for 68 years and Oliver Dingley shone at Rio 2016.

An eighth place finish overall in the Men's 3 metre springboard capped a strong showing from the Harrogate-born athlete and enjoyed the entire experience beyond just the sporting side as he got to watch plenty of non-diving events and made acquaintances with a range of athletes from across the globe.

"It is hard to relax but I embraced the whole Olympic experience. Some days I sat in the dinner hall for two hours talking to people. It was absolutely brilliant," he told Off The Ball.

Although having said all that, meeting tennis legend Boris Becker, who coaches Novak Djokovic, in the Olympic Village didn't prove to be the great moment he hoped it would be. 

"I got to see a fair few famous people around the village. I was determined to take a few pictures with some but I had a bit of a bad experience on the first day. I saw Boris Becker and my Mum would love that if I got a photo with him. I sprinted over and I went 'Boris...' He just turned around and went 'No' and just walked off. So that didn't go too well.

"He looked pretty moody but I could see some other famous faces and it's quite surreal going into the food hall for example and you've got all these big names and world superstars of sport, so it's quite cool to be in that bubble."

On his own event, he spoke about the "make it or break it moment" which saw him ask for a re-dive from the referee after a scream in the crowd had put him off, aiding him to reach the final.

"It was a heart in the mouth moment and luckily they gave me a re-dive."

He also spoke about how "diving can be a lonely sport".