Ireland's first Olympic diver in 68 years on how his Nan helped spark the idea to switch from Great Britain

Oliver Dingley chats to Off The Ball about making history by qualifying for Rio 2016

BY Raf Diallo 20:08 Wednesday 9 March 2016, 20:08 9 Mar 2016

Oliver Dingley (Picture by: Andrew Matthews / PA Archive/Press Association Images)

The Olympics are yet to come, but for Oliver Dingley a slice of history has already been served.

When the 23-year-old steps onto the 3 metre springboard at Rio 2016, he will become the first Irish diver to take part in an Olympic Games in 68 years.

Ahead of an exciting few months, the Yorkshire-born diver joined Off The Ball to fill us in on how he completed his achievement and his plans ahead of the Games.

"For me, it was all about consistency," he said of his road to Rio.

"I injured my ankle about six months ago now and I went into the competition with my ankle still quite sore and because of that, we actually lowered the degree of difficulty of my list. So I did an easier list compared to a lot of people and for me that worked out really well in the end because I did the easier list, I perfected it really well and that got me in quite a high place."

He added that he is still tired from that "draining" qualifying tournament, and also spoke of his pride of representing Ireland having made the switch from Great Britain in 2014.

"I knew I had the option," he said of making that switch.

"For me, it was all guns go and it was something I really wanted to do and I couldn't wait to do it as well. I decided to do it all properly. I live in Dublin, I train in Dublin and that's what I want to do. My coach came over to train me and Ireland were very welcoming. I was extremely humbled by the support Ireland gave me," he said, before explaining how his grandmother plant the seed of the idea.

"I had always had a dream to go to the Olympic Games and I was always very close to my family members, and my Nan is from Ireland. She's always been a very proud Irishwoman, she always spoken about it, how nice it would be and I decided it would really be nice. If they would have me, then I would love to be able to go do that. I always supported Ireland growing up as well." 


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