Over the last three nights, NBC has led its primetime Olympic coverage with synchronized diving. According to the stacks of letters that have poured into the Fourth-Place Medal Investigative Unit Headquarters, you've all been watching but are baffled by one facet of the competition. In that case, you're in the right place. After successful forays into the cases of Cullen Jones' disappearance and the identity of the hot Paraguayan, Fourth-Place Medal will today tackle the mystery of the showering divers.
After completing a dive, competitors swim to a ladder, climb out of the pool and head immediately to a bank of showers that sit adjacent to the diving boards. Then, in full view of the crowd and NBC cameras, they shower off. Divers keep their suits on, of course, usually appearing only to rinse off their hair and arms. Oftentimes, the divers will receive their scores while still showering off. What's the purpose of this?
Theories have ranged from 'to get the chlorine off' to 'they want to have fun' -- seriously, that last one is a direct quote from NBC's diving analyst, Cynthia Potter. Neither are the reason.
Divers shower in between each dive to keep their muscles warm after getting out of the pool. The temperature of the pool water and the air are usually different (the pool is usually around 80 degrees, with the air temperature between 68 and 72 degrees). This difference can cause muscle tightness. To combat this, divers warm up in either the showers or a hot tub.
Mystery: solved. (Although we're still a bit unclear as to why the showers are out in the open. The water cube cost over $200 million to build. They couldn't have put a privacy wall in?!)