Peng Bo (CHN)
Honor Diver (2014)
FOR THE RECORD: 2004 OLYMPIC GAMES: gold (3m springboard); 2001 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: gold (3m springboard synchro); 2002 ASIAN GAMES: gold (3m springboard synchro); 2001 UNIVERSIADE GAMES: gold (3m springboard synchro); 2003 UNIVERSIADE GAMES: gold (3m springboard synchro); 2005 UNIVERSIADE GAMES: gold (3m springboard synchro); 2007 UNIVERSIADE GAMES: gold (3m springboard, 3m springboard synchro).
He was born in Nanchang, capital of the Jiangxi province of China in 1981 and began training in diving at the age of six at the Nanchang Sports School. He was selected to be a member of the Jiangxi Provincial Diving Team in 1991, joined the diving team of the PLA Navy in 1995 and became a member of the National Team in 1998.
Peng and his synchronized diving partner, Wang Kenan, won gold medals at the 2000 World University Games, at the 2001 FINA World Championships in Fukuoka and at the 2002 Asian Games.
In 2003, Peng won the Chinese national Championships in the 3 meter individual event and finished second at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona.
For the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Peng was selected to compete in both the 3 meter individual and synchronized event with partner Wang. First up was the synchro event and heading into the final round of dives, Peng and Wang held a comfortable lead. Then came disaster. A dreadful error by Wang resulted in a failed dive – a zero – and no medal.
Comeback, for diver Peng Bo, is a particularly appropriate word. You see, Bo means, “never give up” in Chinese. And eight days later, in the final of the individual event of the 3 meter springboard, Peng came back with a vengeance.
Overcoming his earlier disappointment, Peng Bo led from start to finish.
His victory was fourth of the six gold medals China would win in Athens, and with a margin of victory of over 30 points his was the most dominating performance in diving at the Games in Athens.