They noted the cultural elements, full-house crowds, and well-organised operation made the historic city of Xi'an so special.

Eighty-five elite divers from 15 teams in the world compete in the Super Final after qualifying for the culminating World Cup, following previous two stops in Montreal, Canada and Berlin, Germany.

Cultural Elements  

Image Source: Maia Biginelli of Italy competes in the Women 10m Platform final in Xi'an (Wang He/Getty Images)

Two days the Super Final started, all participants had an eye-opening Chang'an Impression Tang Dynasty Grand Welcome Ceremony, which is the first real scene performance with Tang etiquette culture as the theme in China, and experienced the highest level of welcome courtesy as the most distinguished guests.

Walking inside of the South Gate, Australian men's platform diver Jaxon Bowshire learned that the Grand Welcome Ceremony show has become a platform to display Chinese traditional and Xi'an regional culture.

"I just learned what we had right now has always been the ancient Chinese royal welcome etiquette in the world. I am walking the same way as the ancient royal person," Bowshire said.

Image Source: Marie-Eve Marleau competing for Canada in the Women's 10m Platform Final at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

For Marie-Eve Marleau, Sports Manager Diving and High Diving of World Aquatics, had competed in Xi'an in 2008 personally when she was a diver and always had special feeling to Xi'an.

"We were invited to the City Wall during the Grand Welcome Ceremony and everybody was really grateful. Because we do hotel-pool and pool-hotel all the time and we don't have that much time to absorb the culture of the cities we visit," Marleau said.

The opening show before the final everyday is full of cultural recreational elements. The light shadow of 3D animation projection over the swimming pool, which is covered with huge white cloth as the big screen, Qin opera combined with the magnificent drum array, call for the resonance from past to the modern.

Image Source: Tom Daley and Noah Williams of Great Britain pose with their silver medals and event mascot Tang Niu after the Men's Synchronised 10m Platform Final from the World Aquatics Diving World Cup 2024 in Xi'an (Wang He/Getty Images)

Tang Niu, the mascot of a little chubby girl image, is the most-wanted one by all the divers. It is based on the Terra-cottar women of the Tang Dynasty, retaining the makeup features and combining the features of modern comics.

"I like the mascot Tang Niu very much. It is cute and full of Xi'an local culture element. My doll collection has one more character," smiled Chinese diving superstar Quan Hongchan, whose bag is covered with at least 30 doll pendants.

Canadian women's 10m platform diver Caeli Mckay likes the mascot very much, saying, "It is so soft and cute! " 

"We got the mascot of Tang Niu which is awesome, probably the best one that we've got. It is in Tang style!” said Maddison Keeney of Australia after they claimed victory in the women's 3m Springboard Synchro on Friday. “I want to try on the Tang clothes and make-up to take pictures to my family and friends after my event.”

Great Britain's star diver Thomas Daley was delighted to bring the two mascot he collected from the men's 10m synchro platform and mixed team to his sons. "I would like to bring it back to my sons! It is the best award for me from the competition and best gift for them," Daley said.       

Spectators | Sessions Sold Out Quickly  

Image Source: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

The tickets for Diving World Cup are so hot that all six sessions tickets were sold out quickly.

“Really awesome to know that the all tickets were sold out really fast, especially the women’s 10m platform final tickets were gone in 10 minutes! That's quite amazing to know that as world aquatics for diving, it is such a popular sport in China,” said Marleau, the Sports Manager Diving and High Diving of World Aquatics.

“I've noticed not only the fans and the spectators are cheering for the Chinese, but they're cheering for everybody. We can see banners from other divers like Thomas Daley in the audience stands,” Marleau added.

Bashar Alsaffar, Diving Technical Committee Chairperson, said: “I really appreciate that we found the love for diving from the spectators here in China.”

The full-house audience in Xi’an made divers excited and full of power.

“The audience is always great in China that everybody turns out and shows up. And it's really nice to be able to dive in front of a huge crowd,"Daley said after his silver-medal performance with his partner Noah Williams in the men’s 10m platform synchro final.  

Image Source: Wang He/Getty Images

Wang Zongyuan, champion in the men’s 3m springboard, said: “It was the full-house crowds who boosted my fighting spirit and brave heart to cool down myself in the following rounds.” 

Anja Zeindl, a long-time German fan of diving, reserved her hotel room in Xi’an five months ago and booked whole tickets package for all six competition sessions. “I was in previous stops in Montreal and Berlin before I came to Xi’an this year. I’d love to cheer up for all the divers as a whole! The Chinese fans sit around me are passionate!”   


Image Source: World Aquatics

The local organisers arranged several demonstration activities of the Chinese intangible cultural heritage at the athlete's and official’s hotel and attract them trying on the traditional Tang clothes, water painting, dough sculpture making, and opera mask painting...etc.

Image Source: Carlos Camacho Del Hoyo of Spain competes in the Men 10m Platform final in Xi'an (Wang He/Getty Images)

Not only the divers and officials, but also the crowds enjoy the mood of cultural atmosphere by visiting the booths with the demonstrations of Xi'an Sports events, cultural and creative products on the spectator lobby.  

Ma Rui, director of Xi’an Sports Bureau, said: “We hope that the cultural Grand Welcome Ceremony, open show everyday, mascot and activities...etc, will remind the participants and audience remember the Diving World Super Final and remember our city of Xi’an.”

Image Source: Bashar Alsaffar (World Aquatics TDC Chairperson) at the medal ceremony of the World Aquatics Championships - Doha 2024 (Hiroyuki Nakamura/World Aquatics)

Bashar Alsaffar, chairperson of Diving Technical Committee in World Aquatics, was impressed by the organization and gave high marks to the local organizers.

“Everybody is amazed by the organisation for the Diving World Cup Super Final. There are so many aspects with the help of China Swimming Association. They take care of every single details and host a great event. It makes me proud and pleasant to be here and I wish to come back again in Xi'an in future.”