Gergely Csurka, FINA Media Committee Member (HUN)

Usually, and especially in sport, the kids follow their parents.
There are some exceptions, however. Janos Kormos started diving at the age of 50, after watching her daughter’s progress in the sport. This led to a unique scenario: their family is perhaps the only one here in Budapest which had a member competing at the FINA World Championships and another one at the Masters, in the very same discipline.

Villo Kormos is Hungary’s top diver at the moment. She has medals from Europeans in 10m synchro and earned the highest rank among the locals at the FINA World Championships (though couldn’t make the finals) – and she’s become really well-known for other reasons. In the first promotion video of the 2017 event, in the opening scene she stood on the top of the Chain Bridge. (In fact she stood there, it was shot early shortly after dawn back in 2015 – of course, the following dive from the bridge never happened in reality.)

And she was the one who committed everything to prevent his father from making a career in diving among the Masters.

“When he first stepped onto the springboards I offered him three bunch of chocolates and told him, ‘Dad, don’t jump!’” she recalls with a smile. “I didn’t want him to follow me, it’s a tough sport, especially to start it at the age of 50.”

So she raised the stake to 10 bunches of chocolates to block daddy’s diving career.

“I’m really a chocolate-lover, so the heresy was great...” the father says.

“But I’ve never turned back. A huge feet-first dive launched this magic which has been lasting ever since, even if I’m sixty years old. This is how this love affair began and I’ve earned a world championship bronze in 2012. However, it wasn’t the result which mattered but to be able to do what I had planned and I could even overcome my initial fears.”

Janos Kormos thinks one of the best things in Masters diving to compete together with former greats of the sport.

“This is the most fantastic thing of all. One determining experience stays with me forever: at an event, after a dive, a true legend, the Olympic and world champion Dmitri Sautin came to me and praised my attempt that it was very nicely executed. If anyone tells me that this might happen to me, that the former Russian king of the platform would say such appreciation, I would have just whisked.”

Thus, the family faced quite a busy summer. The parents did a tremendous job as key members of the competition management at the diving event of the FINA World Championships where their beloved girl could compete in front of an enthusiastic home crowd.

For the Masters, the roles were reshuffled, the mother stayed in the competition office, the daughter joined her while the father took the boards as he entered the 1m and 3m events. Well, this time he couldn’t clinch a medal thus a great opportunity has been missed as Villo is one of the presenters at the victory ceremonies. But this is the only thing we might lack from this story.

The common experience was satisfying for our protagonists. And we know not the results were the most important here. Soon perhaps some chocolate appeared in the story to help cheering up everyone. It’s not Hollywood, it’s Budapest – still, this is enough to say we have a fairy-tale like ending, don’t we?