The Rate of Gravity
At the London Aquatics Center, Paola Espinosa and Alejandra Orozco step out of the poolside hot tub, towel off and scale three ladders to arrive atop the center’s ten-meter-high diving platform. Dressed in matching blue Team Mexico swimsuits, they silently repeat positive mantras: “Yes, you can.” “You can do it.” “Hip, hip, hooray.”
The pair turns their backs to the pool, perching similar 5-feet-1-inch, 104-pound frames on the platform’s edge, gripping the brink with solely their toes. Each closes her eyes and draws a deep breath to slow her heartbeat, manufacturing a moment in which the slap of the pool drain and the cheers of the crowd disappear. They visualize their synchronicity, then Espinosa softly counts aloud: “One, two. One, two.” In unison, they spring into the air, twisting to the left before hinging at the hips, legs arrow straight to form a perfect pike as they begin their rapid descent.