Taghi Askari, a 100-year-old Iranian diver, stood on the edge of a platform at the 2024 World Aquatics Championships in Doha, Qatar. As he gazed down at the rippling water below, he prepared to dive like he had done so many times before. Askari won a silver and bronze medal at the first-ever Asian Games in 1951 and has never lost his passion for the sport. Fast forward to 2024 and his exhibition dive at the World Championships marked two weeks until the World Aquatics Masters Championships where he will be the oldest competitor.
“For me, I have had a love of diving since I was a teenager until today. I have always loved diving. Nothing has changed between 1951 and now, except my performance!” Askari told World Aquatics. Askari first encountered diving at a swimming pool near his childhood home in Iran where other children were somersaulting into the water. He quickly fell in love with the sport and went on to win medals at the Asian Games and national titles in Iran.
“When I was competing at a national level the last championships I did was when I was 41 years old,” he said. “I achieved a gold medal at the national level, and after that, I said goodbye to the sport, but at least with a gold medal.” In the time since Askari began diving, the sport has changed hugely. “By