News Sports Jason Statham's Olympic Aspirations: A Diving Journey
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Jason Statham's Olympic Aspirations: A Diving Journey

By Sonny Cohen | Published: 10:01 EDT, 31 March 2024 | Updated: 10:01 EDT, 31 March 2024

You may know him as Turkish from Snatch, or Bacon from Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Over the course of his acting career, Jason Statham has transformed from playing cockney gangsters to becoming one of the world's most recognizable action stars.

From Diving Boards to Silver Screens

Before the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Statham was on the brink of a very different achievement. In 1998, he made his acting debut in Guy Ritchie's Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. But eight years prior to that, the then 23-year-old found himself in Auckland, competing at the Commonwealth Games.

Representing England, Statham was no ordinary athlete. He was a professional diver, performing across three separate events. His impressive feats included a top-10 finish in the one-meter springboard, followed by two 11th places in the three and 10-meter platforms, respectively.

High Dives and Hollywood Dreams

Statham's love for diving ignited during a family holiday in Miami. Witnessing a high diver's breathtaking performance, he vowed to pursue the same path. Back home, he joined a swimming club at just 11 or 12 years old. Within a year, he became part of the British team, dedicating the next decade to diving.

Although his diving career didn't lead to Olympic glory, it significantly shaped his journey. Statham credits his sports background for his success on the big screen, telling the BBC in 2008, "What I didn't achieve [in sports] helped me focus more and take my acting career seriously."

From Diving Pools to Action Sets

While many may not have known about Statham's past as a diver, his interest in sports isn't surprising. His films often showcase martial arts, kickboxing, and karate. Yet, it all began with that high dive in Miami, propelling him from diving pools to Hollywood sets.

Today, Jason Statham stands as a global movie icon, leaving behind the diving boards but forever carrying the spirit of an athlete.

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