During Rio 2016 Olympic diving events it is easy to observe the athletes prepare with a wet small towel both before and after the dive.

After the dive this towel is promptly launched into the pool.

What would be the reason for this?


It would appear that what you're talking about is a Shammy, or aqua towel.

Aqua towels are super absorbent towels that wick water away from divers' bodies. Divers use aqua towels because they are able to wring water out of them quickly, dive, and then use it again, because nobody likes drying off with a wet, damp, cold towel!

BEFORE the dive, Swimmers will throw their towel in the pool to judge how far away the water is, because the water is clear.

Swimmers will throw towels in the pool AFTER the dive in a sign of resignation, anger, or quitting.

  • 2
    This has the start of a great answer, but would be improved with references or (suitably credited) images, especially w.r.t. your stated reason for the throwing of towels into the pool. – Nij Aug 12 '16 at 23:53
  • I do not believe that they "will throw towels in the pool in a sign of resignation, anger, or quitting", it seems a natural gesture before the dive – Ale Aug 13 '16 at 8:05
  • Ohhhh, you said after in your initial question. The divers throw their towels in the pool BEFORE they dive to judge how far down the water is, as the water is clear. – baranskistad Aug 13 '16 at 21:38
  • they also throw it down before the dive so they will have it down there when they get out of the water. It isn't much use up on the diving board after the dive. Why the water? It's somewhere you can be sure nobody is standing who would be hit by it. – Kate Gregory Aug 17 '16 at 21:03
  • Two things: bjskistad: are you telling me that the divers want to know how far is the water? Isn't it suppose to be a standard measure? And Kate Gregory: are you telling me that in the Olympics there will be nobody providing towels (or Shammys) for the divers? – Darío G Oct 17 '16 at 23:47

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