Cliff Diving legend Orlando Duque retires | Best of Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series

After 20 years in the game, shaping the breath-taking discipline of diving from dizzying heights into a highly recognized sport and filling the record books with perfect dives, world titles and unparalleled achievements, Orlando Duque leaves the competitive 27m stage. Since the day he left Colombia more than 20 years ago, the world famous ponytail has travelled the world as cliff diving ambassador, dived from the world’s largest waterfall, in front of the Statue of Liberty and off an iceberg in Antarctica. In a career he’d never imagined to happen, he received all 10s from the judges for his immaculate diving performances, earned the first-ever aquatic world championship medal for his country as well as 13 world titles between 1999 and 2019. In the past 20 years ‘the Duke’ has inspired a whole generation of cliff divers. The man who for many personifies cliff diving bid farewell from competition during the season finale of the 2019 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Bilbao, Spain in September. “Cliff diving is my profession, a calling that will be the centre of my life after my active career is over. I once interrupted my university career because of diving, which I then let slide. This shows how important the sport is to me, emotionally as well,” explains 45-year-old Duque, “It will never release its hold over me.”

Les coups de coeur