If you look at the diving schedule for 2011, there are two events that have major implications as the U.S. and the world prepare for the 2012 Olympic Games. The first is the 2011 World Aquatic Championships which will take place in Shanghai, China. The second is the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico.
The World Aquatic Champions, at which diving's world championships are contested, will give China another opportunity to showcase the country and give the rest of the world an opportunity to see who, if any, will challenge the Chinese for medals in 2012. The championships will take place July 16-31 and hopefully we will get a bit more information out of China than during the world cup this past summer.
The second major event on the calendar, the Pan Am Games, will no doubt be interesting. Slated for October 14-30, we will get to see (or not see) whether this international event will continue to slip further away from the U.S. sports conscious. The Pan Am Games were once an important sporting event for U.S. athletes, and acted a bit like a barometer for Olympic success. But it's now hard to even find a broadcast. Four years ago you could only catch the competition on ESPN Deportes (the Spanish version of ESPN).
Regardless of whether we get to see either event, it promises to be a fun filled summer of diving!
Photo: Shanghai Aquatic Center/Steve Voellmecke